Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Self-Reflection and Self-Insight Predict Resilience and Stress in Competitive Tennis

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Self-Reflection and Self-Insight Predict Resilience and Stress in Competitive Tennis

Article excerpt

Concomitant with the globalization and commercialization of elite sport (Fletcher & Wagstaff, 2009), the requirements for athletic success have intensified. In professional tennis, for instance, at the beginning of 2015 there were more than 2,500 players listed on the official Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) singles rankings, an exponential increase from the less than 200 published in the initial 1973 rankings (ATP World Tour, 2015). Therefore, reaching a position in the top 100 in the present period, in comparison to the past, necessitates consistently outperforming a far greater number of players. Thus, among other factors, athletes' training activities, dietary decisions, and competition and rest schedules are prudently developed and individualized for year-round performance maximization.

Resulting from increasing athletic demands, heightened empirical attention has been devoted to identifying the mental edge that may distinguish an athlete from his/her competitors (e.g., Jones, Hanton, & Connaughton, 2002). Along these lines, researchers and sport psychology practitioners have focused on the positive psychology constructs that contribute to athletes' capacity to deal effectively with the demands of sport participation (e.g., competition anxiety) and to overcome setbacks and difficulties in and out of competition successfully (Salim, Wadey, & Diss, 2015). Because athletic performance success is influenced by self-awareness (Faull & Cropley, 2009), this psychological attribute appears to facilitate athletes' aptitude for responding adaptively to sporting demands.

Literature Review


Awareness of self-experienced emotions, cognitions, and behaviors, which has been termed private self-consciousness, involves devoting attention toward, cogitating on, and understanding, one's own thoughts and feelings (Morin, 2011; Wiekens & Stapel, 2010). The benefits that have been assumed to be associated with self-introspection and self-insight, including contesting and amending cognitions, emotions, and behaviors that are dysfunctional, are the foundations upon which psychological interventions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (Beck, 1970), have been developed. That is, self-awareness is recognized as an important metacognitive process for stimulating adaptive, self-directed change (Carver & Scheier, 1998), for monitoring progress toward desired changes, and using feedback to sustain or enhance progress toward improving performance and achieving goals (Grant, 2001).

Early inconsistencies in the correlates of private self-consciousness, such as associations with greater openness to experiences and anxiety symptoms (e.g., Scandell, 1998; Wells, 1985), have prompted scholars to draw a distinction between two facets of private self-consciousness: self-insight and self-reflection. Whereas self-reflection pertains specifically to inspecting and evaluating one's cognitions, emotions, and behaviors, self-insight refers to the lucidity of one's emotional, cognitive, and behavioral understanding (Grant, Franklin, & Langford, 2002). Findings reported in research have supported the existence of a discrepancy between these two domains (Roberts & Stark, 2008); for example, Harrington and Loffredo, (2010), Lyke (2009), and Stein and Grant (2014) found that self-insight was linked to positive psychological characteristics, such as mindfulness, eudaimonic and hedonic psychological well-being, life satisfaction, and self-esteem, and Harrington and Loffredo (2010) and Silvia and Phillips (2011) reported that self-insight was also negatively associated with anxiety and depression symptomology, negative affect, and rumination.

However, correlates with self-reflection are less clear, as researchers have reported both positive consequences of self-reflective processes, such as personal growth and lower levels of depression in response to stressors (Harrington & Loffredo, 2010; Mori & Tanno, 2013), and negative consequences, including anxiety, depression, and lower self-esteem (Conway & Giannopoulos, 1993; Reeves, Watson, Ramsey, & Morris, 1995). …

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