Overview:  Complete and score the TOPS, and then submit your scores to Tim in an Excel file named “yourlastname.tops.xls” by 10:00 a.m. on Thursday (September 20th) morning.Excel Spreadsheet for TOPS Scores

The 64-item Test of Performance Strategies (TOPS) is a self-report instrument designed to measure an athlete’s use of psychological skills and strategies during competition and practice (Thomas et al., 1999).

Seven factors (similar to the nine dimensions in the FSS-2) are common to both competition and practice contexts, whereas negative thinking is only included in the competition context and attentional control only in the practice context. This results in eight sub-scales for training and eight sub-scales for competition (i.e., you should have one score for each sub-scale).

Here are the instructions:

Step 1 – Complete the questionnaire in this file: TOPS ESS220 2012 , BUT make an adjustment in the directions at the top of the page:

Instead of  (we are going to delete the red text) “Think back to the prime of your career, read each statement, and circle the appropriate number to the right of the statement to indicate how you usually felt.”; use:

“Read each statement, and circle the appropriate number to the right of the statement to indicate how you usually feel.

Step 2 – Score the questionnaire:

Use Table 3 (competition) and 4 (practice) from this journal article  (Lane et al. 2004)  to identify subscale items. Add up the scores for each subscale and then divide by four (the number of items in each subscale). This should result in an overall factor score of 1-5.  Some of the items are “reverse scored” (to avoid participant biais- inattention) so WATCH OUT!!!!!

For example if we look at question # 20:

“20. I get frustrated and emotionally upset when practice does not go well.” we see from Table 4 in the article that this question relates to the “Emotional Control” factor. We also see that the other three questions are worded “positively” – in other words a “5” would mean “high emotional control”.  We can see that a “5” on question #20 would NOT indicate “high emotional control” but in fact the opposite – or “reverse” – so we need to “reverse score” that item:  5 becomes a 1, 4 becomes a 2, etc.

Step 3 – Interpret your results:

First, compare your subscale scores with each other to determine which categories you need to improve the most? your strongest mental skills? your weakest mental skills?

Second, compare your scores with the sample of Olympic athletes in Table 2 (at the end of the document with the questionnaire).  What were the scales where you scored higher? lower? Overall – how do you compare with the Olympic athletes?

Makes some notes on your interpretation (.5 page handwritten?) and come to class prepared to discuss them.


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