NCAA Division I Coaches’ Perceptions and Preferred Use of Sport Psychology Services: A Qualitative Perspective

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 University of Tennessee
  • | 2 Indiana University
  • | 3 Indiana State University
  • | 4 University of North Texas
  • | 5 West Virginia University
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Although there appears to be greater acceptance and use of sport psychology (SP), fully integrating SP consultants and services into college athletic programs has yet to occur in most institutions. Decisions to initiate, continue, or terminate SP services are often made by coaches. Therefore, college coaches with access to services were interviewed to explore their beliefs and expectations about SP service use and how an SP consultant could work effectively with them and their athletes. Using consensual qualitative research methods, three domains in coaches’ perceptions of SP consultants were revealed: who they are, what they do, and how they do it. Findings illustrate the importance of being “on the same page” with coaches, developing self-reliant athletes, and making an impact while remaining in a supporting role.

Zakrajsek is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Steinfeldt is with the Dept. of Counseling & Educational Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Bodey is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN. Martin is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, & Recreation, University of North TX, Denton, TX. Zizzi is with the Dept. of Sport and Exercise Psychology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.