Practitioners in helping professions have recognized the importance of philosophy of service as a fundamental factor driving the process of behavior change. This article explores professional philosophy as an underlying element of successful sport psychology service delivery. A hierarchical structure of professional philosophy is proposed that delineates important components both overtly discussed and implied in the sport psychology literature. These components—arranged from the most stable and internal to the most dynamic and external—are (a) personal core beliefs and values, (b) theoretical paradigm concerning behavior change, (c) models of practice and the consultant’s role, (d) intervention goals, and (e) intervention techniques and methods. Each component is examined from the perspective that philosophy guides practice. The resulting conceptualization of professional philosophy may be used for both didactic and research purposes aimed at furthering consultant effectiveness in sport settings.
Artur Poczwardowski, Clay P. Sherman and Ken Ravizza
Rory Mack, Jeff Breckon, Joanne Butt and Ian Maynard
The purpose of this study was to explore how sport and exercise psychologists working in sport understand and use motivational interviewing (MI). Eleven practitioners participated in semistructured interviews, and inductive thematic analysis identified themes linked to explicit use of MI, such as building engagement and exploring ambivalence to change; the value of MI, such as enhancing the relationship, rolling with resistance and integrating with other approaches; and barriers to the implementation of MI in sport psychology, such as a limited evidence-base in sport. Findings also indicated considerable implicit use of MI by participants, including taking an athlete-centered approach, supporting athlete autonomy, reflective listening, demonstrating accurate empathy, and taking a nonprescriptive, guiding role. This counseling style appears to have several tenets to enhance current practice in sport psychology, not least the enhancement of therapeutic alliance.
Andrew W. Meyers
I present my personal experience as a sport psychologist on the sports medicine staff at the 1994 United States Olympic Festival. In addition to documenting my activities in preparation for the Festival and my work during the games, I raise issues concerning psychological service delivery at large, multisport events and the personal impact of such service on the sport psychologist. I also consider implications of my work at the festival for the development of the profession of sport psychology.
Shane M. Murphy and Alfred P. Ferrante
A description is given of the sport psychology services provided to the U.S. Team at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The service delivery model is described and several examples illustrate the nature of the consultations provided to coaches and athletes. Some 72 formal consultations were held with 40 individuals and teams, and an analysis is given of the types of services requested and the clients who were served.
Shane M. Murphy
The U.S. Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine Council decided in 1987, for the first time, to assign a sport psychologist to the medical team of the 1987 U.S. Olympic Festival. This article describes the outcome of providing sport psychology services at the Festival. A brief history is given of the relationship between sport psychology and the U.S. Olympic movement, and the current status of sport psychologists within the Olympic movement is described. An analysis is provided of the types of services requested at the Festival, the referral sources, the major sports served, and several illustrative case examples describing athletes. Two models influenced the delivery of sport psychology services at the Olympic Festival, the medical model and the consultation model, and the advantages and disadvantages of each are discussed. Based upon the Olympic Festival experience, a consultation model may be appropriate for sport psychologists working in such a setting. The paper concludes with some suggestions regarding the training of students in the theory of effective consultation, drawing upon the knowledge base of industrial-organizational and medical psychology.
Craig Wrisberg, Jenny Lind Withycombe, Duncan Simpson, Lauren A. Loberg and Ann Reed
In the current study National Collegiate Athletic Association D-I athletic directors (n = 198) and presidents (n = 58) were asked to rate their perceptions of the benefits of various sport psychology services and their support of possible roles for a sport psychology consultant (SPC). Participants gave higher ratings for (a) services that were performance-related (e.g., dealing with pressure) than for those that were life-related (e.g., preventing burnout) and (b) a role for a SPC that involved the provision of services but not a full-time staff position or interactions with athletes at practices and competitions. Results indicated that while administrators acknowledge the potential benefits of sport psychology services, some remain reticent to employ them on a full-time basis. Future research is recommended with administrators that have employed SPCs full-time to determine their perceptions of the impact of sport psychology services on their student-athletes.
Diane L. Gill
clear focus on sport psychology emerged in the 1920s with the research and applied work of Coleman Griffith ( 1925 , 1930 ) in the United States, Peter Roudik in Russia, R.W. Schulte in Germany, and a few others around the world. Sport psychology was not an organized field then, and Griffith’s early
Amanda Martindale and Dave Collins
This paper establishes current theoretical understanding on the development of professional judgment and decision-making (PJDM) expertise within applied sport psychology (ASP). Traditional and naturalistic paradigms of decision making are contrasted and the resulting blending of systematic analysis and intuition most appropriate for applied practice is explained through the concept of skilled intuition (Kahneman & Klein, 2009). Conditions for the development of skilled intuition are considered alongside recognition of the fragility of human judgment and the subtleties of the ASP environment. Key messages from cognitive psychology literature on the development of PJDM expertise are offered and recommendations made to facilitate the acquisition of decision-making expertise in ASP.
Jon C. Hellstedt
This paper describes a sport psychology program conducted at a ski academy for a group of 43 competitive skiers in grades 8-12. The program’s effectiveness is discussed using evaluations from participants and coaches. The positive results of the evaluations and a drop in scores on the Sport Competition Anxiety Test indicates the various components of the program were helpful in developing skills in sport and in the athletes’ lives in general. Implications for future programs of this type are discussed, as is the role of the sport psychologist in this type of setting.
Jodi Yambor and Deidre Connelly
This article discusses issues related to the delivery of personal and performance enhancement consulting services to male student-athletes by female sport psychology consultants. A holistic, developmental, educational philosophy is described as a basis for providing services. Ethics, delivery, and consultant effectiveness are discussed relative to the male client/female consultant situation. A number of prevalent attitudes and stereotypes that may present obstacles to the successful delivery of services are discussed, along with the authors’ experiences and suggested tactics to minimize or confront and cope with these potential barriers.