One group of athletes only recently receiving attention from sport psychologists is those who are deaf. Although these athletes have a communication disability, they participate in sport at all levels, from recreational sport participant to Olympic competitor. This paper reviews the literature on sport psychology and athletes who are deaf. Issues related to assessment of psychological skills with athletes who are deaf are explored through a study with 26 National Deaf Volleyball Tournament players, using the Psychological Skills Inventory for Sport. Finally, suggestions are offered for sport psychologists considering working with athletes who are deaf.
The authors are with the Dept. of Physical Education at Temple University, Broad & Montgomery Sts., Philadelphia, PA 19122.