This article presents and examines a number of critical issues facing male psychology consultants when working with female athletes. It focuses on potential problems associated with cross-sex consulting in sport psychology, including such topics as developing and maintaining a professional relationship, ethics, range of services provided, and delivery of services. Ethical issues of cross-sex consulting are discussed and include sexual relationships, dependency, bonding, and the father figure syndrome. A brief section of this article provides insights on how to be effective in cross-sex consulting. Finally, a number of practical guidelines are provided on how males can become effective sport psychology consultants to female athletes.
Steven Baumann and Keith Henschen
In recent years, the academic standards of the collegiate student athlete have become a popular subject within the sociology of sport. In January 1983, the top competitive division of the NCAA voted to make more stringent the academic standards for participants in Division I intercollegiate sports. This was known as Proposal 48, and although the vote was 2 to 1 in favor of it, much criticism was also voiced. This study examines the relationship between the American College Testing Program (ACT) and actual grade point average (GPA) for 753 male and female athletes at the University of Utah during a 10-year period. A secondary purpose was to determine the predictive validity of a predicted GPA formula (PGPA) and high school grade point average (HSGPA) as estimates of actual GPA. Other purposes were to determine the correlation of ACT, PGPA, and HSGPA with regard to gender, race, and sport. Pearson product-moment correlations were utilized to establish relationships between ACT scores, PGPA, and HSGPA with actual GPA. A multiple correlation coefficient was computed and a regression equation was established. In addition, a cross-validation was performed on the existing data. Results indicated that an equation combining ACT and HSGPA is the best predictor for Caucasians, while HSGPA alone is the best predictor for non-Caucasians. Factors other than ACT scores appear to be better predictors of academic success for the student-athlete, thus casting doubt upon the validity of Proposal 48 for the NCAA.
Keith P. Henschen and David Fry
Richard D. Gordin Jr. and Keith P. Henschen
The following article explains the sport psychology program utilized with the USA Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Team. The program was developed in 1983 and was implemented over the past quadrennium. Both service and research delivery systems are explained as well as the organization of service delivery over the past 5 years. This multimodel approach to the systematic training of elite world-class female athletes is presented to illustrate the psychometrics, mental skill development, and group process techniques utilized within the U.S. Gymnastic Federation’s artistic program. Both organizational and philosophical components of service delivery are explained. The range of services and problems encountered are also discussed. Finally, a detailed account of service leading to the Olympic Games and the program’s effectiveness is presented.
Keith Henschen, Michael Horvat and Ron French
The purpose of this study was to visually compare the psychological profile of 33 male wheelchair athletes who competed in track and field events, with previous results of able-bodied athletes. Based on the data gathered using the Profile of Mood States and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory the wheelchair athletes demonstrated a profile similar to that of able-bodied athletes. This finding was discussed in terms of mental skills that may be developed by wheelchair athletes because of their injuries, possible influence of medication, and higher level of demonstrated anger.
Considering that the human body is made for movement, it is a universally accepted fact that sports are one of the activities that are extremely healthy for man. Unlike the machines invented by man, the human machine deteriorates with inactivity. (Monnazzi, 1982, p. 85)
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.
Angela Fifer, Keith Henschen, Daniel Gould and Kenneth Ravizza
A highly effective method for disseminating knowledge is to observe the most experienced individuals in the field of interest. Although business, teaching, and coaching have been mentoring and apprenticing students for years, the field of applied sport psychology does not have a long formal history of doing so. The purpose of this article is to capture and present the thoughts, theories, and techniques employed by highly experienced applied sport psychology consultants to formally record what they believe “works when working with athletes.” General topics discussed include: gaining entry, techniques of assessment, delivery of information, and approaches for preparing athletes for “major competitions.” Common ideas and practical guidelines are summarized from the authors and discussed in light of current scientific and professional practice knowledge in the field. These consultants do not claim they have all the answers, but rather share their experiences in hopes of providing ideas and facilitating self-reflection concerning consulting effectiveness on the part of the reader.