This article explores the challenges of building a successful private consulting practice in sport psychology. The author examines the extant literature on the experiences of recent graduates as they enter the field of applied sport psychology and also describes how his own educational and early career experiences have shaped his practice. A four-part approach to consulting with athletes is outlined, along with detailed information regarding practice development, clientele identification, and fee structures. The personal qualities essential for creating a successful consulting practice in sport psychology are also explored. Finally, a five-stage model of career development provides guidelines for maintaining and growing a successful consulting practice.
The objective of this article is to reply to Dr. Albert Ellis’s application of his rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) paradigm to the issue of exercise and sport avoidance. This article begins with a consideration of why people avoid exercise and sport participation and an identification of what needs to be modified for people to initiate and adhere to exercise and sport programs. Then, in reponse to Dr. Ellis’s discussion, some of the key elements of his proposed program are reviewed. Additionally, some of his techniques are reinterpreted in a manner with which exercise/sport psychologists may be more familiar. Also, some suggestions are offered to enhance the impact of REBT to exercise and sport avoidance.
This article provides a conceptual model that describes several critical aspects in the development of competitive mental preparation strategies: (a) a complete understanding of the specific needs of the athlete, (b) detailed knowledge of the particular demands of the sport, (c) integration of this information to identify the most critical psychological factors that will affect performance, and (d) a the development of the most effective competitive mental preparation strategies for the specific athlete. This discussion is presented in several stages. First, gaining an in-depth understanding of an athlete with the use of subjective and objective assessment is described. Second, the critical physical, technical, and logistical differences between sports are delineated. Third, the roles that key psychological factors play and what priority they should be given in each sport are discussed. Fourth, strategies that are most suitable to each mental factor within each sport are identified.
The present article addresses some of the critical issues that are involved in the development of a successful career in applied sport psychology by offering a three-phase model of career direction, development, and opportunities. In particular, educational direction and training, supplemental experience, and sport, exercise, or health involvement are considered. Specific concerns related to these areas are discussed relative to the enhancement of career development and opportunities.
This response to a case study focuses on how I would approach the development of an intervention program for Jenny. Such a program begins with extensive psychological and physical assessments. The psychological assessment would be garnered primarily through observation of Jenny at practice and in games, extensive interviewing of the athlete, and, with her permission, interviewing her coaches and parents. The physical assessment would involve testing of Jenny’s injured knee as well as a complete conditioning evaluation. The key issues that emerged as part of the conceptualization of Jenny’s Performance Dysfunction include: (a) family issues, including the internalizations of a perfectionistic father and a needy mother; (b) unresolved feelings related to her parents’ divorce; and (c) emotional immaturity that expresses itself in fear of failure, inappropriate emotions, and avoidance from conflict. The intervention would take a multimodal approach that involves: (a) insight; (b) emotional exploration; (c) behavioral change; and (d) mental skills. The program would conclude with a post-intervention assessment that would be comprised of objective evaluation of Jenny’s physical condition, coach feedback about Jenny’s behavior, and, finally, Jenny’s own assessment of changes that have occurred due to the intervention.
Slumps are a pervasive phenomenon that are in evidence in all sports and at all levels of ability. They are a significant source of concern, confusion, and frustration for athletes and coaches. Yet, despite this, there is a conspicuous lack of knowledge and documentation on the subject. This paper offers an in-depth and systematic examination of slumps in sports. The work is divided into four parts. First, a precise definition of a slump is delineated. Second, the criteria that differentiate slumps from occasional drops in performance are described. Third, an analysis of the causes of slumps is discussed and the notion of serial causation of slumps is presented; examples are given to illustrate these ideas. Finally, a program for the alleviation of slumps, called Slumpbusting, is examined. The Slumpbusting program offers a structured plan that includes goal-setting, counseling, and the constructive, progressive use of physical, technical, and psychological training for the systematic resolution of slumps.
Jim Taylor and Shel Taylor
This article addresses the essential role that pain plays in the rehabilitation of sports injury. It will describe important information and approaches that applied sport psychologists can use to more effectively manage pain in injured athletes. The article includes a brief discussion of the most accepted theories of pain. Types of pain that injured athletes may experience and how they can learn to discriminate between them will be discussed. The article will also consider how pain can be a useful tool as information about injured athletes’ current status in recovery and the need to modify their rehabilitation regimens. The value of measuring pain will be examined with emphasis on determining a simple and easy means of assessing pain. Next, the article will examine why nonpharmacological pain management may be a useful adjunct to pharmacological pain control. Then, a brief description of the most commonly used pain medications and a detailed description of common nonpharmacological pain-management strategies will be furnished. A discussion of how nonpharmacological pain management can be incorporated into the traditional rehabilitation process will be offered. Finally, the article will describe the role that sport psychologists can play in the management of sport injury-related pain. The objective of this article is to provide applied practitioners with the knowledge and tools necessary to assist injured athletes in mitigating the pain they will experience during recovery as a means of facilitating their rehabilitation and return to sport.
Benjamin J. Levin and Jim Taylor
Surfers are a heterogeneous population with a common interest in riding waves. Surfers qualitatively describe the surfing sensation as a hybrid of meditative and athletic experience. Numerous empirical studies link both meditative experience and exercise with reduced incidence of depression and anxiety; this potentially suggests that surfers may endorse fewer symptoms of either disorder. One hundred surfers (N = 100) were administered the Beck Depression Inventory-II, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations, and a demographics questionnaire. Results indicate that surfers reported significantly fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, and employed emotion-based coping responses to stressful situations significantly less than the general populace. Surfers also employed avoidance-based coping strategies more frequently than the general populace. Future study should evaluate causal relationships between surfing and incidence of depression and anxiety.
Jim Taylor, Richard Horevitz and Gloria Balague
The present paper examines the value of hypnosis in applied sport psychology. The following issues will be addressed: (a) what is hypnosis?, (b) theoretical perspectives on hypnosis, (c) hypnotizability, (d) factors influencing the effectiveness of hypnosis, (e) misconceptions and concerns about hypnosis, (f) the hypnotic process, (g) research on hypnosis and athletic performance, (h) uses in applied sport psychology, and (i) training in hypnosis. These issues will be considered with respect to the particular needs of athletes and the specific demands of sport.