Throughout their careers, athletes may encounter various changes that interfere with their existing “athletic status quo.” During these transitional periods, change can occur in diverse levels of the athletic experience. In this paper we introduce a “scheme of change for sport psychology practice” (SCSPP) to describe typical characteristics of athletes’ change-events and processes. The SCSPP focuses on: (a) the stages that unfold as athletes encounter and address changes in their careers, and (b) the psychological-therapeutic process that might facilitate an effective personal change. The process of change is evaluated in terms of its meaning and significance for athletes, the associated decisions athletes make, and fluctuations in cognition and affect. In addition, we describe a therapeutic framework that includes a number of processes of change as interventions, which may facilitate consultants’ attempts to guide athletes who experience change-events, and factors that moderate these attempts. Avenues for research and practical implications are also provided.
Roy David Samuel and Gershon Tenenbaum
Rebecca A. Zakrajsek, Jesse A. Steinfeldt, Kimberly J. Bodey, Scott B. Martin and Sam J. Zizzi
Although there appears to be greater acceptance and use of sport psychology (SP), fully integrating SP consultants and services into college athletic programs has yet to occur in most institutions. Decisions to initiate, continue, or terminate SP services are often made by coaches. Therefore, college coaches with access to services were interviewed to explore their beliefs and expectations about SP service use and how an SP consultant could work effectively with them and their athletes. Using consensual qualitative research methods, three domains in coaches’ perceptions of SP consultants were revealed: who they are, what they do, and how they do it. Findings illustrate the importance of being “on the same page” with coaches, developing self-reliant athletes, and making an impact while remaining in a supporting role.
Ailsa G. Anderson, Craig Mahoney, Andrew Miles and Paul Robinson
Applied sport psychology has entered an “age of accountability” (Smith, 1989) and the need to develop appropriate methods to evaluate practice has been well documented (Grove, Norton, Van Raalte, & Brewer, 1999; Strean, 1998). In this paper, we have developed a framework within which practitioners can assess the effectiveness of their practice and collect evaluative information that will increase their accountability to the stakeholders. We argue that a practitioner administered case study approach to evaluation, using a number of effectiveness indicators in triangulation, is appropriate to accommodate the constraints of a practice setting and fulfill the functional criteria for evaluating practice. Further discussion on when to evaluate practice and criteria for determining effectiveness is undertaken.
Zöe Knowles, David Gilbourne, Victoria Tomlinson and Ailsa G. Anderson
In the UK, sport psychologists are presently supervised under the auspices of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). In the present article, reflective practice is evaluated as a process that can facilitate the supervisory exercise in applied sport psychology (Anderson, Knowles, & Gilbourne, 2004). The material presented was collated via a 3-year longitudinal supervisory process based on the process of staged reflection (Knowles, Gilbourne, Borrie, & Nevill, 2001). The benefits of staged reflective development in the supervision process are highlighted, while differentiating between reflective techniques both in and on action. The present article also considers how different writing styles develop through the different phases of discussion and revisits the challenges associated with representing reflective practice.
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.
Steven R. Heyman
Sport psychology has had an internal debate about whether to conduct research in the field or in the laboratory. At the same time, concerns have been raised about interventions (particularly for performance enhancement) being performed without any reasonable evaluation of their outcome. This paper reviews the issues in consultation with an athlete and a coach, the development and modification of interventions, and the attempt to develop a single-case experimental design to assess the utility of the intervention. Although some situations caused the design to be less complete than would be desirable, the data obtained from behavioral observations and subjective ratings showed good reliability and validity and provided useful information. It is suggested that better designs can be developed but that events in the actual sport situation may require adjustments in the intervention and evaluation processes.
Andrew C. Sparkes and Sarah Partington
Narrative practice is an approach that enables researchers to alternately focus on the whats and hows of meaningful social interaction. The potential benefits of utilizing this approach in sport psychology are highlighted by focusing on the area of flow as an exemplar. It is suggested that the majority of work on flow has focused on the whats rather than on the equally important hows of this phenomenon. To illustrate the ways in which a concern for the hows of narrative practice can provide different insights into flow, data are provided from an interview-based study of a white water canoeing club. The findings suggest that describing flow is a relational performance, which is shaped by a number of narrative resources and auspices that operate differently according to gender.
Richard A. Sille, Martin J. Turner and Martin R. Eubank
At the time of the case, I (first author) was a trainee sport and exercise psychologist in the United Kingdom. I was working in the public and private sectors with a range of clients from individual and team sports. I had already completed a master’s qualification in sport psychology. This meant I
The growth of sport psychology has brought many positive advances and claims for achievement, but it has also brought controversy. Debate has beset the profession concerning classification (psychologist or consultant?), role (clinician or educator?), clientele (coach, athlete, or administrator?), ethics (whose purpose is to be served and who is being threatened?), and process (performance enhancement, winning, or personal fulfillment?). In this paper, the educational consultant in higher education is offered as a role model to help reduce the confusion and refocus attention on a more widely applicable role. Most sport psychologists today deal directly with athletes, usually elite athletes. However, as with physical skills, psychological skills require time and effort to fully develop. In order to address this time factor, this paper takes the stance that there is a growing need to train experts in the field to focus their efforts on the coach rather than the athlete. The consulting role, focus, and process suggested here could be of value to interested personnel at all levels of sport, and could provide a means for all participants to realize their fullest potential.