Expectations regarding pain tolerance are imbedded in the culture of sport, and bear heavily on pain and injury management. The athlete’s experience of pain is an encounter with core issues in the ethos of sport. As such, pain behavior not only influences performance but also is seen as defining character. This case study looks at the pain experience of a track and field athlete over a several-hour period from initial injury to stabilization, blending the perspective of athlete and sport psychologist. As the injury experience evolved, a complex set of interacting biological, psychological and social factors came into play, which alternately facilitated and inhibited the pain experience and which influenced action taken in response to pain.
Mike Rotheram, Ian Maynard, Owen Thomas, Mark Bawden, and Lynn Francis
This study explored whether a meridian-based intervention termed the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) could reduce Type I ‘yips’ symptoms. EFT was applied to a single figure handicap golfer in an attempt to overcome the performance decrements the player had suffered. The participant underwent four 2-hr sessions of EFT. The EFT involved the stimulation of various acupuncture points on the body. The appropriate acupuncture points were tapped while the participant was tuned into the perceived psychological causes (significant life event) associated with his ‘yips’ experience. Dependent variables included: visual inspection of the ‘yips’, putting success rate and motion analysis data. Improvements in ‘yips’ symptoms occurred across all dependent measures. Social validation data also illustrated that these improvements transferred to the competitive situation on the golf course. It is possible that significant life events may be a causal factor in the ‘yips’ experience and that EFT may be an effective treatment for the ‘yips’ condition.
Amanda Martindale and Dave Collins
This case study of an elite judo player recovering from injury provides an exemplification of a practitioner’s Professional Judgment and Decision Making (PJDM) using a ‘reflection-in-action research’ methodology. The process of “reflection-in-action” Schön (1991) and in particular the concept of ‘framing’ offer insight into how professionals think in action. These concepts assisted the practitioner in organizing, clarifying and conceptualizing the client’s issues and forming intentions for impact. This case study exemplifies the influence of practitioner PJDM on implementation at multiple levels of practice including planning the overall program of support, designing specific interventions to aid client recovery and moment-to-moment in-situ decision making session-by session. It is suggested that consideration of practitioner PJDM should be a strong feature of case study reporting and that this approach carries the potential to extend our use of case studies within applied sport psychology practice.
Lars Dzikus, Leslee A. Fisher, and Kate F. Hays
In this paper, we examine a case of “real life” ethical decision-making in sport psychology that occurred in the context of a symposium on sexual transgressions in sport, conducted during a recent professional conference. We use autoethnography (Ellis, 2004), an emergent qualitative methodology combining both literary and ethnographic techniques. In this case study, we analyze the unique perspectives of three key participants to make sense of what happened, why it happened, and how we can avoid similar instances in the future. We theorize and politicize the larger master narratives, which revolved around power, space, time, and symbolic violence. We conclude with recommendations for our sport psychology colleagues related to ethical decision-making, organizational planning of conferences, and being an ally to survivors of sexual abuse.
Burt Giges and Judy Van Raalte
Tim Herzog and Kate F. Hays
This article addresses the challenging conundrum of when to offer psychotherapy versus mental skills training. To highlight aspects of this dilemma, we describe actual cases that illustrate different ways in which clients present and practitioners may respond: (1) mental skills training shifting to therapy; (2) therapeutic work shifting to mental skills training; (3) simultaneous work between two practitioners; or (4) alternating services from the same practitioner. A variety of intervention methods are used based on a number of theoretical orientations and perspectives. The article concludes with some recommendations that may assist the performance-oriented practitioner in decision-making regarding the delicate balance between therapy and mental skills training. Suggestions relate specifically to the nature of the referral, the client’s preferences, the practitioner’s perspective and skill sets, a continuous process of appraisal and adaptation, and the central importance of the athlete-practitioner relationship.
Esa Rovio, Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Daniel A. Weigand, Jari Eskola, and Taru Lintunen
Research investigating the use of several team building (TB) interventions collectively in one case study is sparse. The purpose of this study was to evaluate, via action research, the process of implementation of a season-long (12 months) multifaceted TB program with a junior league ice hockey team in Finland. The team consisted of 22 players, aged 15–16 years, and three coaches. Inductive content analyses revealed that performance profiling, individual and group goal setting, and role clarification produced additional value to the TB program. Group norms became a vital part of group goal setting. The results are discussed in relation to existing definitions of TB and the importance of using a multifaceted approach to TB.
Ross Lorimer and David Holland-Smith
The purpose of this study was to examine the influences that led an individual to becoming and remaining an outdoor adventure sport coach. A case study of a single high level climbing/kayaking coach is presented using inductive thematic analysis to explore his perception of the factors that have influenced him before and during his career. This approach provides a unique insight into the social influences on coaches and how they inform coaches’ personal values. The study revealed a pattern of formative experiences acting on the participant throughout his life and career. Early experiences, exposure to the sport, and contact with significant others have influenced his decision to participate in outdoor adventure sports and allow him to derive satisfaction from passing his knowledge onto others. The value of this single coach’s personal experiences of sport is discussed in relation to the insight they provide into why coaches enter and stay in coaching careers.
Jens Kleinert, Jeannine Ohlert, Bert Carron, Mark Eys, Deborah Feltz, Chris Harwood, Lother Linz, Roland Seiler, and Marion Sulprizio
Working with teams and training groups is a common and major challenge for applied sport psychologists. This document is a position statement on the rationales, methods, and procedures of team-focused approaches in the practice of sport psychology. Furthermore, practice recommendations and research desiderata are discussed. To develop the paper, a consensus conference with nine experts from North America and Europe was held in Spring 2010. First, the paper presents the rationale for team-focused interventions and addresses the concepts of team cohesion, team efficacy, team potency, and a task involving leadership style. Second, the contributions of sport psychologists to enhancing group functioning are discussed, including methods for enhancing interpersonal skills, team climate, and coach athlete relationships. Third, determinants of how sport psychologists decide procedure and build trust in working with teams are articulated. Finally, the consensus group recommends an intensified effort to examine the effects and practice applicability of theory-driven, ecologically valid interventions.