The aim of this paper is to describe and appraise two different models used for providing sport psychology support services to the British Amateur Gymnastics Association over the last 6 years. In the first phase, the sport psychologists assumed the traditional role of experts who evaluated performers’ needs and then prescribed educational psychological skills training programs according to the sport psychologists’ perceptions of individual needs. This approach contained both educational and monitoring elements. The second phase adopted a consultancy approach in which the coach, performer, and sport psychologist were all assumed to bring expert knowledge to bear on any problem. In this approach, the sport psychologists responded to the expressed needs of performers and coaches, assuming diverse roles. According to the sport psychologists, this second model was more difficult to operate than the first model. However, consultant evaluation data and consultant opinion suggested the second model operated more successfully than the first.
The authors are with the Division of Health and Human Performance at the University of Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2DG, UK.