An Exploratory Investigation of NCAA Division-I Coaches’ Support of Sport Psychology Consultants and Willingness to Seek Mental Training Services

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 University of Tennessee
  • | 2 Barry University
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In this study NCAA Division I coaches (n = 815) completed a Web-based survey assessing their willingness to encourage athletes to see a sport psychology consultant (SPC), their support of possible roles for a SPC at their institution and, for coaches with current access to a SPC at their institutions, their willingness to seek mental training services for a variety of purposes. The results indicated that coaches were more willing to encourage their athletes to see a SPC for performance issues than for personal concerns and were more supportive of making mental training services available to athletes and including a SPC among athletic department staff than allowing a SPC to be present at practices and competitions. Coaches with current access to a SPC were primarily interested in mental training for performance enhancement purposes and were more willing to seek the services if they had more frequent contact with the SPC and perceived the SPC to be effective. These findings extend previous research on athletes’ and coaches’ receptivity to mental training and provide several important insights for SPCs working with athletic personnel at the NCAA Division I level.

Wrisberg, Loberg, and Withycombe are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Reed is with the Statistical Consulting Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Simpson is with the School of Human Performance and Leisure Sciences, Barry University, Miami Shores, FL.

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