The science and practice of sport psychology have experienced significant growth and development over the past 30 years. The purposes of this roundtable discussion were to engage sport psychology consultants’ views on gaining entry, especially as it relates to long-term work with athletic clients and to compare these views with Ravizza’s seminal work on gaining entry. Four consultants with extensive experience in sport psychology participated in a two-phase roundtable that was facilitated by a sport psychology professional. Topics explored and conclusions drawn provided further verification of Ravizza’s original insights about gaining entry (e.g., barriers to entry) and added new insights to account for rapid social and generational changes (e.g., role of gender, preferences of modern athletes, importance of interactive observation). The use of technology and adding teleconsulting to service delivery warrant careful approach and future examinations. Lifelong professional development is critical in optimizing gaining entry especially, given the rapid changes in both client demographics and sport and performance psychology knowledge.
Artur Poczwardowski, Mark Aoyagi, Thomas Fritze, and Mark Laird
Sofie Morbée, Maarten Vansteenkiste, Nathalie Aelterman, and Leen Haerens
In this study, involving 585 youth sport coaches (M age = 35.76), the authors investigated whether coaches who perceive their environment to be highly evaluative would report acting in a more controlling or pressuring way. In a subsample (n = 211, M age = 38.14), they examined the explanatory role of coaches’ experiences of psychological need frustration in this relation. They also considered whether years of coaching experience would serve as a buffer against the adverse effects of an evaluative context. In line with the tenets of self-determination theory, results of structural equation modeling indicated that an evaluative context was related to the use of a more controlling coaching style, with experiences of need frustration accounting for this relation. Coaching experience did not play any moderating role, suggesting that even more experienced coaches are vulnerable to the harmful correlates of an evaluative sport context.
Leslie W. Podlog, John Heil, Ryan D. Burns, Sean Bergeson, Tom Iriye, Brad Fawver, and A. Mark Williams
The authors used a quasi-experimental design to examine the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral-therapy (CBT) intervention for enhancing psychological well-being (positive and negative affect, vitality, self-esteem), rehabilitation adherence, and clinical rehabilitation outcomes (pain, physical function) in 16 NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association) Division I athletes experiencing a range of severe injuries. ANCOVAs, with adjusted baseline scores, revealed significant differences between the experimental and control groups for positive affect at rehabilitation midpoint (T2; adjusted mean difference (AMD) = 0.41, p = .04, η2 = .34) and return to play (T3; AMD = 0.67, p < .001, η2 = .70), negative affect at T3 (AMD = −0.81, p = .01, η2 = .47), and vitality at T2 (AMD = 0.99, p = .01, η2 = .48) and T3 (AMD = 1.08, p = .02, η2 = .33). Given decrements in emotional functioning after injury, the data support the use of CBT-based interventions for facilitating the emotional well-being of athletes with severe injuries.
Ingrid Hinojosa-Alcalde, Ana Andrés, Faye F. Didymus, Leanne Norman, and Susanna Soler
The purpose of this study was to assess the psychosocial work environment (PWE) of a sample of coaches in comparison with the reference values of the Spanish general workforce, as well as to explore the relationship between PWE and mental health, behavioral-stress symptoms, and burnout. A representative sample (N = 1,481) of Spanish coaches (18.1% women, mean age = 32.98 years, SD = 11.60) completed a battery of questionnaires. Results showed that, in comparison with the general workforce, coaches showed statistically significant differences in most of the PWE areas assessed. The emotional demands experienced by coaches are a health risk, while trust regarding management and recognition are positive features in their PWE. Coaches’ emotional demands were associated with low mental-health scores and higher levels of behavioral-stress symptoms and burnout, whereas social community at work and role clarity were protective factors for health. Practical implications to provide more favorable work environments for coaches are discussed.
Mette van Kruijsbergen, Jan Robert Pijpers, and Rebecca Ivana Hutter
Shared leadership contributes to team functioning, collective efficacy, and team resilience. This applied study aimed to increase shared leadership by providing role clarification and tailored leadership interventions and to systematically evaluate the effects of these interventions. A leadership-intervention program was delivered with a female elite junior volleyball team of 20 players (age, M = 15.14, SD = 0.73). The intervention included acquaintance, recognition, analysis, and practice with leadership behavior during training/competition and was conducted before the start of the season. Changes in leadership were evaluated with a social-network analysis. Results showed that after role clarification, social- and external-leadership scores increased significantly. Task-, motivational-, and social-leadership scores improved significantly after the leadership-development intervention. The study offers a detailed description of the intervention and a systematic evaluation of results. Role clarification and a leadership program provide quick and practical avenue to increase awareness and shared leadership skills.
Cassidy Preston, Veronica Allan, Lauren Wolman, and Jessica Fraser-Thomas
Extensive research highlights the important roles of coaches and parents in fostering positive youth development (PYD). However, little research has examined the complex coach–parent relationship in the bidirectional interactions of the coach-parent-athlete triad. This research is particularly pertinent in elite youth sport, wherein the performance-oriented environment may impede the pursuit of PYD. As such, this study aimed to deepen understandings of the coach–parent relationship in relation to athletes’ PYD. Specifically, the first author critically analyzed and reflected on his experiences as an elite youth ice hockey coach, thus offering a unique portrayal of reflective practice in the context of sport coaching. Two interconnected themes emerged: understanding conflict in the coach-parent-athlete relationship and fostering collaboration through enhanced coach–parent communication. Findings and reflections are discussed in relation to the dual-concern model of conflict resolution, and strategies to help practitioners foster cooperative coach–parent relationships are presented.
Johanna Belz, Jens Kleinert, and Moritz Anderten
Adolescent soccer players experience many stressors and negative stress-related outcomes. Short-term stress-prevention programs are frequently implemented in youth sports, although there is limited evidence of their usefulness and effectiveness. Thus, the present study evaluated the usefulness and effectiveness of a stress-prevention workshop for adolescent soccer players. Ninety-two soccer players (age: M = 15.5 years, SD = 1.43; 31.5% female) were randomly allocated to either an intervention group or an intervention control group. To evaluate effectiveness, stress, coping, and depression were assessed at baseline (t1) and 4 weeks postworkshop (t2). To investigate usefulness, the perceived quality of results was assessed at t2. No intervention effects on stress, coping, and depression emerged, but both groups exhibited high values regarding perceived quality of results. Although one workshop might not be enough to modify stress-related parameters, it may be useful for adolescent soccer players and pave the way for long-term interventions.
Thomas Gretton, Lindsey Blom, Dorice Hankemeier, and Lawrence Judge
Preperformance routines are microlevel performance processes utilized by athletes to facilitate the attainment of an optimal state and enhance the chance for successful performance. Despite continued examination of these routines, only a small proportion of research has been directed toward the cognitive component of these routines. This study explored the cognitive component of elite high jumpers’ preperformance routines, and specifically the consistency of the cognitive content (i.e., psychological skills and strategies). Data were acquired over an 8-week high-jump season and subjected to inductive thematic analysis. Results revealed the consistent implementation of the cognitive content (e.g., visualization) but an inconsistent design of this content (i.e., the content of the visualization). Furthermore, results underline the critical role of high-jump coaches and an athlete’s need to be adaptable and competent in utilizing various types of preperformance routine. This study offers valuable insight into the complexities and inconsistencies of the cognitive component of high jumpers’ preperformance routines.