We explored athletic trainers’ (ATs) beliefs regarding the roles of fellow ATs and sport psychologists (SPs) when working with athletes, and assessed where ATs’ typically refer athletes with psychological concerns. ATs’ beliefs and referral preferences across three hypothetical sport performance scenarios also were evaluated. ATs viewed aiding athletes’ psychological recovery from injury as their most acceptable role followed by teaching mental skills and counseling regarding personal issues. ATs rated SPs’ roles similarly. Regarding the scenarios, ATs were most likely to refer to a SP when performance was affected by mental factors. Considering performance difficulties attributed to interpersonal concerns, ATs were most likely to refer to a counselor. When recovering from physical injury, ATs viewed referring to a sport psychologist and assisting on their own as equally viable options. ATs’ views regarding their roles and referral preferences likely reflect educational and clinical experiences. Collaboration between athletic training and sport psychology professional organizations and individual professionals is warranted to enhance athlete care.
Joey Ramaeker and Trent A. Petrie
Trent A. Petrie and C. Edward Watkins Jr.
As the field of sport psychology has evolved and become more focused on applied/practitioner issues, the need for interdisciplinary training has been noted. Little information exists, however, concerning the acceptability of sport psychology training in applied psychology programs. Thus, 41 counseling psychology programs and 41 exercise/sport science departments (matched pairs) were surveyed to determine their relative attitudes toward sport psychology research, training, and current professional issues. The exercise/sport science departments were found to offer more courses in sport psychology and to have more faculty and students interested in sport research. Over 70% of the counseling psychology programs, however, had students with sport psychology interests. In addition, the two academic areas reported equally high levels of acceptance concerning their graduate students pursuing sport psychology research and training. Mechanisms for promoting interdisciplinary training in sport psychology are discussed.
Karen D. Cogan and Trent A. Petrie
Applied sport consultants continue to offer intervention programs to athletes; however, research determining the efficacy of such programs has been lacking. This paper (a) briefly describes a season-long, multidimensional sport psychology intervention with a collegiate women’s gymnastics team, and (b) presents the results of the evaluation, examining the effectiveness of the program in reducing competitive state anxiety and increasing team cohesion, the two areas of evaluative focus. Results indicate that the intervention gymnasts had higher levels of social cohesion during the initial part of the competitive season than did control gymnasts. In addition, the intervention gymnasts reported decreases in cognitive and somatic levels from the end of the preseason through the middle of the competitive season. Findings are presented in relation to qualitative feedback provided by the coaches and gymnasts. Directions for future research and the intervention team’s evaluation of the program also are discussed.
Tsz Lun (Alan) Chu and Trent A. Petrie
Time and access to teams may be limited for sport psychology professionals, particularly those working in the college sport setting. Thus, learning how to intervene with teams and individual athletes within short, defined timeframes becomes essential for working effectively in this environment. In this article, using de Shazer’s solution-focused brief therapy along with Weinberg and Williams’s steps of psychological skills training, the authors describe the development and implementation of a brief intervention under time-limited circumstances (15 days, 15 min/day) through a preseason training program with a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I women’s volleyball team. Then, they present data and evaluations based on the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28 and athlete feedback, which support program effectiveness. They further reflect on the program strengths (e.g., individualization) and challenges (e.g., limited coach involvement) to provide recommendations for intervening briefly, yet systematically and effectively, to maximize athletes’ psychological skills under constraints.
Trent A. Petrie, Karen D. Cogan, Judy L. Van Raalte, and Britton W. Brewer
An investigation was conducted to examine the possibility of gender bias in the evaluation of sport psychology consultants. AAASP members were sent a packet that included a description of a football player who wanted to work with a sport psychology consultant to improve his consistency, a vita of a fictitious sport psychology consultant, and a rating questionnaire. The packets differed only in regard to the gender of the fictitious sport psychology consultant, which served as the independent variable, with half the sample being assigned to the male condition and the other half to the female condition. Participants (N = 293) evaluated the sport psychology consultant on several dimensions and indicated how strongly they would recommend the consultant to the football player. Results indicated that participants generally evaluated the fictitious sport psychology consultant similarly, regardless of gender. Indeed, the only gender differences that emerged were that the female sport psychology consultant was rated higher than the male consultant on attractiveness, trustworthiness, and general “good counselor” dimensions. Even though evidence of bias against women did not emerge in this study, the importance of promoting an atmosphere of inclusion for both male and female sport psychologists still exists.