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Jeffery P. Simons and Mark B. Andersen

The history and development of applied sport psychology practice has not received the same attention and documentation as that of academic sport psychology. After a brief introduction to the literature on the history and professional development of applied sport psychology, some personal perspectives from consultants who have been practicing “in the field” over the last two to four decades are provided. Eleven well-known practitioners discuss how they got started, how their consulting has developed, what significant experiences they have had, and what lessons they have learned along the way. They relate their views on the progression of professional practice and what the future may hold. Finally, they offer some encouragement, cautions, and words of wisdom for fellow and future colleagues in sport psychology consulting.

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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.

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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.

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Artur Poczwardowski and Clay P. Sherman

Sport psychology service delivery (SPSD) heuristic (Poczwardowski, Sherman, & Henschen, 1998) included key components of applied work. Nevertheless, the complexities of sport psychology consulting need an even broader representation. In individual, semistructured interviews, 10 experienced sport psychology consultants explored the usefulness of the original heuristic and newly added elements in their professional practice. Inductive analysis (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) resulted in a total of 2409 meaning units that were grouped into 127 lower-order themes and 32 higher-order themes that were used to clarify, expand, and revise the SPSD model as interpreted by the participants. Based on the new elements (i.e., consultant-client relationship, the consultant variables, the client variables, immersion, and the goodness of fit) and two meta-themes (i.e., interrelation and person-focused values), a newly configured heuristic is proposed (SPSD-Revised). Future researchers will benefit from different research methods and diversified conceptualizations of sport psychology service delivery to account for professional practice variables in various contexts.

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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.

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Nicholas L. Holt and William B. Strean

Few studies have considered specific factors of service delivery in applied sport psychology that might contribute to successful outcomes (Petitpas, Giges, & Danish, 1999). It has been suggested that the sport psychology consultant (SPC)-athlete relationship is at the core of athlete-centered approaches (Petitpas et al., 1999; Ravizza, 1990; Thompson, 1998). The purposes of this paper are to discuss issues related to (a) professional education, training, and the role of supervision in the SPC service delivery process; (b) the SPC-athlete relationship; and (c) the need for reflective practice in applied sport psychology. A narrative of self (Sparkes, 2000) is presented by a trainee SPC to demonstrate the practicality of Tripp’s (1993) critical incident reflection exercise. Issues arising from an initial intake meeting with a competitive athlete are reflected upon and analyzed. Reflection is suggested as a tool for education and supervision in applied sport psychology.

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Diane M. Culver, Wade D. Gilbert and Pierre Trudel

Part of the on-going dialogue on qualitative research in sport and exercise psychology, this review portrays the qualitative articles published in three sport psychology journals and examines how qualitative research can deepen our knowledge in applied sport psychology. Eighty-four of the 485 research articles published in these journals used a qualitative data collection technique. The interview was used in 67 studies. Peer review and reliability tests were often used for establishing trustworthiness. Member checking was mostly limited to participant verification of interview transcripts. Results were usually presented using both words and numbers. Selected studies are discussed in relation to applied sport psychology knowledge. Published qualitative articles suggest a conservative effort by sport psychology researchers to include the qualitative approach as a legitimate way to do research.

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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.

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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.

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Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Brian Hemmings, Caryl A. Becker and Lynn Booth

To gain an insight to the existing suggestions and recommendations on chartered physiotherapists’ preferred methods of delivery for further training in sport psychology.