Stories of Critical Moments Contributing to the Development of Applied Sport Psychology Practitioners

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 University of Bolton
  • 2 University of the West of Scotland
  • 3 University of Chester
  • 4 Liverpool John Moores University
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This study explored the stories of critical moments experienced by applied sport psychology practitioners. The 13 recruited practitioners (eight male and five female) were in different stages of their development (trainee, neophyte, and experienced) and were asked to tell one story about a critical moment that significantly contributed to their development as applied practitioners. Narrative analysis was used to explore the stories of critical moments. Four distinct narrative structures were evident: Rebirth, Rags to Riches, Tragedy, and The Quest. There was one consistent narrative feature that supported these plots: Critical moments contribute toward an alignment between a practitioner’s beliefs and behavior, which supports the development of a congruent philosophy of practice and the environment they choose to work within. The authors recommend future research, such as the use of narrative analysis, to explore alternative narrative structures and the investigation of successful and unsuccessful consultancy experiences.

Wadsworth is with the University of Bolton, Bolton, United Kingdom. McEwan is with the University of the West of Scotland, South Lanarkshire, United Kingdom. Lafferty is with the University of Chester, Chester, United Kingdom. Eubank and Tod are with Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Wadsworth (n.wadsworth@bolton.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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