The present case study illustrates the treatment of a 19-year-old female lacrosse player, classified as experiencing Performance Dysfunction (Pdy) by the Multilevel Classification System for Sport Psychology (MCS-SP). The self-referred collegiate athlete was treated using the manualized Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) protocol (Gardner & Moore, 2004a, 2007). The intervention consisted of eight individual sessions and several follow-up contacts via e-mail. The majority of the sessions addressed clinically related and sport-related concerns, including difficulties in emotion regulation and problematic interpersonal relationships. Based on self-report, coach report, and one outcome assessment measure, the psychological intervention resulted in enhanced overall behavioral functioning and enhanced athletic performance. This case study suggests that following careful case formulation based on appropriate assessment and interview data, the MAC intervention successfully targeted the clearly defined psychological processes underlying the athlete’s performance concerns and personal obstacles, thus resulting in enhanced well-being and athletic performance improvements.
Jessica M. Lutkenhouse
John Mahoney and Stephanie J. Hanrahan
The purpose of this study was to research the experiences of four injured athletes during their rehabilitation from ACL injuries and to examine the potential usefulness of an adapted ACT intervention in addressing individuals’ adherence to rehabilitation protocols and their general psychological well-being. We investigated the usefulness of a brief, 4-session ACT program adapted for educational purposes and presented data as case studies. The case studies suggested that (a) the injured athletes experienced a multitude of private events immediately following injury, throughout their recovery, and when approaching a full return to sport; (b) the injured athletes typically avoided these private events and engaged in emotion-driven behaviors; (c) an adapted ACT approach for educational purposes could be useful on at least a basic level to help injured athletes accept private events, commit to rehabilitation behaviors, and have some certainty about returning to sport; and (d) more could be done to address the needs of injured athletes beyond the structure of our 4-session educational intervention. We concluded that the ACT-based intervention, to a certain extent, educated injured athletes about how to meet the challenges of their recoveries and how to commit to their rehabilitations, as well as to exhibit behaviors that would potentially permit their successful reentries to sport.
Catarina Sousa, Ronald E. Smith and Jaume Cruz
Coach Effectiveness Training (CET) has been shown to have positive effects on a range of outcome variables, especially in young athletes (Smith & Smoll, 2005). Based on CET principles, and coupled with behavioral feedback, an individualized goal-setting intervention was developed and assessed using a replicated case study approach. Outcome variables included observed, athlete-perceived, and coach-perceived behaviors measured before the intervention and late in the season, as well as coaches’ evaluations of the intervention. Four soccer coaches selected three target behaviors that they wished to improve after viewing videotaped behavioral feedback. Behavioral assessment revealed that two of the coaches achieved positive changes on all three of their targeted behaviors. A third coach improved on two of the three targeted behaviors. The fourth coach did not achieve any of the established goals. We conclude that this approach is sufficiently promising to warrant additional research, and we discuss strengths and limitations of the study.
John V. Stokes and James K. Luiselli
Functional analysis (FA) is an experimental methodology for identifying the behavior-reinforcing effects of social and non-social consequences. The data produced from a FA are used to select intervention procedures. In this case study, we conducted a FA with a male high school football athlete by manipulating social contingencies within practice tackling drills. The FA suggested that the highest percentage of correct tackling occurred when the participant was able to “escape” interaction with the coach following drills. After demonstrating that the participant had a low percentage of correct tackling during a baseline (preintervention) phase, the coach provided him delayed written performance feedback after practice. This intervention was associated with a higher percentage of correct tackling. The participant also tackled proficiently during a postintervention in-game assessment. The advantages of conducting a FA when intervening with athletes are discussed.
Mark H. Anshel
This article proposes a new approach to health behavior change, the disconnected values (intervention) model (DVM). The DVM consists of predetermined cognitive-behavioral strategies for initiating and maintaining changes in health behavior, such as the implementation of an exercise program. The model consists of helping clients (a) examine the benefits, in contrast to the costs and long-term consequences, of the habit they most want to change; (b) identify their deepest values and beliefs (e.g., health, family, faith, integrity); (c) detect a “disconnect” between the negative habit and the identified values; and (d) conclude whether the disconnect is acceptable, given its costs and long-term consequences. The client’s conclusion that the disconnect is unacceptable creates incentive and commitment for health behavior change. The theoretical foundations of the DVM are explained, and its specific application for exercise behavior change is described. Three outcome studies also are reported, as well as a brief case study. Implications for practitioners and suggestions for future research are provided.
Ryan Sappington and Kathryn Longshore
The field of applied sport psychology has traditionally grounded its performance enhancement techniques in the cognitive-behavioral elements of psychological skills training. These interventions typically advocate for controlling one’s cognitive and emotional processes during performance. Mindfulness-based approaches, on the other hand, have recently been introduced and employed more frequently in an effort to encourage athletes to adopt a nonjudgmental acceptance of all thoughts and emotions. Like many applied interventions in sport psychology, however, the body of literature supporting the efficacy of mindfulness-based approaches for performance enhancement is limited, and few efforts have been made to draw evidence-based conclusions from the existing research. The current paper had the purpose of systematically reviewing research on mindfulness-based interventions with athletes to assess (a) the efficacy of these approaches in enhancing sport performance and (b) the methodological quality of research conducted thus far. A comprehensive search of relevant databases, including peer-reviewed and gray literature, yielded 19 total trials (six case studies, two qualitative studies, seven nonrandomized trials, and four randomized trials) in accordance with the inclusion criteria. An assessment tool was used to score studies on the quality of research methodology. While a review of this literature yielded preliminary support for the efficacy of mindfulness-based performance enhancement strategies, the body of research also shows a need for more methodologically rigorous trials.
This response to a case study focuses on how I would approach the development of an intervention program for Jenny. Such a program begins with extensive psychological and physical assessments. The psychological assessment would be garnered primarily through observation of Jenny at practice and in games, extensive interviewing of the athlete, and, with her permission, interviewing her coaches and parents. The physical assessment would involve testing of Jenny’s injured knee as well as a complete conditioning evaluation. The key issues that emerged as part of the conceptualization of Jenny’s Performance Dysfunction include: (a) family issues, including the internalizations of a perfectionistic father and a needy mother; (b) unresolved feelings related to her parents’ divorce; and (c) emotional immaturity that expresses itself in fear of failure, inappropriate emotions, and avoidance from conflict. The intervention would take a multimodal approach that involves: (a) insight; (b) emotional exploration; (c) behavioral change; and (d) mental skills. The program would conclude with a post-intervention assessment that would be comprised of objective evaluation of Jenny’s physical condition, coach feedback about Jenny’s behavior, and, finally, Jenny’s own assessment of changes that have occurred due to the intervention.
Michael McCrea and Matthew R. Powell
This article reviews the essential components of a practical, evidenced-based approach to the management of sport-related concussion in an ambulatory care setting. The model presented is based on the core philosophy that concussion assessment and management be approached from the biopsychosocial perspective, which recognizes the medical/physiological, psychological, and sociological factors that influence recovery and outcome following concussion. Based on the biopsychosocial paradigm, we outline a care delivery model that emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach in which the clinical neuropsychologist is a key participant. We discuss the importance of nonmedical, psychoeducational interventions introduced during the acute phase to facilitate recovery after sport-related concussion. Finally, using the local experience of our “Concussion Clinic” as a backdrop, we offer two separate case studies that demonstrate the value of this model in evaluating and managing athletes after sport-related concussion. The overall objective of this paper is to provide an adaptable template that neuropsychologists and other healthcare providers can use to improve the overall care of athletes with sport-related concussion and civilians with mild traumatic brain injury.
Robin S. Vealey, Robin Cooley, Emma Nilsson, Carly Block and Nick Galli
tracking burnout across a competitive season or engaging in multiple measures of cohesion within a team as part of a case study on team culture enhancement. One trend in applied research has been the advent of profiling approaches. Performance profiling ( Butler & Hardy, 1992 ) has been used for the past
Leonardo Ruiz, Judy L. Van Raalte, Thaddeus France and Al Petitpas
research is to fill this gap in the literature by exploring the baseball experiences and related transitions of academy baseball players in the Dominican Republic and to provide information relevant to these athletes’ experiences for sport psychology professionals. Method A multiple case study design was