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Culturally Competent Sport Psychology: A Survey of Sport Psychology Professionals’ Perception of Cultural Competence

Alessandro Quartiroli, Justine Vosloo, Leslee Fisher, and Robert Schinke

Cultural competence, identified as the ability to understand other cultures and being aware of one’s own cultural assumptions, has been found to be important for sport psychology professionals (SPPs). In the current study, one of a few exploring the SPPs’ own perceived cultural competence, a sample of 203 SPPs completed an online survey examining the perceptions of their own levels of cultural competence. Most participants reported receiving formal training in cultural competence. However, this training was perceived as only moderately effective and only able to predict the reported level of the SPPs’ perceived cultural competence in a limited way. These results could be attributed to the reported lack of support for SPPs engaging in culturally centered self-reflective practice and to the limited role that these factors have played in training programs. Additional findings are described and discussed, along with recommendations for professional development and applied training.

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An Exploration of Sport Psychology Professional Quality of Life in British Neophyte Practitioners

Daniel R.F. Martin, Alessandro Quartiroli, and Christopher R.D. Wagstaff

Scholars have noted the importance of helping professionals’ work experiences through the exploration of Professional Quality of Life. Due to the unique experiences of sport psychology professionals, a sport psychology specific equivalent of the construct, the Sport Psychology Professional Quality of Life (SP-PQL), has recently been developed based on the experience of senior and experienced sport psychology professionals, yet researchers have not accounted for the experiences of neophytes. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 14 neophyte sport psychology professionals with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of how they conceptualize, experience, and manage their SP-PQL. The data offer novel insights regarding neophyte’s conceptualizations of SP-PQL as well as the barriers and facilitators toward their SP-PQL. We conclude that greater emphasis on SP-PQL is required within British sport psychology development pathways, outlining considerations for educators, such as the provision of educational resources and curricula to better inform and support future neophyte’s SP-PQL.

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“Rocked by Racism”: A Confessional Tale From a Trainee Practitioner Following a Racism Scandal at an Elite Youth Soccer Academy

David Price, Christopher R.D. Wagstaff, and Alessandro Quartiroli

In this case study, we present a confessional tale that outlines the unique challenges and experiences of a trainee practitioner working in an elite youth soccer academy, during and following a racism scandal. We first locate our intersectional identities before contextualizing how the racism scandal emerged. Nested within the confessional tale is a series of critical reflections relating to the internal conflict between the trainee practitioner’s values, beliefs, and ethical obligations when working with released players who engaged in the racist behavior, confronting his Whiteness, White privileges, and experiences of White guilt and the lack of a culturally centered framework within the supervisee–supervisor relationship. While the trainee practitioner recognizes the significant work still required to become more culturally humble, we conclude by offering several applied recommendations to support others in developing a more culturally grounded practice framework.

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“Caught in the Headlights”: A Reflective Account of the Challenges Faced by a Neophyte Practitioner Working With a National Squad

Barnaby Wren, Christopher R.D. Wagstaff, and Alessandro Quartiroli

This article provides a neophyte practitioner’s account of providing psychological support to a national team for the first time. The practitioner felt “caught in the headlights” due to his lack of preparation for the range of organizational issues he encountered. In this confessional tale, experiential knowledge gained by the practitioner is shared through the presentation of self-reflections from the 6-month period when he supported the squad. While the practitioner’s time with this national squad was limited, it gave him a sense of the micropolitical landscape of the sporting organization and illuminated some of the complexities and dilemmas that characterize applied sport psychology practice. These reflections are offered to guide other aspiring professionals during their initial training experiences.

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Fostering and Sustaining Sport Psychology Professional Quality of Life: The Perspectives of Senior-Level, Experienced Sport Psychology Practitioners

Alessandro Quartiroli, Sharon M. Knight, Edward F. Etzel, and Rebecca A. Zakrajsek

Researchers have examined psychology professionals’ ability to maintain and sustain effective practices while managing to balance their personal and professional lives. Stamm’s concept of professional quality of life was intended to capture both positive and negative aspects of caregivers’ professional experiences. The concept, however, inadequately addresses the unique context of sport psychology practitioners’ (SPPs) practice. As part of a larger qualitative study of sport psychology professional quality of life (SP-PQL), in this paper the researchers explored the challenges and strategies articulated by a multinational sample of 20 senior-level SPPs related to developing and maintaining their SP-PQL. Findings from an analysis of in-depth interviews revealed challenges and the strategies that participants undertook to foster and sustain their SP-QOL. These findings can be used to inform efforts by current and future practitioners to identify aspects that may thwart or support their SP-PQL.

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The Multifaceted Meaning of Sport Psychology Professional Quality of Life

Alessandro Quartiroli, Edward F. Etzel, Sharon M. Knight, and Rebecca A. Zakrajsek

Experienced and senior sport psychology practitioners achieved longevity in effective professional practice by embracing sustainable approaches to their profession, assumed to be influenced by their positive professional quality of life. The aim of this study was to gain insight into how these practitioners defined and attended to their profession-specific quality of life. Utilizing Consensual Qualitative Research method, researchers examined the perceptions and meanings that 20 internationally located practitioners attributed to their Sport Psychology-Professional Quality of Life (SP-PQL). Findings revealed a view of SP-PQL that encompassed five domains: (a) the lived experience of SP-PQL, (b) the nature of the SP profession, (c) SP-PQL as an ongoing journey, (d) deliberate engagement in the SP profession, and (e) the interconnection between the personal and the professional. These practitioners recognized the importance of a positive SP-PQL as a foundation for a positive, effective, and long-lasting career in the field.

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Sport Psychology Practitioners’ Contributions to the Drafting Process of a Professional Esports Team: A Case Study

Jonathan Brain, Oliver Wright, Alessandro Quartiroli, and Christopher R.D. Wagstaff

The role of sport psychology practitioners in contributing to the drafting process of athletes in teams, by providing their input on athletes’ psychological makeup, has become a common practice. Similar to traditional sport, esport organizations also engage in drafting periods to identify the next talents. Yet, a paucity of literature exists examining practitioners’ experiences of operating during such trial periods in the esport context. In this case study, we outline our process of being involved as sport and exercise psychologists in training during a professional National Overwatch team draft period for the 2023 Overwatch World Cup. As a supplementary resource to help staff during the selection process, we created player psychological profiles by assessing their psychological qualities through formal observation. Following the trials, we established an after-care service to support released players to monitor their well-being. We discuss the various hurdles we experienced during the trial period as sport and exercise psychologists in training by sharing a series of reflections.

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Supporting a National Team During the Overwatch World Cup: Three Confessional Tales

Jonathan Brain, Oliver Wright, Alessandro Quartiroli, and Christopher R.D. Wagstaff

There is currently a lack of understanding of how sport psychology practitioners navigate the nuances of working within the esports domain in the applied sport psychology literature. Therefore, the current case study provides three confessional tales, which aim to outline the unique experiences of two sport and exercise psychologists in training, working with a national Overwatch esports team during the World Cup preparation period. We first provide contextual elements of the World Cup format, the roster, the team’s needs, and the program of work. In the form of confessional tales, we share a series of critical reflections concerning the challenges and nuances we experienced, specifically: (a) the limited time afforded to deliver our services, (b) the misalignment in values experienced with the players and staff in the organization, and (c) working without visual cues with the members of the team. We conclude this case study by providing a series of recommendations for practitioners seeking to work with elite esports teams preparing for high-level competitions while delivering ethical and effective services.