“Caught in the Headlights”: A Reflective Account of the Challenges Faced by a Neophyte Practitioner Working With a National Squad

in Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Mind-Find Consulting
  • | 2 University of Portsmouth
  • | 3 University of Wisconsin–La Crosse
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This article provides a neophyte practitioner’s account of providing psychological support to a national team for the first time. The practitioner felt “caught in the headlights” due to his lack of preparation for the range of organizational issues he encountered. In this confessional tale, experiential knowledge gained by the practitioner is shared through the presentation of self-reflections from the 6-month period when he supported the squad. While the practitioner’s time with this national squad was limited, it gave him a sense of the micropolitical landscape of the sporting organization and illuminated some of the complexities and dilemmas that characterize applied sport psychology practice. These reflections are offered to guide other aspiring professionals during their initial training experiences.

Wren is with Mind-Find Consulting, Brighton, England. Wagstaff is with the School of Sport Health and Exercise Science, University of Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. Quartiroli is with the Dept. of Psychology, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, La Crosse, WI, USA.

Wren (barnaby@mind-find.co.uk) is corresponding author.
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