The purpose of this paper is to share and reflect on personal experiences of providing sport psychology support to an international lacrosse squad during their World Cup participation. Based on the needs analysis assessments from observation reports and informal communications, key areas of support included: (1) creating structure and routine, (2) facilitating team reflections, (3) goal setting, (4) game preparation, and (5) providing off-field support. Working with this team exposed the dynamic nature of sport psychology consultancy, and the unpredictability of what is required from a team in a high-performance setting. Individual consultancy through informal communications with players signaled the importance of supporting the person beyond their role as an athlete. Team-level support via group workshop sessions was predominantly performance-related, and required the adoption of solution-focused approaches given the time pressure on strategies to be effective. The support facilitated team organization and preparation, which enabled players to be both mentally and physically ready for each game. Establishing stable routines, game plans, and clear goals, and having adequate reflection and feedback time were reported by the players as important facets of their World Cup experience and success.
Philippa McGregor and Stacy Winter
Diane M. Culver, Wade Gilbert and Andrew Sparkes
A follow-up of the 1990s review of qualitative research articles published in three North American sport psychology journals (Culver, Gilbert, & Trudel, 2003) was conducted for the years 2000–2009. Of the 1,324 articles published, 631 were data-based and 183 of these used qualitative data collection techniques; an increase from 17.3% for the 1990s to 29.0% for this last decade. Of these, 31.1% employed mixed methods compared with 38.1% in the 1990s. Interviews were used in 143 of the 183 qualitative studies and reliability test reporting increased from 45.2% to 82.2%. Authors using exclusively quotations to present their results doubled from 17.9% to 39.9%. Only 13.7% of the authors took an epistemological stance, while 26.2% stated their methodological approach. We conclude that positivist/postpositivist approaches appear to maintain a predominant position in sport psychology research. Awareness of the importance of being clear about epistemology and methodology should be a goal for all researchers.
Mark B. Andersen, Tim Aldridge, Jean M. Williams and Jim Taylor
This study expanded the work of Waite and Pettit (1993) and contacted 75 graduate programs for lists of names and addresses of students who graduated between 1989 and 1994 (N = 731). Doctoral (n = 92) and master (n = 162) graduates completed a tracking survey (modified from Waite & Pettit), reporting their demographics, educational backgrounds, current positions, incomes, initial and future career goals, and supervised experiences. The majority of doctoral graduates have found positions in academia/research, and most of the master graduates were in some sport or sport psychology-related job. The majority of the master and doctoral graduates, however, reported that finding paying sport psychology work was difficult, and many expressed at least moderate levels of frustration with the progress of their sport psychology careers. The information from this study could be useful for advising current and potential graduate students about career options after graduation.
Brian D. Butki and Mark B. Andersen
A seven-item survey on training and ethics in publication and conference presentation was sent to 406 student members of the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP). Students used a 5-point scale (1 = very poor to 5 = excellent) to rate the training and experience received from advisors and professors. Items included exposure to some formal ethical guidelines of publishing and authorship, explanation of the importance of publications and conference presentations, demonstration of enthusiasm toward student publishing or presenting at conferences, and receiving appropriate authorship (e.g., first, second, third) on publications or conference presentations. Return rate was 43%. Results show that although a majority of students feel they are receiving fair to excellent training in this area, a substantial number believe their training is inadequate. This suggests a need for more formal training and guidance in publication and conference presentation for graduate students in psychology and physical education/exercise science programs.
Donald R. Marks
Despite valuable research regarding multicultural encounters in sport psychology settings, the mechanisms by which culture operates, including the ways that it is transmitted and learned, and the specific processes though which it exerts influence upon behavior, remain poorly understood. Research also has not addressed how a dimension of experience that is so fundamental could remain so transparent and reside so consistently outside the awareness of researchers, clinicians, and clients. Recent contributions to cultural psychology using an interactivist model provide a theoretical perspective through which clinical sport psychologists could conceptualize these challenging issues and address the complex behaviors observed in cross-cultural contexts. Interactivism offers a framework for investigating the internally inconsistent “polyphonic,” or multivoiced, nature of the self. In doing so, it highlights the need for investigative methods that can account for frequent discrepancies between implicit attitudes and observed behaviors, on one hand, and explicit attitudes and behaviors as endorsed on self-report measures, on the other.
Joey Ramaeker and Trent A. Petrie
We explored athletic trainers’ (ATs) beliefs regarding the roles of fellow ATs and sport psychologists (SPs) when working with athletes, and assessed where ATs’ typically refer athletes with psychological concerns. ATs’ beliefs and referral preferences across three hypothetical sport performance scenarios also were evaluated. ATs viewed aiding athletes’ psychological recovery from injury as their most acceptable role followed by teaching mental skills and counseling regarding personal issues. ATs rated SPs’ roles similarly. Regarding the scenarios, ATs were most likely to refer to a SP when performance was affected by mental factors. Considering performance difficulties attributed to interpersonal concerns, ATs were most likely to refer to a counselor. When recovering from physical injury, ATs viewed referring to a sport psychologist and assisting on their own as equally viable options. ATs’ views regarding their roles and referral preferences likely reflect educational and clinical experiences. Collaboration between athletic training and sport psychology professional organizations and individual professionals is warranted to enhance athlete care.
Maureen R. Weiss and Brenda Jo Bredemeier
A developmental theoretical approach is recommended as the most appropriate framework from which to study children's psychosocial experiences in sport. This perspective provides the best understanding of children's sport behaviors by focusing on ontogenetic changes in cognitive abilities which help to describe and explain behavioral variations among individuals. A content analysis of sport psychological research conducted on children and youth over the last decade reveals that few studies selected age groups for investigation that were based on underlying cognitive-developmental criteria. Thus, recommendations emanating from these studies may be misleading or inaccurate. Examples of developmental research from the psychological and sport psychological literature are provided to illustrate the potential for conducting further research on the psychosocial development of children in sport. Finally, guidelines for implementing a systematic line of research in sport psychology from a developmental perspective are outlined.
Mark H. Anshel
Drug abuse in competitive sport continues to be pervasive. Numerous explanations have been given for this and the reasons range from performance enhancement (anabolic steroids) to relieving stress and boredom (so-called recreational drugs). Drug testing, strict policies and enforcement, and educational programs have continued to be the main responses to the problem. However, relatively little attention has been given to preventive rather than punitive and curative strategies, particularly with respect to the coach’s input. This article offers several cognitive and behavioral approaches for coaches and sport psychology consultants in dealing with drug abuse among athletes. The recommendations are based on personal interactions with hundreds of intercollegiate athletes conducted over a 6-year period and from the extant professional literature.
Ted M. Butryn
Recently, there has been an increased effort to establish multicultural training programs for consultants working with diverse athlete populations. Although several authors have suggested that one aspect of such training is the examination of one’s biases related to race (Andersen, 1993; Martens, Mobley, & Zizzi, 2000), a systematic means of doing so has not yet been adequately discussed. In this article, I briefly discuss the field of whiteness studies, and the process of confronting what McIntosh (1988) has termed the “invisible knapsack of white privilege.” I then present the results of a life-history interview with a white male consultant, in which we discussed his changing sense of racial awareness and how he views his own white racial identity and the privileges associated with it. Finally, I discuss the results of a three-way discussion between myself, the consultant, and an African-American graduate student in sport psychology and present a preliminary account of white privileges specific to the applied field.
Brendan Cropley, Sheldon Hanton, Andy Miles and Ailsa Niven
This study offers an investigation into the concept of effective practice in applied sport psychology (ASP) with emphasis being placed upon the role that reflective practice may have in helping practitioners to develop the effectiveness of their service delivery. Focus groups (n = 2), consisting of accredited and trainee sport psychologists, were conducted to generate a working definition of effective practice, and discuss the concept of effectiveness development through engagement in reflective practices. The resulting definition encapsulated a multidimensional process involving reflection-on-practice. Initial support for the definition was gained through consensus validation involving accredited sport psychologists (n = 34) who agreed with the notion that although effectiveness is context specific it is related to activities designed to meet client needs. Reflective practice emerged as a vital component in the development of effectiveness, with participants highlighting that reflection is intrinsically linked to service delivery, and a key tool for experiential learning.