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“It’s Necessary Work”: Stories of Competitive Youth Sport Coaches’ Developing Critical Praxes

Sara Kramers and Martin Camiré

In this study, nine Canadian competitive youth sport coaches’ challenges and successes in creating safer and more inclusive sport spaces were explored through individual pre- and postseason interviews and an in-season reflective portfolio of their coaching experiences. From a story analyst approach, the central narrative theme of “it’s my responsibility to enact change” was identified. A storyteller approach was then used to communicate the meanings of the central theme as accessible creative nonfiction composite stories: When is it okay to intervene?; burning out … it’s consuming me; and breaking through … it’s necessary work. Building on previous research, the findings demonstrate how coaches’ critical praxes shift on a continuum of awareness and advocacy. The creative nonfictions may be used by coach educators and mental performance consultants to help coaches and leaders in sport assess their critical praxes toward challenging social issues in sport and acting in ways that support advocacy and empowerment.

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Having Impact and Doing It Quickly: The Place for Brief and Single-Session Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies in Sport Psychology Practice

Darren Britton, Andrew G. Wood, and Tim Pitt

Cognitive-behavioral therapies and related approaches are highly prevalent within sport psychology practice. Traditionally, these approaches are delivered across interventions comprising multiple sessions. However, in the fast-paced environments in which many applied sport psychologists operate, practitioners are sometimes required to provide fast, effective, and impactful interventions to athletes at their point of need within a single session. Single-session integrated cognitive-behavioral therapy presents a potentially effective approach for practice wherein time is often at a premium, and there is frequently pressure to make an impact quickly to improve performance. In this article, we put forward a stimulus piece that contextualizes single-session integrated cognitive-behavioral therapy and overviews how sport psychology practitioners may use such techniques with athletes. We also put forth a call for more practitioners to report more idiographic case studies that feature the use of brief or single-session interventions to further build the evidence base for such approaches.

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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024)

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Bulletin Board

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On the Frontline of Athlete Mental Health: The Mental Health Literacy of NCAA Coaches

Kelzie E Beebe and Trent A. Petrie

Coaches’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about mental health—or mental health literacy (MHL)—affect teams’ mental health climates and the detection, referral, and treatment of athletes’ mental health concerns. Thus, assessing collegiate coaches’ MHL, and factors related to its presence, is critical. Using the Mental Health Literacy Scale, 1,571 NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) coaches were surveyed regarding their MHL and demographic and mental health experience factors. Overall, 99.9% of the coaches surveyed believe that athletes’ mental health affected their sport performances. Through hierarchical regression analyses, coaches’ exposure to mental health treatment, perceived helpfulness of mental health treatment, gender (i.e., woman), years coaching (i.e., fewer years), and current NCAA division (i.e., Division III) were significantly related to their MHL, explaining 15.5% of variance. However, coaches’ race/ethnicity did not reach significance. Recommendations regarding increasing coaches’ MHL and hiring appropriately trained and licensed mental health and sport psychology professionals are offered.

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Kenshi’s Experiences of Sword Fighting in Kendo: The Way of Ippon With Soul, Sword, and Body

Takahiro Sato, Peter R. Jensen, and Craig A. Wrisberg

In response to recent calls for promoting the contextual intelligence of sport psychology practitioners, the aim of the current study was to obtain the first-person competitive experiences of kendo fighters (i.e., kenshi). Existential phenomenological interviews were conducted with eight competitive Japanese-American kenshi residing in the United States. The findings of thematic analysis indicated that the participants possessed a strong commitment to earning ippon (i.e., a valid point), which was achieved by a subjective synchronization of mind, sword, and body in the execution of a strike against an opponent. They considered this to be a transformative experience, which elevated them perceptually out of the sporting context to a momentary sense of “cutting” the opponent with a real sword. The current findings also offer sport psychology consultants possible context-specific insights (e.g., importance of seme) and strategies (e.g., management of attentional focus, self-regulation techniques) for assisting kenshi in preparing for competitive situations.

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Multicultural Training and Program Climate in Master’s Degree Sport Psychology Programs

Macey Arnold and Trent Petrie

Key governing bodies (e.g., Association for Applied Sport Psychology) recognize that graduate programs must prepare multiculturally competent practitioners. Students and recent graduates of sport psychology master’s degree programs (N = 107, M age = 26.32, SD = 5.19) reported moderate levels of feeling safe, valued, and comfortable within their program; low to moderate levels of multicultural training integration; and low to moderate satisfaction with their multicultural training. Students of Color (n = 42) compared to White students (n = 63) reported less satisfaction with their multicultural training; felt less safe, comfortable, and valued; and perceived less multicultural integration. Furthermore, perceptions of multicultural training integration and of feeling safe, comfortable, and valued were significantly related to satisfaction with their multicultural training. Training programs are advised to improve integration of multicultural training, invest in program climate to help students feel safe and valued, and ensure continuing education of faculty members.

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A Penny for Your Thoughts: Athletes’ and Trainee Sport Psychologists’ Internal Dialogue During Consultations

David Tod, Hayley E. McEwan, Amy E. Whitehead, and Daryl Marchant

The purpose of this study was to explore the internal dialogue of trainee sport psychologists (TSPs) and athletes immediately following athlete–practitioner consultations. TSPs (four male and three female, age 22–32 years) and athletes (four male, three female, age 19–29 years) completed a thought-listing procedure twice, while watching video recordings of their previous consultations. The thought-listing procedure involved participants’ pausing the video to record the in-session internal dialogue they had experienced during the consultation. Participants’ responses were categorized into six dimensions: time, place, focus, locus, orientation, and mode. TSPs’ and athletes’ retrospective accounts provided evidence that their in-session internal dialogue was (a) present focused, (b) about in-session material, (c) about the athletes or themselves, (d) about internal and external events, (e) professional (i.e., related to the session), and (f) neutral. Findings provide trainees and inexperienced practitioners with insights into the thought content of TSPs and athletes to guide their own athlete interactions.

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A Collective Case Study of Parent–Athlete–Coach Triads in British Youth Tennis

Ella F. Tagliavini, Chris G. Harwood, Sophia Jowett, and Sam N. Thrower

While important for athletic development and well-being in youth sport, knowledge remains limited around the processes underpinning triadic relationships between parents, athletes, and coaches. This study aimed to examine the relational processes that drive the functioning of parent–athlete–coach triads across three developmental stages of youth tennis. Using a collective-case-study design, 10 players, 10 coaches, and 9 mothers completed preinterview tasks and semistructured interviews and provided conversational history. Reflexive thematic analysis led to the generation of two higher order themes: foundations of relationship quality and factors enabling team effectiveness. Findings highlighted how specific relationship qualities (i.e., commitment, trust, respect, and parent–coach proximity) and team effectiveness constructs (i.e., shared goals, collaborative and adjusted roles, support, and role-specific communication) served to facilitate the tennis experience for triads. Scholars are encouraged to consider integrating small-group principles (e.g., team building) into tailored support programs that address the psychosocial needs of the triad.

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Volume 37 (2023): Issue 4 (Dec 2023)