Applied sport consultants continue to offer intervention programs to athletes; however, research determining the efficacy of such programs has been lacking. This paper (a) briefly describes a season-long, multidimensional sport psychology intervention with a collegiate women’s gymnastics team, and (b) presents the results of the evaluation, examining the effectiveness of the program in reducing competitive state anxiety and increasing team cohesion, the two areas of evaluative focus. Results indicate that the intervention gymnasts had higher levels of social cohesion during the initial part of the competitive season than did control gymnasts. In addition, the intervention gymnasts reported decreases in cognitive and somatic levels from the end of the preseason through the middle of the competitive season. Findings are presented in relation to qualitative feedback provided by the coaches and gymnasts. Directions for future research and the intervention team’s evaluation of the program also are discussed.
Karen D. Cogan and Trent A. Petrie
Trent A. Petrie, Karen D. Cogan, Judy L. Van Raalte and Britton W. Brewer
An investigation was conducted to examine the possibility of gender bias in the evaluation of sport psychology consultants. AAASP members were sent a packet that included a description of a football player who wanted to work with a sport psychology consultant to improve his consistency, a vita of a fictitious sport psychology consultant, and a rating questionnaire. The packets differed only in regard to the gender of the fictitious sport psychology consultant, which served as the independent variable, with half the sample being assigned to the male condition and the other half to the female condition. Participants (N = 293) evaluated the sport psychology consultant on several dimensions and indicated how strongly they would recommend the consultant to the football player. Results indicated that participants generally evaluated the fictitious sport psychology consultant similarly, regardless of gender. Indeed, the only gender differences that emerged were that the female sport psychology consultant was rated higher than the male consultant on attractiveness, trustworthiness, and general “good counselor” dimensions. Even though evidence of bias against women did not emerge in this study, the importance of promoting an atmosphere of inclusion for both male and female sport psychologists still exists.