Notes on Working within an Individual Zone of Optimal Functioning (IZOF) framework: Consultant practice and athlete reflections on refining emotion regulation skills

The performance of a 19 year old cross-country athlete was tracked using an IZOF framework to determine the relationship between her emotions and the performance they yielded (Woodcock et al., 293). A “self-referenced performance rating” was used to denote  the outcome of each performance (Woodcock et al., 293).

This study used an eight-phase research cycle, created by Kellmann and Beckmann in 2003 (Woodcock et al., 293). This consisted of the following:

  1. Joint problem identification, meaning working with a coach to identify the problems the patient was having (Woodcock et al., 293-294)
  2. Consultation with a behavioral science expert (Woodcock et al., 293)
  3. Data gathering and preliminary diagnosis, which consisted of the identification of the athlete’s optimal and non-optimal zones of function (Woodcock et al., 293-294).
  4. Supplying feedback to the athlete (Woodcock et al., 293)
  5. Joint diagnosis of the underlying issue (Woodcock et al., 293)
  6. Joint action planning, which had the goal of aiding the athlete to maintain her own optimal zone of function, aid her awareness and acceptance of her current performance state, and give her effective tools to re-enter her optimal zone of function (Woodcock et al., 293, 296-297)
  7. Action, which was the execution of the previously-generated plan. In this case, the athlete was advised to use positive self-talk as an emotional regulation tactic to keep herself in her optimal zone of function, along with proper guidance on goal-setting (Woodcock et al., 293, 297-298)
  8. Data gathering after action, which was the process of receiving feedback from the athlete on her experience using the previously determined action plan (Woodcock et al., 293, 298)

Woodcock, Charlotte, et al. “Working within an Individual Zone of Optimal Functioning (IZOF) Framework: Consultant Practice and Athlete Reflections on Refining Emotion Regulation Skills.” Psychology of Sport and Exercise, vol. 13, no. 3, 2012, pp. 291–302., doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2011.11.011.

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