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Editorial: Beyond the ABC of Consulting: Understanding the Impact of Nutrition, Sleep, and Recovery on Performance

Stewart T. Cotterill

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Editorial: The Quest for Transparency and Community Driven Learning

Angus L. Mugford

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Improving Health Behaviors and Outcomes: An Intervention to Support Engagement in Physical Activity

Laura J. Houghton and Zoe R. Knowles

The purpose of this case study is to offer reflections on the personal experiences, processes of behavioral change; and subsequent outcomes of designing and implementing a collaborative exercise psychology intervention. The intervention, based on Bandura’s (1977) Self Efficacy Theory and using self-efficacy related behavior change techniques (Michie et al., 2015), aimed to provide families affected by health inequalities with opportunities to enhance their understanding of health and make positive behavioral changes. This case is based around one female client aged 48 years of age who took part in the project with her ten-year-old daughter. Pre-intervention the client was engaging in minimal levels of weekly physical activity and reported poor self-rated mental well-being. Through improvements in self-efficacy, achieved through opportunities on the project, the client was able to make notable improvements to her physical activity levels leading to significant weight loss and improvements in mental well-being. From the practitioners’ perspective, reflection on areas for future work within the field of exercise psychology, particularly guidance on developing effective client-practitioner relationships with ‘hard-to-reach’ individuals and groups is warranted. More consideration for the suitability of the PA guidelines for individuals with poor physical and mental health is also required.

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A Reflective Case Study of Sport Psychology Support at the Lacrosse World Cup

Philippa McGregor and Stacy Winter

The purpose of this paper is to share and reflect on personal experiences of providing sport psychology support to an international lacrosse squad during their World Cup participation. Based on the needs analysis assessments from observation reports and informal communications, key areas of support included: (1) creating structure and routine, (2) facilitating team reflections, (3) goal setting, (4) game preparation, and (5) providing off-field support. Working with this team exposed the dynamic nature of sport psychology consultancy, and the unpredictability of what is required from a team in a high-performance setting. Individual consultancy through informal communications with players signaled the importance of supporting the person beyond their role as an athlete. Team-level support via group workshop sessions was predominantly performance-related, and required the adoption of solution-focused approaches given the time pressure on strategies to be effective. The support facilitated team organization and preparation, which enabled players to be both mentally and physically ready for each game. Establishing stable routines, game plans, and clear goals, and having adequate reflection and feedback time were reported by the players as important facets of their World Cup experience and success.

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Strategies for Fostering a Quality Physical Activity-Based Mentoring Program for Female Youth: Lessons Learned and Future Directions

Corliss Bean and Tanya Forneris

The current case outlines practical strategies used by youth leaders to implement a female-only physical activity-based mentoring program. This program was selected as the case for the current paper as it scored the highest on program quality out of 26 different sport and physical activity-based youth programs within a larger project. The two program leaders were interviewed to understand what practical strategies they used to foster a high-quality program within this context. The leaders discussed how they: (a) focused on developing individualized relationships with youth, (b) balanced structure with flexibility to allow for youth voice, (c) intentionally integrated life skills, and (d) combined engaging activities with downtime to differentiate the program from school. This case provides a practical account of how front-line workers in youth mentoring programs, specifically within sport and physical activity contexts, can deliver a quality program. Reflection on areas for future work within the field of sport psychology, including ways to bridge the gap between research and practice and the need to develop communities of practice for youth programmers, are presented.

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A Strengths-Based Cognitive Behavioral Approach to Treating Depression and Building Resilience in Collegiate Athletics: The Individuation of an Identical Twin

Nicole Gabana

The current case reports the treatment approach used working with an NCAA Division I collegiate rower who initially sought sport psychology services for performance concerns. As the therapeutic relationship grew, the client disclosed stress related to her identical twin sister’s struggle with depression. Over the course of therapy, the client herself began to increasingly demonstrate symptoms congruent with depression. Working with an integrated treatment team including sports medicine and the coaching staff, the sport psychology consultant adopted a strengths-based cognitive behavioral approach that sought to draw on the client’s strengths while identifying the connection between the client’s thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors and her symptoms of depression. The case is discussed from a biopsychosocial model, and reflections on theoretical applications and interventions are provided. An emphasis is placed on the holistic treatment of collegiate athletes and performers in general. The author concludes by discussing the importance of a well-rounded, positive relationship between exercise science and mental health domains within the field of sport psychology.

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Winning Mentality: A Reflective Account of Delivery to a Professional Football Academy

Suzie Godfrey and Stacy Winter

This paper presents a reflective account of the sport psychology support work delivered across one season at a professional football academy by a neophyte practitioner. The development of the sport psychology program, referred to as Winning Mentality, was guided by Harwood and Anderson's (2015) 5C guidelines to psychological skills training.The Winning Mentality program outlined within this paper was delivered to the U9-U12 age groups and focused on the three key topics: (1) growth mind-set; (2) emotional control; and (3) confidence.The intervention comprised predominantly of classroom-based workshops delivered at the team level that focused on one topic per training cycle. Working with these young age groups uncovered a number of challenges that form the basis of this reflective account.Drawing upon child developmental literature was a necessity to ensure the effective matching of session content to the relevant age group. In addition, the heavily classroom-based nature of the program limited the youth footballers application of sport psychology techniques on the football pitch.Finally, opportunities to empower coaches with the knowledge and skills to apply psychological concepts within their training sessions should be welcomed.

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Writing Manuscripts for Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology

Stewart T. Cotterill, Robert J. Schinke, and Richard Thelwell