An Evaluation of U.S. Olympic Sport Psychology Consultant Effectiveness

in The Sport Psychologist
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The present investigation had three purposes. It (a) evaluated U.S. Olympic sport psychology consultants and the services they provide; (b) used Partington and Orlick’s (1987b) Consultant Evaluation Form (CEF) to examine effective sport psychology consultant characteristics; and (c) identified future sport psychology consultant and program needs. U.S. Olympic sport psychology consultants, sport science and medicine administrators, national team coaches, and athletes from various Olympic sports were surveyed. Results revealed that consultants were perceived in a favorable light across the four subsamples, which did not differ significantly in their effectiveness evaluations. The consultants also received high ratings on all 10 CEF consultant characteristics. Moreover, correlations between the consultant characteristic and effectiveness ratings revealed that fitting in with the team and drawing on athletes’ strengths were among the most important characteristics. Finally, the respondents identified the need to individualize sport psychology strategies as a major way for consultants to better meet athlete needs. Results are discussed relative to ways of improving applied sport psychology consultations with athletes and coaches.

D. Gould is with the Dept. of Exercise and Sport Science, Univ. of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27412. S. Murphy is with the Dept. of Sport Psychology, U.S. Olympic Complex, Colorado Springs, CO 80909. V. Tammen is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801. J. May is with the School of Medicine, Univ. of Nevada–Reno, Reno, NV 89557.

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