Quality Counts: Critical Features for Neophyte Professional Development

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Charlotte Woodcock University of Birmingham

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Hugh Richards University of Edinburgh

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Angus Mugford IMG Academies

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The aim of the study was to examine and reflect on the learning experiences of a neophyte sport psychologist. Over a 9-week applied internship the first author kept a reflective diary that followed Boud’s (2001) three elements of journal writing. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith & Osborn, 2003) of the data identified 11 themes from the diary, 8 of which were contextualized in 3 self-narrative accounts, including the working environment, anxiety, confidence, being a performer, being a learner, relationships, feedback and practical content. Reflecting on these incidents the neophyte’s supervisor offers another perspective, and along with the narrative accounts, furthers our understanding of important factors, and indicates recommendations to ensure quality training for professional development.

Woodcock is with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK. Richards is with the Dept. of Physical Education, Sport and Leisure Studies, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 8AQ, UK. Mugford is with IMG Academies, Bradenton, FL 34210.

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