This paper explores personal experiences in building a career in sport psychology and providing consulting services to professional tennis players. It describes the range of services provided, major client groups, and philosophy of service delivery. It reviews the overall training model used in service delivery as well as psychological assessment procedures used in consultation. It also describes how professional services were organized, type of services provided to specific client groups, and specific training components. Factors and issues influencing professional effectiveness and competence are explored. The importance of training and competence in all sport sciences are emphasized. The challenges and hardships encountered in building a successful career in this specialty are reviewed. The need for more effective and responsible applied technology and research is discussed.
Larry L. Fahlberg, Lauri A. Fahlberg and Ward K. Gates
The difficulty in understanding human behavior requires using whatever approaches that address the questions. Concerning such questions, four forces have emerged in psychology representing variations in ontology, philosophies of science, and concomitant epistemologies and methodologies. Nonetheless, when viewed from a metapsychological perspective, one force has predominated in exercise psychology to the exclusion of the remaining three. A recognition of the complexity in exercise behavior calls for additional psychologies that provide an expanded perspective for understanding the problems and questions that arise. Exercise dependency is an example of such a problem, and existential psychology will be introduced as a means of studying and understanding this problem. An example of existential-phenomenological research on exercise behavior is included to demonstrate the possibility of such inquiry and to exemplify contributions to understanding that might ensue.
Michael McCrea and Matthew R. Powell
This article reviews the essential components of a practical, evidenced-based approach to the management of sport-related concussion in an ambulatory care setting. The model presented is based on the core philosophy that concussion assessment and management be approached from the biopsychosocial perspective, which recognizes the medical/physiological, psychological, and sociological factors that influence recovery and outcome following concussion. Based on the biopsychosocial paradigm, we outline a care delivery model that emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach in which the clinical neuropsychologist is a key participant. We discuss the importance of nonmedical, psychoeducational interventions introduced during the acute phase to facilitate recovery after sport-related concussion. Finally, using the local experience of our “Concussion Clinic” as a backdrop, we offer two separate case studies that demonstrate the value of this model in evaluating and managing athletes after sport-related concussion. The overall objective of this paper is to provide an adaptable template that neuropsychologists and other healthcare providers can use to improve the overall care of athletes with sport-related concussion and civilians with mild traumatic brain injury.
Jean M. Williams and Bonnie L. Parkhouse
Sex bias in attitudes toward male and female basketball coaches was examined within a context of social learning theory to determine if the precepts of social learning theory help clarify exactly when and why differential attitudes toward males and females occur. More specifically, would having a male or female coach role model and participating on a winning or losing team mediate sex bias previously found when female athletes evaluate hypothetical coaches who vary in sex and status (defined by won/loss record and coaching honors)? In addition to evaluating written coaching philosophy statements from a hypothetical male and female coach with a successful or unsuccessful professional status, the subjects (N=80) were forced to choose which coach they would prefer to have as their own. Attitudes were mediated by both the sex of the athlete's own coach and successfulness of the athlete's team. There appears to be merit in future researchers examining the potential causes of sex stereotypes and bias within a context of social learning theory.
Gary Byrne and Tania Cassidy
In 2012 Pat Lam was dismissed (‘sacked’) as head coach of the Auckland Blues, a professional rugby union team in New Zealand. Within months of his sacking Lam had become the head coach of Connacht Rugby; an improving, but midlower table, professional provincial team in the west of Ireland. The purpose of this ‘best practice’ article is twofold. First, to illustrate how Lam used his dismissal (‘sacking’) from the Auckland Blues as a pivotal opportunity to learn, and develop, as a coach. Specifically his imperative that there needed to be clarity and communication of his coaching philosophy, and his quest for alignment between coach and organisation and his ‘belief triad’ (culture, leadership, the game). Second, in an effort to be more than a catalogue of ‘best practice’ strategies, we use the theoretical concept of ‘interruption’ to explain how disruption, disintegration and arresting problematic coaching situations, such as being dismissed as a head coach, can be instrumental in the development of, and learning by, the coach. In outlining Lam’s ‘best practice’ we draw on primary and secondary data sources, which document his stories of redemption and supports Gould’s (2016) case for greater integration of quality coaching stories into sport coaching scholarship.
This article discusses the development of mental skills training for professional baseball players and coaches. The basic educational model involves providing information, skills practice, and support for the athlete who wants to improve his mental game. The basic philosophy employed is an experiential process that facilitates the athlete’s understanding of mental skills training. Over time, skills are refined and adapted to meet the athlete’s unique needs. The practicing sportpsych consultant must follow a number of operating standards to ensure the trust and respect of both players and management. The most difficult step is getting the commitment from a professional team. This article discusses an approach to making contact, guidelines followed for developing a mental training program for a professional baseball team, and some technical aspects to consider in developing a mental training program. It focuses on the range of services provided to players and coaches in group formats and on an individual basis, both at the major league and minor league levels. Finally, there is a discussion of problems inherent in working with players, coaches, and management and how to cope with them.
Stephen M. Gavazzi
This paper examines the incentive-based system of Urban Meyer, head football coach at The Ohio State University. Personal discussions with this coach and members of his football staff took place following a review of his methods as described in biographical and media reports, and were compared with the approaches used by other successful coaches as documented in coaching research. Meyer has created clear guidelines and expectations for behaviors that players must consistently display to be recognized as successful team members and leaders. He also has developed a comprehensive set of processes to promote the development and adherence to those desired behaviors. This examination of Meyer’s approach focuses on the connection between the three levels (Blue, Red and Gold) of his incentive-based system and the three phases of a rite of passage (separation, transformation, and reincorporation) associated with them. The system rewards more grownup behaviors with greater status and privileges befitting the increasingly mature individual. A case is made that coaches can employ such a rites of passage framework as part of a comprehensive philosophy about turning boys into men, thus encouraging successful outcomes both on and off the field.
James May, Ryan Krzyzanowicz, Alan Nasypany, Russell Baker and Jeffrey Seegmiller
Although randomized controlled trials indicate that the Mulligan Concept (MC) of mobilization with movement can improve pain-free grip strength and pressure pain threshold in patients with lateral epicondylalgia of the elbow, improve ankle dorsiflexion in patients with subacute ankle sprains, and decrease the signs and symptoms of patients with cervicogenic headache, little is known about the clinical application, use, and profile of certified Mulligan practitioners (CMPs) in America.
To better understand the use and value of applying the MC philosophy in clinical-care environments from the perspective of American CMPs while establishing a clinical profile of a CMP.
Quantitative descriptive design. Setting: Online survey instrument.
Data Collection and Analysis:
Online survey instrument.
CMPs use the MC to treat a broad spectrum of spinal and peripheral clinical pathologies in primarily outpatient clinics with an active and athletic population. American CMPs also find value in the MC.
American CMPs continue to use and find value in the MC intervention strategy to treat a broad spectrum of spinal and peripheral conditions in their clinical practices.
Fernando Santos, Nuno Corte-Real, Leonor Regueiras, Leisha Strachan, Cláudia Dias and António Fonseca
Over the last decades positive development (PD) has served as a framework for several investigations within the sport science community. In fact, multiple researchers have analyzed youth coaches’ role in PD. However, there is recent interest in exploring high performance coaching due to the complexity of the coaching practice, the different developmental needs presented by players, and the relevance of PD within this particular environment. The purpose of this study was to understand the perspectives of Portuguese football coaches about the importance of PD in high performance coaching. The participants in the study were ten male Portuguese football coaches who trained athletes between the ages of 16 and 39 years of age. Findings showed that coaches viewed winning and on field performance as top priorities in their coaching philosophy, but recognized the importance of PD. Coaches also envisioned the determinant role youth coaches have in this domain. Coaches conceptualized PD as an overarching framework that could be used across the developmental spectrum to convey a range of PD outcomes in high performance contexts such as teamwork, respect for others and transfer to other life domains. Moving forward, coach education courses should help coaches develop strategies to foster PD.
Lynn Kidman and David Keelty
The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of coaching and coach development in New Zealand. For a small country with a population of 4.47 million (Statistics New Zealand, 2015), New Zealand achieves great success on the world sporting stage. One of the many contributors to this success is New Zealand’s commitment to developing coaches with an emphasis on continuous improvement through the provision of ongoing learning opportunities for coaches (SPARC, 2006). Interestingly the International Sport Coaching Framework’s recommendations aligns itself to such an emphasis that they refer to as lifelong learning (ICCE, 2013). To achieve this focus, and based on a Ministerial Taskforce findings that, “Coaching is in urgent need of support and development” (Ministerial Taskforce, 2001, p.10) Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) established a consultancy group to review and redevelop coaching. An outcome of this consultation was the production of the New Zealand Coaching Strategy (SPARC, 2004). Based on robust discussion on many issues of how people learn and coaching development philosophies, the Coach Development Framework (CDF) was established in 2006. Since its establishment, the CDF has been guiding coach development in New Zealand, placing the responsibility for this development on the National Sporting Organisations (NSOs).