Lessons Learned Consulting at Olympic Trials: Swimming Through Growing Pains

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 University of Denver
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The literature on the practice of sport and performance psychology (SPP) is lacking in recent contributions from student practitioners despite previous calls for additional contributions (Holt & Strean, 2001; Tonn & Harmison, 2004). A recent graduate from a master’s degree program in SPP was invited to attend USA Swimming 2012 Olympic Team Trials as a member of the support staff for the club swim team she had been consulting with for the duration of her graduate training. The focus of this paper is to expand upon this gap in the literature by providing a first-hand account of a young practitioner’s experiences at a high-performance meet. The neophyte consultant’s use of supervision for personal and professional preparation for Olympic trials, her experiences there, including ethical dilemmas encountered, and the lessons learned from attending such an event so early in her career will be discussed. Future implications are also offered for graduate students and early career professionals in SPP.

Christensen was with the University of Denver, Denver, CO, at the time of this research and is now with the Psychology Dept., Springfield College, Springfield, MA. Aoyagi is with the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, University of Denver, Denver, CO.

Address author correspondence to Dolores A. Christensen at christensen.dolores@gmail.com.
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