The sport psychology literature provides many examples of the use of mental skills training with athletes. Little attention, however, has been given to those brief interventions that occur frequently when working with athletes in the field. Such interventions are time limited, action oriented, and present focused. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief overview of the use of brief contact interventions with athletes in field settings. In particular, we provide a short introduction to such interventions, describe a framework for their use, and present several case examples. We believe that brief contact interventions can be made more effective by following the principles described in this article.
Burt Giges and Albert Petitpas
Albert J. Petitpas, Burt Giges and Steven J. Danish
The quality of the counseling relationship has proven to be the most significant factor in facilitating treatment adherence and positive counseling outcomes. The authors of the present article contend that the dynamics of the sport psychologist-athlete relationship are quite similar to those of counselor-client relationship. They offer suggestions for the training of sport and exercise psychology graduate students that borrow extensively from the research and training strategies used in counselor education. In particular, a possible interface between sport psychology and counseling psychology training and practice is suggested, a brief overview of research on the qualities of the counseling relationship is presented, and several training strategies are provided.
Geraldine M. Murphy, Albert J. Petitpas and Britton W. Brewer
A study was conducted with 124 intercollegiate student-athletes at an NCAA Division I institution to examine the relationship between self-identity variables (i.e., identity foreclosure and athletic identity) and career maturity. Results indicated that both identity foreclosure and athletic identity were inversely related to career maturity. Significant effects of gender, playing status (varsity vs. nonvarsity), and sport (revenue producing vs. nonrevenue producing) on career maturity were observed. The findings suggest that failure to explore alternative roles and identifying strongly and exclusively with the athlete role are associated with delayed career development in intercollegiate student athletes, and that male varsity student-athletes in revenue-producing sports may be especially at risk for impaired acquisition of career decision-making skills. The results underscore the importance of understanding athletic identity issues and exercising caution in challenging sport-related occupational aspirations in presenting career development interventions to student-athletes.
Burt Giges, Albert J. Petitpas and Ralph A. Vernacchia
Sport psychology offers many services to athletes to help them deal with the demands of competition. Although coaches are faced with many of the same types of stressors as athletes are, little has been offered to help them with their own needs. The purpose of this article is to examine some of the issues that are experienced by coaches and to stimulate interest in providing sport psychology services directly to them. These services include strategies to increase coaches’ self-awareness and to help them remove or cope more effectively with any psychological barriers (thoughts, feelings, wants, or behaviors) that interfere with their performance.
Steven J. Danish, Albert J. Petitpas and Bruce D. Hale
In this article Life Development Intervention (LDI) is described. It is an intervention based on a developmental-educational framework that fits the needs of practitioners from varied backgrounds and disciplines and opens the path to better communication among these practitioners. LDI can be used to enhance athletes’ performance both inside and outside sports. The assumptions underlying LDI are presented, the role of the LDI specialist is examined, and a framework for selecting intervention strategies is outlined. Particular attention is given to the importance of learning how to teach the transfer skills from one domain to another.
Judy L. Van Raalte, Albert J. Petitpas, Lisa Krieger, Carla Lide, Cassaundra Thorpe and Britton W. Brewer
Issues related to sexuality, sexual orientation, and romantic relationships have received attention in the sport psychology literature. An area that has not been addressed, however, is that of romantic relationships among sport teammates. Such intrateam romantic relationships may have certain benefits but can also be disruptive to teams and team functioning. The purpose of this manuscript is to (a) address issues related to intrateam romantic relationships, and (b) to propose strategies for sport psychology consultants to consider and use when working with teams when intrateam romantic relationships develop. Specifically, sport psychology consultants who encounter intrateam romantic relationships may find it valuable to consider family system models as a theoretical framework for intervention, clearly identify the client, determine the willingness of those involved to consult, and assess their own abilities to effectively intervene and to receive supervision for such interventions. A well-defined, credible approach may help sport psychology consultants to succeed in complex circumstances and gain the trust, respect, and cooperation of the coaches, teams, and athletes with whom they work.
Britton W. Brewer, Judy L. Van Raalte, Albert J. Petitpas, Alan D. Bachman and Robert A. Weinhold
To assess the way in which sport psychology is portrayed in the media, the content and tone of all articles (N = 574) from three national newspapers in the United States that mentioned sport psychology from 1985-1993 were examined. Although few articles were focused primarily on sport psychology, a wide variety of sports and professionals were identified in association with sport psychology. Interventions noted explicitly were predominantly cognitive-behavioral procedures. Performance enhancement was the primary purpose of sport psychology consultation described in the articles. The vast majority of articles were neutral in tone toward sport psychology, portraying the field in objective terms. The findings suggest that the mass media can be used to promote accurate perceptions of sport psychology to the public.
Britton W. Brewer, Karin E. Jeffers, Albert J. Petitpas and Judy L. Van Raalte
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate perceptions of three different psychological interventions in the context of sport injury rehabilitation. In Experiment 1, college students (N = 161) rated their perceptions of goal setting, imagery, or counseling as an adjunct to physical therapy for a hypothetical injured athlete. In Experiment 2, injured athletes (N = 20) received brief introductory sessions of goal setting, imagery, and counseling. Subjects’ perceptions were assessed immediately following each intervention. In both experiments, subjects displayed a preference for goal setting, although positive perceptions were obtained for all three interventions. Females’ perceptions of the interventions were significantly more positive than those of males in Experiment 1, but not in Experiment 2. The findings suggest that goal setting, imagery, and counseling are sufficiently credible to be examined in controlled outcome studies with injured athletes.
Albert J. Petitpas, Allen E. Cornelius, Judy L. Van Raalte and Tiffany Jones
Although there is considerable interest in the use of sport as a vehicle to promote psychosocial development in youth, little is known about the specific content or implementation strategies that are likely to account for positive outcomes. In this article, a brief review of current literature and a working definition of youth development through sport are provided to lay a foundation for a framework for planning youth sport programs that are structured to promote psychosocial development in participants. The components of the framework are outlined and suggestions for research, evaluation, and program development are offered.
Britton W. Brewer, Adisa Haznadar, Dylan Katz, Judy L. Van Raalte and Albert J. Petitpas
The purpose of this research was to develop and evaluate a 5-min structured mental warm-up involving aspects of goal setting, imagery, arousal regulation, and positive self-talk. Results of a study that featured a pretest–posttest design with 101 male youth soccer players (Study 1) and a study that featured a repeated-measures experimental design with 29 female intercollegiate soccer players (Study 2) indicated that executing the mental warm-up was associated with significantly greater readiness to perform and to use mental skills to enhance performance. In Study 3, 30 male high school soccer players used the mental warm-up daily over a competitive season and rated it as acceptable (albeit less so than their physical warm-up) at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the season. The findings suggest that a mental warm-up is both acceptable to athletes and potentially useful in helping them prepare for training and competition.