The objective of this study was to explore how sport psychology consultants perceive the challenges they face at the Olympic Games. Post-Olympics semistructured interviews with 11 experienced sport psychology consultants who worked at the London Games were conducted. The interviews were transcribed and inductively content analyzed. Trustworthiness was reached through credibility activities (i.e., member checking and peer debriefing). The participants perceived a number of challenges important to being successful at the Olympic Games. These challenges were divided into two general themes: Challenges Before the Olympics (e.g., negotiating one’s role) and Challenges During the Olympics (e.g., dealing with the media). The challenges the sport psychology consultants perceived as important validate and cohere with the challenge descriptions that exist in the literature. The findings extend the knowledge on sport psychology consultancy at the Olympic Games by showing individual contextual differences between the consultants’ perceptions and by identifying four SPC roles at the Olympic Games.
Peter Elsborg, Gregory M. Diment, and Anne-Marie Elbe
The growth of sport psychology has brought many positive advances and claims for achievement, but it has also brought controversy. Debate has beset the profession concerning classification (psychologist or consultant?), role (clinician or educator?), clientele (coach, athlete, or administrator?), ethics (whose purpose is to be served and who is being threatened?), and process (performance enhancement, winning, or personal fulfillment?). In this paper, the educational consultant in higher education is offered as a role model to help reduce the confusion and refocus attention on a more widely applicable role. Most sport psychologists today deal directly with athletes, usually elite athletes. However, as with physical skills, psychological skills require time and effort to fully develop. In order to address this time factor, this paper takes the stance that there is a growing need to train experts in the field to focus their efforts on the coach rather than the athlete. The consulting role, focus, and process suggested here could be of value to interested personnel at all levels of sport, and could provide a means for all participants to realize their fullest potential.
Artur Poczwardowski, Mark Aoyagi, Thomas Fritze, and Mark Laird
insight is situated and the authentic voices of the discussants themselves. Gaining Entry: Original Conceptualization by Ravizza Ravizza ( 1988 ) introduced gaining entry from three main practical considerations: barriers, gaining entry, and clarification of the consultant role. Contextualized in the
Tammy Sheehy, Sam Zizzi, Kristen Dieffenbach, and Lee-Ann Sharp
, 2011 ). In this research, most coaches worked with their SPC in an informal nature, and this enabled the SPC to shift between a consultant role and a counselor role with the coach. While the SPCs worked with the coaches informally, they maintained their formal role working with the athletes