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include: assessing whether or not athletes might be ready to enter an elite training

program (Porat, Lufi, & Tenenbaum, 1988), predicting the risk of injury (Lowry &

Leveau, 1982; Kerr & Minden, 1988; Kolt & Kirkby, 1994), determining what position

on a team players are most suited (Daus, Wilson, & Freeman, 1986), helping athletes

with performance outcomes (Cheung & Lo, 1996; Cogan & Petrie, 1995; Mace &

Carroll, 1989), predicting eating disorders (Petrie, 1993), and assessing why athletes

may be leaving a sport early in their careers (Hayashi, 1998). Additionally, research

delineating psychological characteristics of exemplary sport participants may allow

identification of the strengths and weaknesses of individual athletes, and ultimately,

with strategic interventions, facilitate performance enhancement.

A number of studies have been published involving psychological assessments

of gymnasts. Krane, Snow and Greenleaf (1997) conducted a qualitative case study of

an elite gymnast to determine whether the creation of too much pressure had

detrimental effects on the gymnast. The study was based on a growing concern that too

much of the wrong type of pressure has been applied to many elite level gymnasts.

Often, administrators, coaches, parents, and athletes in elite gymnastics are willing to

do whatever it takes to win, regardless of the long-term impact on the athletes. The

results of this study demonstrated that an ego-involved motivational environment was

developed and reinforced by the coaches and parents of the gymnast. An ego-involved

athlete will most likely display behaviors that are counterproductive to long-term

achievement in order to achieve immediate success (Duda, Chi, Newton, Walling,&

Catley, 1995). In 1983, a sports psychology program was developed and implemented

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