The purpose of this article is to describe a sport psychology position housed within a sports medicine department at a Division I University. The conditions that brought about the creation of the position will be examined. These will include the relevant history of sport psychology services and the relationship between the athletic department, sports medicine department, and the counseling center. Other issues to be examined include the logistical and administrative hurdles in the development of the position as well as the scope of practice, service delivery model, and the types of presenting problems that are typically assessed and treated. The spirit of this article is to assist practitioners and administrators seeking to bring sport psychology services to their institutions. This model is by no means intended to be comprehensive or authoritative, but rather is to be understood as dynamic and malleable to the particular characteristics and history of other institutions.
Mark B. Andersen and Brian T. Williams-Rice
Supervision plays a central role in the training of sport psychologists, but little discussion of what constitutes adequate supervision of trainees and practitioners is available in the applied sport psychology literature. Broader issues of supervision, such as the training of students to become supervisors, metasupervision, and career-long collegial supervision are rarely discussed. This paper will present models of general supervision processes from training the neophyte to collegial supervision, derived primarily from clinical and counseling psychology. Included are supervising the delivery of performance-enhancement services, identifying trainee and client needs, helping the student understand transference and countertransference phenomena, and suggestions for examining the relationship between the supervisor and the supervisee. Suggestions for improving supervision include course work and/or practica in supervision processes for applied sport psychology graduate programs along with continuing education workshops at sport psychology conferences.
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.
Jason S. Grindstaff and Leslee A. Fisher
The purpose of this study was to explore sport psychology consultants’ experiences of using hypnosis in their practice. Specifically a better understanding of hypnosis utilization as a performance enhancement technique in applied sport psychology was sought. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with six sport psychology consultants (all PhDs) who each possessed training and experience related to hypnosis. Analysis of the interview data revealed a variety of major themes and subthemes related to the guiding interview questions: (a) hypnosis training and experience, (b) stereotypes and misconceptions related to hypnosis, (c) utilizing hypnosis as a performance enhancement technique, (d) advantages and disadvantages of using hypnosis with athletes, and (e) cultural considerations related to using hypnosis.
Lee-Ann Sharp, Ken Hodge and Steve Danish
The purpose of this investigation was to; (a) examine what experienced SPCs perceived to be the necessary components of the sport psychology consulting relationship, and (b) examine individual contributions of the SPC and client to the consulting relationship. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit 10 experienced SPCs (8 male and 2 female, M age = 50.44 years, M years consulting experience = 21.67 years) who held current sport psychology accreditation/certification and who had considerable consulting experience. Following individual interviews, extensive content analysis revealed that the sport psychology consulting relationship was reflective of (a) rapport, (b) respect, (c) trust, (d) a partnership, and (e) a positive impact on the client. Members of the consulting relationship made individual contributions to the relationship; SPCs contributed; (a) honesty, (b) commitment, (c) knowledge and expertise, (d) counseling skills, and (e) professional ethical behavior. With clients contributing; (a) openness to change, (b) honesty, and (c) willingness to work.
Craig A. Wrisberg, Duncan Simpson, Lauren A. Loberg, Jenny L. Withycombe and Ann Reed
In the current study NCAA Division I student-athletes (n = 2,440) completed a Web-based survey assessing their willingness to seek mental skills training, perceptions of the potential benefits of mental training for their team, and support of possible roles for a sport psychology consultant at their institution. Multiple chi-square tests revealed significant (p < .001) dependence of respondents’ ratings on gender, sport type (individual vs. team), prior experience with a sport psychology consultant, and perceived effectiveness of prior experience (low, moderate, high). Generally, females were more receptive than males, individual and team sport athletes were interested in different types of mental skills, athletes with prior consulting experience were more open than those with none, and athletes with highly effective prior experience were more receptive than those with less effective experience. These findings extend previous research examining collegiate student-athletes’ attitudes toward sport psychology consulting and provide several important insights for consultants conducting mental skills training for NCAA Division I level athletes.
Scott B. Martin, Michael Kellmann, David Lavallee and Stephen J. Page
Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to develop a revised form of the Attitudes Toward Seeking Sport Psychology Consultation Questionnaire (ATSSPCQ; Martin, Wrisberg, Beitel, & Lounsbury, 1997). The 50-item ATSSPCQ was administered to 533 athletes (M = 18.03 ± 2.71). Exploratory alpha factor analysis with varimax rotation produced four factors: (a) stigma tolerance, (b) confidence in sport psychology consultation, (c) personal openness, and (d) cultural preference. The new questionnaire, the Sport Psychology Attitudes - Revised form (SPA-R), was then administered to 379 United States, 234 United Kingdom, and 443 German athletes (M = 20.37 ± 5.13). Confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated the factorial validity of the four-factor model for the SPA-R for male and female athletes, late adolescent
Stephen J. Bull
This article presents a case study describing the contribution of a sport psychology consultant to an ultra-distance runner’s attempt to complete 500 miles (800 kilometers) in 20 days through the deserts of North America. The contribution can be considered in four phases that provide a descriptive framework for the role of a sport psychology consultant: (a) establishing a rapport with the athlete, (b) formulating a psychological profile, (c) evaluating the demands of the athletic pursuit and planning an appropriate mental training program, and (d) ongoing evaluation of progress and crisis intervention.
Michael J. Asken
This paper discusses the delivery of sport psychology services to physically challenged (disabled) athletes. It begins with a description of the current status of athletic competition for physically disabled individuals. Commonalities in the sports experience of able-bodied and physically disabled athletes are addressed. Unique issues that must be considered for effective sport psychology consultations with disabled athletes are discussed. These include the background of physical and psychological trauma, altered physiological responses and medical problems, complexities in motivation to compete, unique performance problems, and the structure and organization of disabled sports. The article concludes with the effects of the social environment of disabled sports on the consultation process.
Burt Giges, Albert J. Petitpas and Ralph A. Vernacchia
Sport psychology offers many services to athletes to help them deal with the demands of competition. Although coaches are faced with many of the same types of stressors as athletes are, little has been offered to help them with their own needs. The purpose of this article is to examine some of the issues that are experienced by coaches and to stimulate interest in providing sport psychology services directly to them. These services include strategies to increase coaches’ self-awareness and to help them remove or cope more effectively with any psychological barriers (thoughts, feelings, wants, or behaviors) that interfere with their performance.