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Shane M. Murphy

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Shane M. Murphy

The U.S. Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine Council decided in 1987, for the first time, to assign a sport psychologist to the medical team of the 1987 U.S. Olympic Festival. This article describes the outcome of providing sport psychology services at the Festival. A brief history is given of the relationship between sport psychology and the U.S. Olympic movement, and the current status of sport psychologists within the Olympic movement is described. An analysis is provided of the types of services requested at the Festival, the referral sources, the major sports served, and several illustrative case examples describing athletes. Two models influenced the delivery of sport psychology services at the Olympic Festival, the medical model and the consultation model, and the advantages and disadvantages of each are discussed. Based upon the Olympic Festival experience, a consultation model may be appropriate for sport psychologists working in such a setting. The paper concludes with some suggestions regarding the training of students in the theory of effective consultation, drawing upon the knowledge base of industrial-organizational and medical psychology.

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Shane M. Murphy and Alfred P. Ferrante

A description is given of the sport psychology services provided to the U.S. Team at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The service delivery model is described and several examples illustrate the nature of the consultations provided to coaches and athletes. Some 72 formal consultations were held with 40 individuals and teams, and an analysis is given of the types of services requested and the clients who were served.

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Robert L. Woolfolk, Shane M. Murphy, David Gottesfeld and David Aitken

An investigation was carried out concerning the effect of imagery instructions on a simple motor skill accuracy task (putting a golf ball). Male college students (N = 50) were randomly assigned to one of six experimental conditions in a design that allowed the presence or absence of mental rehearsal of the physical movements involved in the task to be completely crossed with the imaginal depiction of task outcome (successful, unsuccessful, or no outcome component). A significant outcome by trials interaction was found on task performance. This finding reflected the degradation of performance in the conditions employing negative outcome imagery rather than any enhancement of performance by positive outcome imagery. Self-efficacy was found to be correlated with performance, but this association seemed to be a by-product of the strong relationships between these variables and performance on the previous trial. Results are discussed in relation to the existing literature, and future research directions are delineated.

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Daniel S. Kirschenbaum, William D. Parham and Shane M. Murphy

Sport psychology services were provided at the 1991 U.S. Olympic Festival. A consultation model was employed that included aspects of the traditional medical model and a more proactive preventive approach. Consultations were delivered using a “professional/clinical” style (i.e., emphasis on expertness, empathy, warmth, and congruence). Two sport psychologists provided 85 formal consultations to more than 300 athletes, coaches, staff members, and others from 16 different sports. Process and outcome evaluations suggested that these services were very well received. Eleven recommendations are provided for delivery of sport psychology services at future Olympic events.

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Shane M. Murphy, Robert L. Woolfolk and Alan J. Budney

In this study, subjects were asked to select three different images they thought would make them angry, fearful, or relaxed. After imagining each scenario, subjects attempted a strength task utilizing a hand grip dynamometer. As predicted by the Oxendine hypothesis, the relaxation image significantly lowered performance on the strength task. Although subjects in the fear and anger conditions reported increased levels of arousal, no increase in strength performance was noted in these two conditions. A cognitive interpretation of the relationship between arousal and performance is advanced in explanation of the present findings. Specifically, it is suggested that preparatory arousal is effective only if subjects focus their attention while aroused on a successful outcome of performance. This explanation is consistent with current conceptualizations of cognitive preparation strategies as coping skill devices by which athletes manage their performance. Future research directions are suggested based upon the present findings.