The primary purpose of this article is to expand the discussion about the role of science, clinical thinking, the state of the discipline, and the manner in which evidence-based practice may aid in the development of the field of sport psychology. Rejecting pseudoscientific principles and embracing sound scientific standards of research and practice will result in an increasingly fresh and vibrant field from which greater innovation and evolution can occur. This innovation will inevitably lead to a renewed commitment to theory building, as the evolving scientific database will drive new ways of thinking about the myriad of issues presented by athletic clientele. By embracing the evidence-based practice philosophy, not only will sound scientific advancements emerge, but most importantly, the overall well-being of our athletic clientele will be enhanced.
Ronald B. Chamberlain
The author shares his experiences as a sport psychologist working for the Athletic Department at Brigham Young University. He describes both his educational background and the training experiences that prepared him for a career as a psychologist in a collegiate athletics department. The development and evolution of the sport psychologist role at Brigham Young University is also described, and a model for conceptualizing sport psychology with student-athletes is provided. The methods for delivering psychological services to student-athletes are detailed, and a typical daily, weekly, and semester schedule for a sport psychologist is presented. The author concludes by sharing what he finds challenging about working as a sport psychologist in a collegiate environment and what he has found most enjoyable about this career alternative for professional psychologists.
Jeffrey E. Hecker and Linda M. Kaczor
Bioinformational theory has been proposed by Lang (1979a), who suggests that mental images can be understood as products of the brain's information processing capacity. Imagery involves activation of a network of propositionally coded information stored in long-term memory. Propositions concerning physiological and behavioral responses provide a prototype for overt behavior. Processing of response information is associated with somatovisceral arousal. The theory has implications for imagery rehearsal in sport psychology and can account for a variety of findings in the mental practice literature. Hypotheses drawn from bioinformational theory were tested. College athletes imagined four scenes during which their heart rates were recorded. Subjects tended to show increases in heart rate when imagining scenes with which they had personal experience and which would involve cardiovascular activation if experienced in real life. Nonsignificant heart rate changes were found when the scene involved activation but was one with which subjects did not have personal experience.
Carrie B. Scherzer and Justine J. Reel
The thought of studying for and taking a certification exam is daunting, perhaps more so for mid- or even late- career sport psychology professionals. Some of us are years, even decades, from formal graduate education and/or the practice of sport and exercise psychology. We earn our paychecks
Michael J. Asken and Michael D. Goodling
This article describes the relationship and potential contribution of sport psychology to disabled athletic competition. It is suggested that sports for disabled individuals is an area that has been essentially neglected by sport psychology research and intervention, although appropriate and needed applications do exist. Evidence for this neglect as well as examples of beneficial applications are provided. Recommendations are given for approaches to integrate sport psychology knowledge and techniques into the area of sports for disabled athletes.
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.
Alan S. Kornspan
Although most history of sport psychology literature provides information about Coleman Griffith, little is known about Griffith’s activities related to the discipline after 1940. Thus, the purpose of the present paper is to explain Griffith’s influence on the reinstitution of the Sport Psychology Laboratory at the University of Illinois in 1951. In addition, the work of the Sport Psychology Laboratory at the University of Illinois under the direction of Alfred W. Hubbard is documented. Specifically, this manuscript provides information about sport psychology at the University of Illinois from 1950 until 1970.
Xavier Sanchez, Philippe Godin and Fabrice De Zanet
The goal of this investigation was to gain insight into the status of applied sport psychology in Europe, using the French-speaking part of Belgium as a case study. In contrast to previous studies, which have only focused on official scientific membership lists, the present survey examined the delivery of sport psychology services independent of practitioners’ educational background, membership, level of certification, and/or the topics addressed within their practice. Results revealed that degree-holding psychologists and people without any credentials coexist. Practitioners highlighted the need for informing the world of sport about applied sport psychology, developing specific training programs in sport psychology, and certifying people working as sport psychologists. Similar research across Europe, considering any professional delivering sport psychology services, is necessary to develop a more comprehensive picture of the subject.
Jane Sullivan and Ken P. Hodge
This investigation examined the current use and status of sport psychology in New Zealand. National coaches (n=46) and elite athletes (n=68) completed appropriate questionnaires that assessed their perceptions of sport psychology. They also indicated the importance of and the success they felt they had in changing and/or developing 21 psychological skills. Finally they were asked about their actual use of sport psychology and any problem areas. A general definition of sport psychology was given and sport psychology was rated by both coaches and athletes as being very important. Most coaches and athletes reported using it regularly. A positive response was received, with virtually all coaches and most athletes indicating they would be interested in having a sport psychologist work with them. Implications of the results are discussed and future research and practical recommendations are made.
Mike Voight and John Callaghan
The purpose of this study is to provide information regarding the number of consulting positions offered by NCAA Division I universities. Questionnaires were administered to 115 NCAA Division I universities. An 84% return rate was achieved, totaling 96 universities. It was determined that 51 (53%) of the university athletic departments in the sample used some form of sport psychology consulting, whereas 45 (47%) departments reportedly did not use the services of a sport psychology consultant. Frequency reports of those questionnaires from universities who used sport psychology consulting services indicated 10 different sport psychology consultant positions; the most often used consultant positions consisted of the part-time consultants hired by individual sport programs (n = 19, 37%), followed by part-time consultants hired by the athletic departments (n = 10, 20%), then full-time consultants hired by the athletic departments (n = 7, 14%). Also reported are the reasons some athletic departments did not use the services of a sport psychology consultant.