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This paper presents the development and implementation of a psychological skills training program for blind athletes. The structure of the program was based on the personal accounts of successful athletes and the results of studies using sighted athletes. Skills designed to give insight to the body/mind relationship, raise or lower arousal levels, maintain motivation, prepare for competition, and improve problem-solving abilities were introduced to the athletes. Participants completed a self-assessment of psychological skills to determine the skill areas they had strengths in and therefore should take advantage of as well as those mental skill areas in which they could improve. A qualitative evaluation of the program is presented and recommendations for future programs are discussed. Overall, few changes were needed to accommodate for the athletes’ visual impairments.
Request reprints from Stephanie J. Hanrahan, School of Physical Education, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand. At the time this work was done she was at the University of Western Australia.