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One-to-One Support With a Professional Rugby League Player: A Case for Referral?

Nick Wadsworth, Ben Paszkowec, and Martin Eubank

This article presents a reflective case study of an applied consultancy experience with a 22-year-old professional rugby league player. The primary aim of the intervention was to provide the client a confidential space where he could discuss his experiences in and outside of a sporting context while also exploring and challenging his core values and beliefs. The consultancy process lasted for 12 mo, leading to the development of a strong relationship. During this time, the client experienced multiple critical moments such as deselection from the first-team squad and contract negotiations, which at times led to reductions in his well-being and forced the trainee sport and exercise psychologist to consider his scope of practice in relation to mental health and depression. Reflections are provided that explore the possibility of referral during these moments. The case study also provides insight into the trainee sport and exercise psychologist’s philosophy of practice and how influential this can be when considering referral of a client. The importance of supervisor support during uncertain moments is highlighted, and the case study concludes with reflections from the client, trainee practitioner, and peer supervisor regarding the efficacy of the intervention and the decision not to refer.

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An Existential Counseling Case Study: Navigating Several Critical Moments With a Professional Football Player

Samuel Porter, Noora Ronkainen, Richard Sille, and Martin Eubank

The current article presents a reflective case study following an applied service delivery experience with a 21-year-old professional footballer. The primary aim of the intervention was to support the client while facing several critical moments (breakdown in relationships, identity, and contract negotiations). This support involved creating a confidential space for her to discuss her values, beliefs, and identity while considering some of the tensions and dilemmas experienced while considering her future. Throughout this process, the first author adopted an existential counseling approach to practice and utilized the Four Dimensions of Existence and Emotional Compass as hermeneutic devices to analyze the client’s presenting challenges. The working relationship lasted for 3 months and spanned eight online sessions. Reflections on practitioner individuation and the value of adopting an existential approach to service delivery are provided.

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“Don’t Be Stupid, Stupid!” Cognitive-Behavioral Techniques to Reduce Irrational Beliefs and Enhance Focus in a Youth Tennis Player

Richard A. Sille, Martin J. Turner, and Martin R. Eubank

This case reports the intervention approach the first author adopted while working with a youth tennis player. The athlete held irrational beliefs and was struggling to maintain emotional control. The neophyte sport psychology practitioner adopted a cognitive-behavioral approach to practice. The intervention focused on (a) using rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) to replace unhelpful beliefs about unforced errors with a new rational philosophy and (b) using a distraction-control plan to restructure the player’s thoughts and beliefs in relation to opponents’ perceived gamesmanship. Intervention effectiveness was evaluated through qualitative data from the athlete and his parents and the reflections of the practitioner. Feedback suggests that REBT and distraction-control plans can be effective in helping youth athletes manage their thought patterns and improve emotional control during competition. This case also demonstrates the importance of practitioners’ having a flexible and adaptable approach to practice—one that meets individual client needs.