NCAA Division-I Student-Athletes’ Receptivity to Mental Skills Training by Sport Psychology Consultants

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Craig A. Wrisberg University of Tennessee

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Duncan Simpson University of Tennessee

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Lauren A. Loberg University of Tennessee

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Jenny L. Withycombe University of Tennessee

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Ann Reed University of Tennessee

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In the current study NCAA Division I student-athletes (n = 2,440) completed a Web-based survey assessing their willingness to seek mental skills training, perceptions of the potential benefits of mental training for their team, and support of possible roles for a sport psychology consultant at their institution. Multiple chi-square tests revealed significant (p < .001) dependence of respondents’ ratings on gender, sport type (individual vs. team), prior experience with a sport psychology consultant, and perceived effectiveness of prior experience (low, moderate, high). Generally, females were more receptive than males, individual and team sport athletes were interested in different types of mental skills, athletes with prior consulting experience were more open than those with none, and athletes with highly effective prior experience were more receptive than those with less effective experience. These findings extend previous research examining collegiate student-athletes’ attitudes toward sport psychology consulting and provide several important insights for consultants conducting mental skills training for NCAA Division I level athletes.

Wrisberg, Simpson, Loberg, and Withycombe are with the Dept. of Exercise, Sport, and Leisure Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996. Reed is with the Statistical Consulting Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996.

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