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Robert J. Rotella

This paper presents a philosophy for sport psychology consulting that emphasizes a belief in helping people’s dreams come true, believing in possibilities, trusting in ability and talent, and the awesome power of the mind if the mind is properly directed. Particular attention is focused on learning how to resist socialization in order to do one’s best. A brief introduction of strategies for doing so and how such ideals may be delivered is presented.

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Deidre Connelly and Robert J. Rotella

This paper describes issues and strategies related to teaching social assertiveness skills to athletes. Social assertiveness is examined as a key ingredient for effective communication and athlete satisfaction. Communication difficulties and issues frequently encountered in working with athletes, relevant to assertiveness skills, are discussed along with examination of team member issues that athletes must confront in order to function effectively in assertiveness situations. Specific strategies for teaching assertiveness skills to groups and individuals are presented and include applications to various sport settings.

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Courtland C. Lee and Robert J. Rotella

This article examines important concepts for effective sport psychology consulting with black student athletes. First, sport psychology consultants are urged to examine their own cultural background prior to working with black student athletes. Second, a discussion of black expressiveness is presented to provide sport psychology consultants with a knowledge base from which to operate in interactions with black student athletes. Third, relevant skills are presented for effective sport psychology consulting with black student athletes. These skills are derived from consulting with and doing research on black student athletes.

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Robert J. Rotella and Douglas S. Newburg

Some athletes who are benched may experience identity crises, the impact of which may be long-lasting and far-reaching for them. Case-study interviews with three athletes who have experienced such crises are presented. The similarities in the case studies suggest that the bench/identity crisis may be a relatively common phenomenon. Suggestions are offered for athletes, coaches, and sport psychology consultants to help respond to such experiences effectively.

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Robert J. Rotella and Mi Mi Murray

Homophobia has been an issue of concern in the world of sport for decades. It has had a negative impact on the world of athletes, coaches, and sport psychology consultants. Both heterosexuals and homosexuals are affected. Homophobia has kept some from striving for excellence while interfering with and hindering some who pursued success in sport. Specialists in sport psychology who claim to care about the development of human potential in sport must be concerned about the impact of homophobia. An honest look at attitudes, beliefs, and values is a necessary step forward if change is to occur. A move in the direction of healthy acceptance of differing sexual preferences is suggested, along with an effective philosophy for doing so. A wish list for the future is included.

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Stephen H. Boutcher and Robert J. Rotella

A four-phase psychological skills educational program for closed-skill performance enhancement is outlined. The four phases of the program are sport analysis, individual assessment, conceptualization/motivation, and mental skill development. The sport analysis phase involves analyzing the unique characteristics and demands of a particular activity or sport. The individual assessment phase entails establishing an individual profile of the athlete’s strengths and weaknesses. The conceptual/motivational phase provides information on the athlete/athletic situation interaction, the kind of commitment needed to change inappropriate behaviors, and the importance of establishing an efficient goal-setting strategy. The final phase focuses on the development of general and specific mental skills. Sources and examples of data-gathering techniques, questionnaires, and mental skill enhancement strategies are described.

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Patrick J. Cohn, Robert J. Rotella, and John W. Lloyd

The effects of a cognitive-behavioral intervention on adherence to preshot routines of elite collegiate golfers was evaluated using a multiple baseline (across subjects) design. Three male golfers served as subjects for the assessment of percent of mental and behavioral preshot routines completed for nine holes during baseline and treatment conditions. Players’ shots and putts were videotaped and the tapes were scored to determine the percent of behavioral routines completed. Mental routines were assessed after each round via interview format. In addition, the number of strokes, putts, fairways hit from tee, and greens hit in regulation play for nine holes were also counted. The intervention taught each golfer how to consistently align to the target, make a good decision on each shot, and be totally committed to each shot. It was effective in improving players’ adherence to both mental and behavioral preshot routines. Immediate improvements in performance did not occur. Post-treatment interviews showed that the golfers felt the intervention had a positive effect upon performance.

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Robert J. Rotella, Bruce Gansneder, David Ojala, and John Billing