What Can the Sport Psychology Consultant Learn from the Educational Consultant?

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Bob LaRose The University of Western Ontario

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The growth of sport psychology has brought many positive advances and claims for achievement, but it has also brought controversy. Debate has beset the profession concerning classification (psychologist or consultant?), role (clinician or educator?), clientele (coach, athlete, or administrator?), ethics (whose purpose is to be served and who is being threatened?), and process (performance enhancement, winning, or personal fulfillment?). In this paper, the educational consultant in higher education is offered as a role model to help reduce the confusion and refocus attention on a more widely applicable role. Most sport psychologists today deal directly with athletes, usually elite athletes. However, as with physical skills, psychological skills require time and effort to fully develop. In order to address this time factor, this paper takes the stance that there is a growing need to train experts in the field to focus their efforts on the coach rather than the athlete. The consulting role, focus, and process suggested here could be of value to interested personnel at all levels of sport, and could provide a means for all participants to realize their fullest potential.

Bob LaRose is with the Faculty of Physical Education, Room 113 Thames Hall, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 3K7.

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