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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Joseph Baker, Jennifer Robertson-Wilson and Whitney Sedgwick
The current study examined whether the distribution of published research papers in the field of sport psychology followed the Lotka-Price Law of scientific productivity. All authors who had published articles in five sport psychology journals from 1970 to 2000 were considered. The impact of those authors was determined by the total number of published papers in all journals. Results provided limited support for the Lotka-Price Law; however, it appeared that the field of sport psychology was less elitist than other fields. Although these findings suggest that productivity in this field is similar to that in other fields of science, more research is needed to shed light on the role of the eminent scientist and the average researcher in the advancement of knowledge in sport psychology.
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.