Team and individual flow in female ice hockey players: the relationships between flow, group cohesion, and athletic performance
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AbstractThis study examined the relationships between four kinds of flow, group cohesion, and athletic performance. The relative contributions of the kinds of flow and group cohesion to performance were also examined. The participants (n = 114) were elite female ice hockey players from seven Canadian university, college, and professional teams, and their head coaches. The measures of flow were individual state flow, individual dispositional flow, team state flow, and team dispositional flow; group cohesion was also assessed. There were four measures of athletic performance including: player perceptions of personal and team performances after a game, coaches' perceptions of team performance after the same game; and an objective score based on performance outcome (the difference between the two team scores). Several patterns of findings emerged. First, patterns of relationships occurred among the four kinds of flow and group cohesion. Second, individual state flow contributed to player ratings of self-performance. Third, team state flow contributed to both player and coaches' ratings of the team performance. Fourth, team state and dispositional flow both contributed to actual game scores. Fifth, group cohesion did not provide a significant nor consistent contribution to athletic performance over and above that of individual or team flow. The overall findings indicated that female ice hockey players' perceptions of individual and team flow (state and dispositional) differentially influenced performance, depending on the kind of performance measure. These and other results were discussed, as were limitations of the study and implications of the findings for players, coaches, and sport consultants.
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