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.
Jane Sullivan and Ken P. Hodge
Alexander Brian Yu, Thomas Nguyen and Trent Petrie
As racially diverse, early-career sport psychology consultants (SPCs), we reflect on our experiences working with collegiate athletes and coaches whose racial/ethnic status were different from our own. Our reflections cover (a) the external effects of stereotypes, presence (and pernicious effects) of microaggressions, and strategies for effectively coping with such transgressions; (b) stereotype threat and how Jeremy Lin’s entry into the NBA affected our self-perceptions; and (c) a call to action to further promote a multicultural approach to sport psychology training, research, and practice. In sharing these thoughts, we hope to promote further dialogue in the emerging field of cultural sport psychology.
Terry Orlick and John Partington
Intensive interviews were conducted with each of 75 Canadian Olympic athletes representing 19 different sports in order to evaluate the sport psychology services offered to them. Athletes representing 12 of the sports indicated they had worked with 1 of 11 sport psychology consultants in preparation for the 1984 Olympic Games. Some were highly satisfied with their consultant and his or her mental training program, others were highly dissatisfied. A profile of the best and worst consultants was developed based upon the athletes’ perceptions of desirable and undesirable consultant characteristics. Suggestions are provided for improving the quality of sport psychology services for elite athletes.
Anthony P. Kontos and Alfiee M. Breland-Noble
This article examines from a theoretical perspective the most pertinent issues related to providing sport psychology consulting to athletes of color. A review of multicultural concepts including identity, acculturation/enculturation, generalizations, and stereotyping is presented. These concepts provide a framework within which to address issues and examples pertinent to African American, Latino, Asian American, and American Indian athletes. A multicultural sport psychology approach incorporating worldview and integrative theory is examined. Finally, future issues in multicultural sport psychology including changes in the population, female athletes of color, and the need for sport psychologists of color are discussed.
Arnold LeUnes and Sue Ann Hayward
Departmental chairpersons of American Psychological Association-approved clinical psychology programs responded to a questionnaire concerned with selected aspects of sport psychology. Of 147 chairs, 102 (69.4%) returned the instrument. The nine questions comprising the instrument were aimed at assessing the current perception of and future predictions for sport psychology. Data analysis is supportive of the viability of sport psychology but also indicates that it is not a major curricular component in selected psychology departments at the present time. Sport psychology appears to be positively perceived by the current respondents, and there is little evidence of an impending turf war between psychology and physical education over who will control the field. However, the use of the term sport psychologist is seen as contentious in view of state/provincial licensing laws, but no clear-cut answer to credentialing is foreseen.
Mark H. Anshel and Thomas M. Brinthaupt
Psychological inventories are ubiquitous and necessary in sport psychology for gathering data to address selected research questions, making clinical diagnoses, and as guidelines for providing effective interventions. However, the improper use of inventories can result in inaccurate or incomplete interpretations of data or diagnoses, thereby compromising the effectiveness of intervention efforts and limiting the contributions of sport psychology consulting. The purposes of this article are to (a) summarize the major terminology associated with the use of psychological inventories, (b) provide an overview of reliability and validity issues relevant to establishing psychometric evidence for psychological inventories, (c) review the most common errors associated with using sport psychology inventories, and (d) provide best practice guidelines for the proper use of psychological inventories in sport psychology. If researchers and practitioners follow these guidelines, they can be more confident in the results and proper use of their interventions and consultations.
Artur Poczwardowski and Larry Lauer
Think tanks are small, cooperative learning groups that have the potential for unique learning outcomes. Addressing the “art” component of sport psychology service delivery via think tanks allows deep professional and personal exploration and meaningful exchange. In this article, we describe Dr. Ken Ravizza’s think tank organized in Redondo Beach, California, November 20-22, 2003. Ten established sport psychology professionals, 14 young professionals/graduate students, and 9 experienced coaches met to share important lessons from applying sport psychology in competitive settings. In this report written as “anecdotal reflection,” we provide an in-depth account of the process of the Redondo think tank to allow potential replications by those seeking ongoing professional growth and the advancement of applied sport psychology. Additionally, recommendations on how to rigorously study future think tanks are offered.
Peter Elsborg, Gregory M. Diment and Anne-Marie Elbe
The objective of this study was to explore how sport psychology consultants perceive the challenges they face at the Olympic Games. Post-Olympics semistructured interviews with 11 experienced sport psychology consultants who worked at the London Games were conducted. The interviews were transcribed and inductively content analyzed. Trustworthiness was reached through credibility activities (i.e., member checking and peer debriefing). The participants perceived a number of challenges important to being successful at the Olympic Games. These challenges were divided into two general themes: Challenges Before the Olympics (e.g., negotiating one’s role) and Challenges During the Olympics (e.g., dealing with the media). The challenges the sport psychology consultants perceived as important validate and cohere with the challenge descriptions that exist in the literature. The findings extend the knowledge on sport psychology consultancy at the Olympic Games by showing individual contextual differences between the consultants’ perceptions and by identifying four SPC roles at the Olympic Games.
Ian J. Connole, Jack C. Watson II, Vanessa R. Shannon, Craig Wrisberg, Edward Etzel and Christine Schimmel
This study used a consumer marketing approach to investigate the market for sport psychology positions in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) institutions. Athletic administrators’ (AA) preferences for various sport psychology positions were compared based on time commitment, affiliation, payment, services, and clients. Results indicated that AAs were most attracted to positions that included (a) part-time commitment, (b) athletic department employment, (c) payment via annual salary, (d) both performance and mental health related services, and (d) work with athletes, teams, and athletics staff members. Over two thirds of the 478 AAs sampled were interested in hiring a sport psychology professional to fill that position. It was concluded that the field of sport psychology collaborate across disciplines and emphasize multiple options for meeting the perceived needs of NCAA athletic departments.
Gregory A. Dale
Qualitative research in sport psychology is slowly becoming more of an accepted form of inquiry, and most of this research is conducted using various interview methods. In this paper, information is provided on a paradigm that has been given little consideration in sport psychology literature. This paradigm is termed existential phenomenology, and within this paradigm a chief mode of inquiry is the phenomenological interview. With its open-ended format and similarities to the athlete-sport psychology consultant interaction in a performance enhancement intervention, it is a method that appears to offer valuable information about the participant’s experience that might otherwise go unnoticied. The basic views of existential phenomenology, including its philosophical foundations as well as instructions for conducting a phenomenological interview study, are provided. Specific discussion of the potential significance of this type of research for the field of sport psychology is offered.