Think tanks are small, cooperative learning groups that have the potential for unique learning outcomes. Addressing the “art” component of sport psychology service delivery via think tanks allows deep professional and personal exploration and meaningful exchange. In this article, we describe Dr. Ken Ravizza’s think tank organized in Redondo Beach, California, November 20-22, 2003. Ten established sport psychology professionals, 14 young professionals/graduate students, and 9 experienced coaches met to share important lessons from applying sport psychology in competitive settings. In this report written as “anecdotal reflection,” we provide an in-depth account of the process of the Redondo think tank to allow potential replications by those seeking ongoing professional growth and the advancement of applied sport psychology. Additionally, recommendations on how to rigorously study future think tanks are offered.
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Artur Poczwardowski and Larry Lauer
Artur Poczwardowski and Clay P. Sherman
Sport psychology service delivery (SPSD) heuristic (Poczwardowski, Sherman, & Henschen, 1998) included key components of applied work. Nevertheless, the complexities of sport psychology consulting need an even broader representation. In individual, semistructured interviews, 10 experienced sport psychology consultants explored the usefulness of the original heuristic and newly added elements in their professional practice. Inductive analysis (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) resulted in a total of 2409 meaning units that were grouped into 127 lower-order themes and 32 higher-order themes that were used to clarify, expand, and revise the SPSD model as interpreted by the participants. Based on the new elements (i.e., consultant-client relationship, the consultant variables, the client variables, immersion, and the goodness of fit) and two meta-themes (i.e., interrelation and person-focused values), a newly configured heuristic is proposed (SPSD-Revised). Future researchers will benefit from different research methods and diversified conceptualizations of sport psychology service delivery to account for professional practice variables in various contexts.
Artur Poczwardowski, Clay P. Sherman, and Ken Ravizza
Practitioners in helping professions have recognized the importance of philosophy of service as a fundamental factor driving the process of behavior change. This article explores professional philosophy as an underlying element of successful sport psychology service delivery. A hierarchical structure of professional philosophy is proposed that delineates important components both overtly discussed and implied in the sport psychology literature. These components—arranged from the most stable and internal to the most dynamic and external—are (a) personal core beliefs and values, (b) theoretical paradigm concerning behavior change, (c) models of practice and the consultant’s role, (d) intervention goals, and (e) intervention techniques and methods. Each component is examined from the perspective that philosophy guides practice. The resulting conceptualization of professional philosophy may be used for both didactic and research purposes aimed at furthering consultant effectiveness in sport settings.
Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Artur Poczwardowski, and Peter Hager
A pragmatic research philosophy is introduced that embraces mixed-method approaches to applied research questions. With its origins in the work of Peirce (1984), James (1907), Dewey (1931), and contemporary support from Rorty (1982, 1990,1991), pragmatism emphasizes the practical problems experienced by people, the research questions posited, and the consequences of inquiry. As a way to highlight applications of pragmatism in sport psychology, pragmatism is compared to constructivism and positivism in terms of philosophical underpinnings and methodological applications. The pragmatic researcher is sensitive to the social, historical, and political context from which inquiry begins and considers morality, ethics, and issues of social justice to be important throughout the research process. Pragmatists often use pluralistic methods during multiphase research projects. Exemplar design types are discussed that logically cohere to a pragmatic research philosophy.
Artur Poczwardowski, Mark Aoyagi, Thomas Fritze, and Mark Laird
The science and practice of sport psychology have experienced significant growth and development over the past 30 years. The purposes of this roundtable discussion were to engage sport psychology consultants’ views on gaining entry, especially as it relates to long-term work with athletic clients and to compare these views with Ravizza’s seminal work on gaining entry. Four consultants with extensive experience in sport psychology participated in a two-phase roundtable that was facilitated by a sport psychology professional. Topics explored and conclusions drawn provided further verification of Ravizza’s original insights about gaining entry (e.g., barriers to entry) and added new insights to account for rapid social and generational changes (e.g., role of gender, preferences of modern athletes, importance of interactive observation). The use of technology and adding teleconsulting to service delivery warrant careful approach and future examinations. Lifelong professional development is critical in optimizing gaining entry especially, given the rapid changes in both client demographics and sport and performance psychology knowledge.
Artur Poczwardowski, Clay P. Sherman, and Keith P. Henschen
This article outlines 11 factors that a consultant may consider when planning, implementing, and evaluating psychological services. These factors are professional boundaries; professional philosophy; making contact; assessment; conceptualizing athletes’ concerns and potential interventions; range, types, and organization of service; program implementation; managing the self as an intervention instrument; program and consultant evaluation; conclusions and implications; and leaving the setting. All 11 factors represent important considerations for applied sport psychology professionals. Although consultants each have their own unique style and approach, these 11 factors are prerequisite considerations that form the foundation of a consultant’s effective practice. These guidelines may provide direction for a practitioner’s professional development, and as such, need time and commitment to be realized.