Doing Sport Psychology: Personal-Disclosure Mutual-Sharing in Professional Soccer

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 Staffordshire University
  • | 2 Glasgow Caledonian University
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This study evaluated the effects of a personal-disclosure mutual-sharing (PDMS) intervention on team cohesion and communication among 21 male professional soccer players from a top division club within the United Kingdom (UK) before an important match in the latter stages of a domestic cup competition. Data from the Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ) and the British Scale for Effective Communication in Team Sports (BRSECTS) showed no statistically significant changes in cohesion or positive and negative communication from pre to postintervention (i.e., pretest to posttest); yet the team performed above their expectations in the important match only to lose in a penalty shoot-out. Social validation data further revealed that most players felt the intervention was worthwhile and benefitted the team by enhancing closeness, understanding of teammates, and communication. We discuss strategies and guidance for sport psychologists considering a PDMS intervention in the context of professional sport teams. Future research directions considering the effects of PDMS with other professional and youth UK sports, collective efficacy, and social identity is outlined.

Windsor and Barker are with the Centre for Sport, Health, and Exercise Research, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK. McCarthy is with the Dept. of Psychology, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

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