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Zoe Knowles and David Gilbourne

The present article contemplates the future of reflective practice in the domain of applied sport psychology and, in so doing, seeks to engender further critical debate and comment. More specifically, the discussion to follow revisits the topic of ‘reflective-levels’ and builds a case for ‘critical reflection’ as an aspiration for those engaged in pedagogy or applied sport psychology training regimens. Assumptions and commentators associated with critical social science (e.g., Habermas, 1974; Carr & Kemmis, 1986), action research (e.g., Carr & Kemmis, 1986; Leitch & Day, 2000), and critical reflection (e.g., Morgan, 2007) suggest a number of foundation points from which critical reflection might be better understood. Finally, writing about ones-self via the processes of critical reflection and through reflective practice more generally are briefly considered in cautionary terms (Bleakley, 2000; du Preez, 2008). Auto-ethnography in sport (Gilbourne, 2002; Stone, 2009) is finally proposed as one potential source of illustration and inspiration for reflective practitioners in terms of both content and style.

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John Coumbe-Lilley

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Craig A. Wrisberg, Lauren A. Loberg, Duncan Simpson, Jenny L. Withycombe, and Ann Reed

In this study NCAA Division I coaches (n = 815) completed a Web-based survey assessing their willingness to encourage athletes to see a sport psychology consultant (SPC), their support of possible roles for a SPC at their institution and, for coaches with current access to a SPC at their institutions, their willingness to seek mental training services for a variety of purposes. The results indicated that coaches were more willing to encourage their athletes to see a SPC for performance issues than for personal concerns and were more supportive of making mental training services available to athletes and including a SPC among athletic department staff than allowing a SPC to be present at practices and competitions. Coaches with current access to a SPC were primarily interested in mental training for performance enhancement purposes and were more willing to seek the services if they had more frequent contact with the SPC and perceived the SPC to be effective. These findings extend previous research on athletes’ and coaches’ receptivity to mental training and provide several important insights for SPCs working with athletic personnel at the NCAA Division I level.

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Brendan Cropley, Sheldon Hanton, Andy Miles, and Ailsa Niven

This study offers an investigation into the concept of effective practice in applied sport psychology (ASP) with emphasis being placed upon the role that reflective practice may have in helping practitioners to develop the effectiveness of their service delivery. Focus groups (n = 2), consisting of accredited and trainee sport psychologists, were conducted to generate a working definition of effective practice, and discuss the concept of effectiveness development through engagement in reflective practices. The resulting definition encapsulated a multidimensional process involving reflection-on-practice. Initial support for the definition was gained through consensus validation involving accredited sport psychologists (n = 34) who agreed with the notion that although effectiveness is context specific it is related to activities designed to meet client needs. Reflective practice emerged as a vital component in the development of effectiveness, with participants highlighting that reflection is intrinsically linked to service delivery, and a key tool for experiential learning.

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Carrie Cheadle

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Carolina Lundqvist and Göran Kenttä

The purpose of this study was to psychometrically evaluate the Emotional Recovery Questionnaire (EmRecQ) and to describe athletes’ individual response patterns in five repeated assessments using the EmRecQ. Three samples were used. Samples 1 and 2 consisted of 192 and 379 (Mean age 16.4 years, SD = 0.7 and Mean age: 17.0 years, SD = 1.1) elite athletes from different sports. The third sample consisted of 20 (Mean age: 21.3, SD = 19.0) female elite basketball players. The EmRecQ is a 22-item questionnaire that assesses Happiness, Security, Harmony, Love, and Vitality. Results showed acceptable weighted omega reliability and construct reliability. Confirmatory factor analyses supported the a priori specified five-factor correlated model. Case profiles of repeated assessments revealed individual response patterns of the separate EmRecQ subscales that corresponded well with rated training load and total quality of recovery. The findings provide support for the EmRecQ’s psychometric properties and applied usefulness.

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Diana J.E. Vincer and Todd M. Loughead

This study examined the influence of athlete leadership behaviors on perceptions of team cohesion. The participants were 312 athletes from 25 varsity and club level teams. Each participant completed the Group Environment Questionnaire (Carron, Widmeyer, & Brawley, 1985) that assessed cohesion and the Leadership Scale for Sports (Chelladurai & Saleh, 1980) that assessed athlete leadership behaviors. Overall, it was found that individual perceptions of Training and Instruction, and Social Support positively influenced all four dimensions of cohesion (ATG-T, ATG-S, GI—T, GI-S). Furthermore, Autocratic Behavior was negatively associated with the four dimensions of cohesion. Finally, Democratic Behavior was positively related to ATG-T. These findings provide researchers, sport psychology consultants, athletes, and coaches with some initial evidence that it is important to foster the development of athlete leader behaviors to influence the team environment.

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Zeljka Vidic and Damon Burton

This study assessed the impact of an 8-week goal-setting program on the motivation, confidence and performance of collegiate women tennis players using a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest study design. This goal-setting program used the ‘roadmap’ concept; a unique systematic approach to goal-setting that focused on setting coordinated long-, intermediate-, and short-term goals. Participants consisted of six female Division I collegiate tennis players who completed seven instruments to assess intervention effectiveness. Over the 8-week intervention, all 6 players demonstrated improvements in motivation, confidence and performance measures, particularly on targeted variables. Qualitative results further strengthen support for intervention success, with all six athletes consistently reporting that goal-setting was beneficial in enhancing their motivation, confidence and performance.

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Nichola Callow, Ross Roberts, Joy D. Bringer, and Edel Langan

Two studies explored coach education imagery interventions. In Study 1, 29 performance coaches were randomly assigned to either an imagery workshop group (n = 13) or an imagery-reading comparison control group (n = 16). Pre and post intervention, coaches completed the CEAIUQ (Jedlic, Hall, Munroe-Chandler, & Hall, 2007) and a confidence questionnaire designed for the study. Further, coaches’ athletes completed the CIAIUQ (Jedlic et al., 2007) at pre and post intervention. Due to a poor response rate (n = 9), an exploratory case study approach was employed to present the data. Results revealed that, while all coaches found the workshop to be interesting and useful, with certain coaches, encouragement of specific aspects of imagery decreased as did confidence to deliver imagery. To overcome the limitations of Study 1, Study 2 employed a needs based approach. Five elite coaches completed a performance profile related to imagery and the CEAIUQ. Four individualized sessions were then conducted. Inspection of post intervention data indicated that the intervention increased encouragement of imagery use, imagery constructs identified as important by the individual coaches, and, when identified, confidence to deliver imagery. The results are discussed in terms of the importance of coach education from both an applied and research perspective.