What Works When Working with Athletes

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Angela Fifer Michigan State University

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Keith Henschen University of Utah

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Daniel Gould Michigan State University

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Kenneth Ravizza California State University, Fullerton

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A highly effective method for disseminating knowledge is to observe the most experienced individuals in the field of interest. Although business, teaching, and coaching have been mentoring and apprenticing students for years, the field of applied sport psychology does not have a long formal history of doing so. The purpose of this article is to capture and present the thoughts, theories, and techniques employed by highly experienced applied sport psychology consultants to formally record what they believe “works when working with athletes.” General topics discussed include: gaining entry, techniques of assessment, delivery of information, and approaches for preparing athletes for “major competitions.” Common ideas and practical guidelines are summarized from the authors and discussed in light of current scientific and professional practice knowledge in the field. These consultants do not claim they have all the answers, but rather share their experiences in hopes of providing ideas and facilitating self-reflection concerning consulting effectiveness on the part of the reader.

Fifer and Gould are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824. Henschen is with the Dept. of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112. Ravizza is with California State University, Fullerton, CA.

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