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Case Study of a Professional Development Support Group of Sport Psychology Practitioners Working in Major League Baseball Organizations in the United States and Canada

Charlie Maher

A case study is presented about sport psychology practitioners working in Major League Baseball organizations in the United States and Canada who collaborated as a professional development support group. The practitioners ranged from entry-level mental skills coaches to midcareer providers to veteran sport psychologists. The professional development support group is described in relation to its professional development goals, membership criteria, and relevant context. The case study offers a perspective on the evolution of the group and provides evaluative information about implementation of its activities relative to its professional developmental goals. The case includes reflections about the meaning of the group and suggestions for how sport psychology practitioners can collaborate to foster their professional development in sport settings. In addition, lessons learned from the case study are considered for continued improvement of professional development support in sport psychology. Finally, guidelines are provided for designing and implementing professional development groups in sport psychology at professional and collegiate levels of sport.

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Constellation Mentoring for University Soccer Players: A Case Study

Brennan Petersen, Cole E. Giffin, Thierry R.F. Middleton, and Yufeng Li

Peer mentoring is a supportive relationship between a more experienced mentor and a less experienced protégé that has garnered attention in recent sport research. Moving beyond traditional mentoring dyads, constellation peer mentoring engages several mentors to provide support to a protégé, ensuring they have access to multiple perspectives and areas of expertise. We implemented a constellation peer-mentoring program with Canadian university student-athletes throughout their competitive seasons. Subsequently, we undertook an instrumental case study to explore participants’ feedback and the perceived benefits of the program. Using reflexive thematic analysis, we interpreted participants’ responses as indicative of traditional mentoring benefits, including reduced transitional stress, feelings of well-being, and feelings of satisfaction. In addition, we determined unique aspects of constellation peer mentoring, such as increased team cohesion, improved help-seeking, an environment that fostered relational mentoring experiences, and the need for leader training. Constellation peer mentoring presents a promising intervention for supporting student-athletes during career transitions.

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An Integrated Mind–Body Training Intervention on an Elite Surfing Athlete: A Case Study

Eduardo Takeuchi, Shirley S. Lacerda, Guilherme Carlos Brech, and Elisa H. Kozasa

The aim of this case study was to evaluate the effects of integrated mind–body training in an elite surfing athlete. The mental training included the development of mental techniques (self-talk/internal monologue and mental imagery), mental skills (emotional regulation, state of presence, self-awareness, self-control, and self-confidence), life and performance coaching sessions (behavior improvement), and meditation and breathing techniques. The physical training consisted of “educating a conscious athlete” (he knows what he needs to do and why he is doing it); increasing muscles; perfecting the joint functions; developing physical capabilities of power, strength, and speed endurance; and exploring the same behaviors and mental skills integrated in the mind training. The athlete had his best classifications after the beginning of the intervention: third place in the Championship Tour in 2018, fourth place in 2019, second in 2021, and first in 2022, without any injuries, suspensions, or 25th-place classification in a surfing competition (the worst possible classification, which had happened in all previous years). Improvement in his behavior and lifestyle also helped the athlete realize his dreams. The result suggests that mind–body training might have contributed to his improvement and stability in the years 2018–2022.

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Volume 7 (2023): Issue 1 (Jan 2023)

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Acting on Injury: Increasing Psychological Flexibility and Adherence to Rehabilitation

Laura Swettenham and Amy Whitehead

This case study outlines the use of acceptance and commitment therapy with a client struggling with uncomfortable thoughts and emotions concerning his injury, impacting adherence to his rehabilitation plan. The aims were to increase psychological flexibility and decrease cognitive fusion to allow for greater adherence to his rehabilitation plan and support well-being. The client engaged in a series of one-on-one sessions, discussing the triflex within acceptance and commitment therapy through the strategy of “recognize, release, refocus.” The intervention included practice engaging with the present moment, exploring defusion techniques, clarifying values, and committing to subsequent values-driven behaviors. The effectiveness of the intervention was assessed by monitoring psychological flexibility, cognitive fusion, and feedback from the client’s physiotherapists. The trainee sport and exercise psychologist then provided reflections on the case.

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Adaptation of the Five-Step Career Planning Strategy Framework: A Pilot Intervention Case Study

Hee Jung Hong and Ian Fraser

The primary purpose of this case study was to develop, implement, and evaluate a new workshop-based intervention using the five-step career planning and reflect on feedback from participants (n = 17) with the aim of improving the intervention’s content and structure to apply it to a wider population of higher education students, including student athletes. The workshop-based intervention aimed to provide participants with opportunities to reflect on career planning and mapping while reviewing their past, present, and future in terms of both sports careers and life, generally. We provide our reflections for both applied researchers and practitioners on our experience of piloting the intervention. Semistructured interview data were collected from the participants. Analysis revealed that the workshop afforded participants with opportunities to reflect on their present and future careers. The participants also provided recommendations on how to improve future workshops. Reflections on these recommendations and on the workshop (development, implementation, and evaluation) are provided.

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Volume 6 (2022): Issue 1 (Jan 2022)

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Volume 6 (2022): Issue S1 (Jan 2022): Special Issue: Making Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble, in Applied Sport Psychology Practice: Global Perspectives

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Efficacy of a Video Modeling and Imagery-Controlled Trial Intervention in a Non-Western Adolescent Population: A Case Study

Asha Francis Chungath, N.T. Sudhesh, Sahen Gupta, and Sanika Divekar

There is a dearth of evidence from non-Western populations and contexts in the sport psychology literature. With increasing attention given to the development of cultural sport psychology and decentralizing sport psychology evidence, this is the first study to document the effectiveness of applied interventions in non-Western populations (herein, India). With a rigorous methodological design, we randomly distributed a sample of 90 adolescents into three skill groups (discrete, serial, and continuous) and separated them across the team and individual sports. A random assignment of participants to two experimental groups, that is, imagery and video modeling interventions, and a control group was conducted for the duration of a 66-day intervention. Sport psychology imagery and video modeling interventions were provided in addition to skills training across all groups. Repeated-measures analyses of variance demonstrated that the intervention groups exhibited positive outcomes on skill execution (across discrete, serial, and continuous skills) and anxiety compared with the control group (p < .05). The findings of this study provide novel evidence that video modeling and imagery interventions are effective among a non-Western adolescent population. The context of this high-impact intervention case study, the intervention, and the challenges of developing and delivering the intervention are discussed along with their practical significance for future research and applied practice.

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Erratum. Acting on Injury: Increasing Psychological Flexibility and Adherence to Rehabilitation