The primary purpose of the current article is to supply those who wish to attain employment as a sport psychologist within a university athletic department (SPAD) with relevant information. The content herein describes one clinician’s path to becoming a SPAD, from undergraduate education to current-day work. The author often receives requests (between six and ten a year) from aspiring sport psychologists for information on how he attained his position. The current article begins with a concise presentation of the author’s background. This is followed by a brief overview of his current work. What follows are succinct recommendations for those who seek similar positions, including thoughts on (a) training, (b) the idiosyncratic personality-work environment fit, and (c) developing efficacious interpersonal relationships with those responsible for hiring such positions.
Michael B. Johnson
Nicole T. Gabana, Jesse A. Steinfeldt, Y. Joel Wong and Y. Barry Chung
The present study explored the relationships among gratitude, sport satisfaction, athlete burnout, and perceived social support among college student-athletes in the United States. Participants (N = 293) from 16 different types of sports at 8 NCAA Division I and III institutions were surveyed. Results indicated gratitude was negatively correlated with burnout and positively correlated with sport satisfaction, suggesting that athletes who reported more general gratitude also experienced lower levels of burnout and greater levels of satisfaction with their college sport experience. Perceived social support was found to be a mediator in both relationships. Limitations and implications for research and practice are discussed.
Ryan Sides, Graig Chow and Gershon Tenenbaum
The purpose of this study was to explore adaptation through the manipulation of perceived task difficulty and self-efficacy to challenge the concepts postulated by the two-perception probabilistic concept of the adaptation phenomenon (TPPCA) conceptual framework. Twenty-four randomized performers completed a handgrip and putting task, at three difficulty levels, to assess their self-efficacy and perceived task difficulty interactions on motivations, affect, and performances. The TPPCA was partially confirmed in both tasks. Specifically, as the task difficulty level increased, arousal increased, pleasantness decreased, and the performance declined. There was no solid support that motivational adaptations were congruent with the TPPCA. The findings pertaining to the human adaptation state represent a first step in encouraging future inquiries in this domain. The findings clarify the notion of perceived task difficulty and self-efficacy discrepancy, which then provokes cognitive appraisals and emotional resources to produce an adaptation response.
Judy L. Van Raalte, Staci R. Andrews, Allen E. Cornelius, Britton W. Brewer and Albert J. Petitpas
Although graduation rates for intercollegiate student-athletes in the United States have hit record highs in recent years, many student-athletes lag behind their nonathlete peers in terms of career readiness. The purpose of this research was to create and evaluate a theoretically grounded, evidence-based career development workshop for student-athletes. In Study 1, 28 college and university professionals reviewed the Career Self-Exploration for Student-Athletes Workshop Presenter’s Guide and online training videos. Workshop materials were revised based on feedback received. In Study 2, a national sample of 158 student-athletes participated in a controlled field trial. Results indicated that participating in the Career Self-Exploration for Student-Athletes Workshop enhanced student-athletes’ career self-efficacy relative to a control group. These findings suggest that the Career Self-Exploration for Student-Athletes Workshop, available online for free, can be used by campus professionals to enhance career development opportunities for student-athletes across geographic regions and resource availability levels.
Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Diarmuid Hurley and Montse C. Ruiz
This study documented the lived career-ending injury experiences among elite Irish rugby football union (IRFU) players. Three players took part in semistructured one-on-one interviews. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith, 1996) revealed that the process of psychosocial injury rehabilitation and the subsequent transition process was for the most part a distressing one and evolved in a cyclical, yet stage-like (Heil, 1994), manner. The nature of the postinjury career transition appeared to be dependent on the interactional balance of participants’ psychosocial responses to injury, existing coping mechanisms, and other factors related to the injury and career transition process. Appropriate social support network, use of sport medicine and counseling professionals, as well as organizational officials are needed to best prepare elite rugby players for life outside of sport, and to ensure a healthy career transition (Taylor & Ogilvie, 1994) out of sport.
Brad Donohue, Ashley Dowd, Corey Philips, Christopher P. Plant, Travis Loughran and Yulia Gavrilova
Recruitment of participants into treatment outcome studies is an important and often challenging aspect of human research. Yet, there have been very few controlled trials that have examined methods of recruiting participants into clinical trials, particularly in populations that may be reluctant to pursue mental health intervention, such as athletes. In this study, 79 NCAA Division I, Club, and Intramural student-athletes volunteered to participate in a study to determine their interest in participating in one of two goal-oriented programs representing two arms in a clinical trial. These programs were aimed at reducing substance abuse and sexually transmitted infections, and improving mental health, relationships, and sport performance. The participants were randomly assigned to Standard Recruitment (SR) or Recruitment Engagement (RE). RE included a review of the aforementioned outcome study and implementation of strategies that were developed to motivate participants to engage in treatment. The SR condition involved a review of the aforementioned treatment outcome study only. After the recruitment interventions were implemented, participants were queried to report any negative consequences that may have occurred from their use of illicit drugs or alcohol. Participants who reported negative consequences were invited to participate in baseline assessment of the aforementioned outcome study. Results indicated that 11 (25.0%) of the participants in the RE condition provided their consent to participate, 9 (20.5%) of whom subsequently completed baseline assessment; only 2 (5.7%) of the SR participants provided their study consent and subsequently participated in baseline assessment for the clinical trial (p < .05). After the respective recruitment intervention was implemented, participants were administered psychometrically validated instruments to assess their overall psychiatric functioning and the extent to which their sport performance was negatively impacted by dysfunctional thoughts and stress. Participants in RE were more likely to report greater dysfunctional thoughts and stress interfering with their sport performance (and, to a lesser extent, greater psychiatric problems) than SR participants, suggesting RE may influence greater disclosure of problem behavior than SR, permitting the interviewers opportunities to empathize with the participants’ concerns. Results are discussed in light of their implications to treatment outcome research and clinical and counseling practice involving student-athletes.
Alexander Brian Yu, Thomas Nguyen and Trent Petrie
As racially diverse, early-career sport psychology consultants (SPCs), we reflect on our experiences working with collegiate athletes and coaches whose racial/ethnic status were different from our own. Our reflections cover (a) the external effects of stereotypes, presence (and pernicious effects) of microaggressions, and strategies for effectively coping with such transgressions; (b) stereotype threat and how Jeremy Lin’s entry into the NBA affected our self-perceptions; and (c) a call to action to further promote a multicultural approach to sport psychology training, research, and practice. In sharing these thoughts, we hope to promote further dialogue in the emerging field of cultural sport psychology.
Tobias Lundgren, Lennart Högman, Markus Näslund and Thomas Parling
Elite level ice hockey places high demands on player’s physical and technical attributes as well as on cognitive and executive functions. There is, however, a notable lack of research on these attributes and functions. The present study investigated executive function with selected tests from the D-KEFS test battery among 48 ice hockey players and compared them to a standardized sample. Results show that ice hockey players’ scores were significantly higher on Design Fluency (DF) compared with the standardized sample score. Elite players’ scores were not significantly higher than those of lower-league hockey players. A significant correlation was found between on-ice performance and Trail Making Test (TMT) scores. Exploratory analysis showed that elite-level center forwards scored significantly higher on DF than did players in other positions. Future research should investigate whether assessment of executive function should be taken into account, in addition to physical and technical skills, when scouting for the next ice hockey star.
Kevin M. Antshel, Laura E. VanderDrift and Jeffrey S. Pauline
The NCAA Growth, Opportunities, Aspirations and Learning of Students in College data were used to explore the relationship between self-reported high levels of difficulties thinking or concentrating and grade point average (GPA) in college student-athletes. We specifically investigated the mediators of the relationship between self-reported high levels of difficulties thinking or concentrating and GPA. Results revealed there was a significant indirect effect between self-reporting the highest level of difficulties thinking or concentrating and service use through GPA, moderated by identity, full model: F(4, 14738) = 184.28, p < .001; R 2 = .22. The athletic/academic identity variable acted as a moderator of the mediating effect of GPA on the relationship between self-reported high levels of difficulties thinking or concentrating and the use of academic resources on campus. If a student-athlete who is self-reporting high levels of difficulties thinking or concentrating identifies more as a student, GPA is likely to prompt academic service use. However, if the student-athlete identifies more as an athlete, GPA is less likely to lead to use of campus academic support resources.
Andrew Romaine, J.D. DeFreese, Kevin Guskiewicz and Johna Register-Mihalik
As head injuries in American football have received increasing publicity, the safety of the sport has become a great concern for parents nationwide. The purpose of this study was to examine perceived safety concerns in youth football using Eccles’ expectancy-value model (Eccles et al., 1983). We hypothesized perceived safety concerns to moderate relationships between parent perceptions of parent cost/benefit, child cost/benefit, and child motivation and enjoyment outcomes for football. Youth football parents (N = 105, M age = 42) completed valid and reliable online assessments of study variables. Regression analyses revealed child safety concerns (as rated by parents) to mediate, rather than moderate, the relationship between parent safety concerns and child cost perceptions (as rated by parents). Furthermore, safety concerns did not significantly associate with child achievement outcomes of motivation and enjoyment. Results provide valuable insight into parent and child attitudes toward youth football safety. Such knowledge may inform future educational interventions targeting sport safety promotion.