Elite Academy Soccer Players’ Perceptions Towards Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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The purpose of the present study was to address perceptions towards Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in soccer. Twenty-four male, elite academy soccer players (M age = 20.04) completed a custom-made questionnaire which included education on CBT. The results found that: i) initially, only 8% of players had heard of CBT whilst only 4% of players knew what CBT was, ii) players strongly agreed that CBT should be offered to all players, iii) not knowing how/where to seek help was identified as the main barrier to CBT, iv) players indicated a preference for one-to-one and face-to-face CBT, as opposed to small-group or online-CBT, and v) players perceived they would receive most support from family/friends, and least support from teammates, if they were to undertake CBT. These findings demonstrate that whilst initial awareness and knowledge of CBT is low, general perceptions towards CBT are positive once athletes are educated on the area.

Wilkins and Sweeney are with the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. Zaborski is with the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom. Nelson and Tweddle are with the Newcastle United Football Club, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. Beukes and Allen are with the Dept. of Vision and Hearing Sciences and Vision and Eye Research Unit, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Address author correspondence to Luke Wilkins at lukealexandarwilkins@gmail.com.

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