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.
Arnold LeUnes and Sue Ann Hayward
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Steven R. Heyman
A review of the literature finds a series of articles discussing developmental problems in the field of sport psychology, particularly regarding the definition of professional roles and the establishment of credentialing criteria for these roles. A committee formed by the United States Olympic Committee was the first to establish concrete guidelines, which are reviewed here for their potential positive and negative effects as a model for sport psychology.
Damien Clement and Vanessa Shannon
The current study’s primary purpose was to determine the impact of a sport psychology workshop on athletic training students’ sport psychology behaviors. Using a quasi-experimental research design, partial randomization was used to assign athletic training students (n = 160) to a treatment group or control group. A 2 × 2 repeated measures MANOVA revealed a significant multivariate effect for Group x Time interaction [Wilks’s Λ = .22, F (5, 154) = 1, p < .001, η2 = .77]. Follow up ANOVAs revealed significant interactions for all sport psychology behaviors (allp < .01) except referring an injured athlete to a sport psychologist. Results from the current study revealed that members of the experimental group reported a significant increase in their use of total sport psychology behaviors at the six week follow-up when compared with those in the control group. Such increases highlight the need for increased exposure of athletic training students to sport psychology. Given the potential benefits that could be derived from the incorporation of sport psychology skills and techniques into injury rehabilitation by athletic training students’, the assertion that injured athletes’ physical rehabilitation could be enhanced with the incorporation of psychological skills and techniques appears to be supported.
John G.H. Dunn and Nicholas L. Holt
This study examined collegiate male ice hockey players’ (N = 27, mean age = 22.4 years) perceptions of factors associated with the delivery of a sport psychology program. Participants were engaged in semistructured interviews. Interview data were transcribed verbatim and inductively analyzed. Results revealed that in terms of program delivery, the athletes had favorable perceptions of the absence of the (technical) coaching staff from sport psychology meetings and raised time demand issues. The sport psychology consultant was perceived to fulfill multiple roles (e.g., teammate, liaison, co-coach), and as being socially and emotionally involved with the team. Other results pertaining to the consultant reflected the importance of respect and communication skills. Implications for practitioners working in team settings are discussed.