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Psychological and Social Needs: Athletes’ and Mental Performance Consultants’ Perspectives on a Gap in Concussion Protocols

Cassandra M. Seguin and Diane M. Culver

While research advancements have substantially improved concussion management efforts, consideration for the psychological and social aspects of concussive injuries have remained largely absent from concussion protocols. The present study was undertaken to identify elite athletes’ psychological and social needs during the recovery process. Elite athletes with a history of concussion and mental performance consultants who work with concussed elite athletes participated in focus group interviews to shed light on these needs. A thematic analysis of these focus groups revealed six psychological and social needs: acceptance, normality, confidence, self-efficacy, trust in relationships, and social support. These themes are framed within concussion literature to help initiate a conversation on how psychological and social needs should be addressed as part of multifaceted efforts to improve concussion recovery.

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From Center Stage to the Sidelines: What Role Might Previous Athletic Experience Play in Coach Development?

Travis Crickard, Diane M. Culver, and Cassandra M. Seguin

Traditionally, playing experience in sport has been used as a springboard into the coaching profession. Specifically, playing experience has been discussed in research as facilitating the transition into early coaching roles, fast-tracking through coach education programs, and being viewed as a desirable factor in high-performance sport. However, explorations into the intricacies that make this playing experience so valuable have been minimal. Thus, this Insights article is meant to foster discussion within the coach research community regarding the role of playing experience in coaching pathways from a position perspective. This unique area of inquiry may offer insight to those concerned with coach pathways, coach development, and coach education. To promote this discussion, the following article will present some avenues through which previous playing experience could be explored. In addition, the authors will present a study that was conducted with high-performance head ice hockey coaches who formerly played goaltender and offer interesting directions for future research inquiries. Notably, the authors will consider playing experience in connection with career advancement, potential implications for hiring processes, considerations for coach education, and possible barriers to coaching opportunities.