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“I Realized It Was a Different Kind of Culture to Other Sports”: An Exploration of Sport Psychology Service Provision and Delivery in Gaelic Games

Patricia C. Jackman, Aoife Lane, David Tod, and Matthew D. Bird

In this article, we present two studies that provide the first evidence on sport psychology services in Gaelic games. In Study 1, 36 participants providing support for mental aspects of performance in Gaelic games completed a survey that ascertained an initial insight into practitioners and the services they provided in this context. Findings of Study 1 suggested considerable engagement with psychology support in Gaelic games but also highlighted a range of challenges with service delivery. In Study 2, we interviewed 11 sport psychology consultants to understand the active ingredients that contribute to context-driven sport psychology in Gaelic games and the role of contextual intelligence. Findings from Study 2 offered insights into how participants shaped their services to the context and how the active ingredients for effective service delivery, including working alliances, buy-in, and engagement with individuals within the performance environment, could be enabled or constrained in this context.