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
Philosophy is that humanistic discipline, that peculiarly human form of knowledge, which obtains a reflective apprehension (or informed understanding) of reality (the whole of what is) in its most general, accessible perspective (or form). (Osterhoudt, 1978).
Daniel Gould, Scott Pierce, Ian Cowburn and Andrew Driska
This case study examined the coaching philosophy of J Robinson, one of the most respected and successful NCAA wrestling coaches in the United States, and the founder of J Robison Intensive Wrestling Camps. Research has that shown that his camps foster short and long term psychological development in its youth participants (Driska et al., in press; Pierce, et al., 2016). He has established a well-delineated system for developing psychological skills in young athletes. The researchers were therefore interested in understanding the link between his coaching philosophy and coaching behavior, and in identifying factors that have influenced the development of this coaching philosophy over his lifetime. Using a case study approach, in-depth interviews at several points in time with Robinson were conducted. These were supplemented with interviews with camp staff and observations of the camp and Robinson’s coaching. Results revealed that Robinson had a clearly defined philosophy, was very intentional in developing mental skills, and had clearly thought out rationales that guided his coaching actions. The coaching philosophy and approach to developing psychological skills in youth evolved over 35 years of implementing these camps and from Robinson’s own life experiences. Implications for studying coach development and delivering coaching education are provided.
Pete Lindsay, Jeff D. Breckon, Owen Thomas and Ian W. Maynard
The chosen methods of applied sport psychology practitioners should be underpinned by their personal core beliefs and values (Poczwardowski, Sherman, & Ravizza, 2004). However, many novice practitioners unquestioningly adopt the dominant method of the field (Fishman, 1999), and thus might find themselves incongruent in terms of their professional philosophy (Tudor & Worrall, 2004). This article aims to highlight questions that practitioners might reflect on to achieve greater congruence in terms of their philosophy of practice. Autoethnographic accounts of consultancies by a recently qualified practitioner are used to explore one practitioner’s journey toward congruence in professional philosophy. Insights arising from these consultancies for the practitioner are provided, and the wider implications for the training and certification and accreditation of practitioners are considered.
Richard Collins, Katie Evans-Jones and Helen L. O’Connor
In response to the recent literature regarding the development of applied sport psychologists’ service philosophies (Lindsay, Breckon, Thomas, & Maynard, 2007), three neophyte psychologists take an autoethnographical approach to detailing how they developed their current philosophies. Using vignettes and personal accounts of their experiences they describe how reflection on their beliefs and values about people, behavior, sport, and change has underpinned their development as practitioners. The three authors detail how their delivery has developed from an approach that initially relied heavily on one framework into a more client-led approach that is more congruent with their beliefs and how this has in turn enhanced their effectiveness as practitioners. The implications of this reflective process for other neophytes is explored in relation to the experiences of the three authors.
Martin Camiré, Pierre Trudel and Tanya Forneris
Whether life skills are developed through sport greatly depends on how coaches create suitable environments that promote the development of youth (Gould & Carson, 2008). The purpose of this study was to examine, using Gould and Carson’s (2008) model of coaching life skills, the philosophies and strategies used by model high school coaches to coach life skills and how to transfer these life skills to other areas of life. Interviews were conducted with both coaches and their student-athletes. Results indicated that coaches understood their student-athletes preexisting make up and had philosophies based on promoting the development of student-athletes. Results also demonstrated that coaches had strategies designed to coach life skills and educate student-athletes about the transferability of the skills they learned in sport. Although variations were reported, coaches and student-athletes generally believed that student-athletes can transfer the skills learned in sport to other areas of life. These results are discussed using Gould and Carson’s model and the youth development literature.
Vladislav A. Bespomoshchnov and Jeffrey G. Caron
Anatoly Tarasov was the architect of the Russian ice hockey system—one of the most storied program’s in the history of International ice hockey. As a head coach, he led his team to 3 Olympic gold medals, 9 World Championships, and 18 National Championships. He was also the first European inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Canada. Given all that he accomplished, it is surprising that relatively little is known about Tarasov outside of Russia. The purpose of this paper is to introduce coach Tarasov and, through an analysis of his own writings and what others have written about him, shed some light on his coaching methods that we believe comprise his coaching philosophy. As we will demonstrate, Tarasov’s coaching methods, which would have been viewed as unusual at the time—particularly by ice hockey coaches in North America—are now widely supported in the coaching science literature and practiced by some of the world’s most regarded coaches. Rooted in Tarasov’s coaching methods, we also provide a number of “best practices” for ice hockey coaches, which we believe might also be applicable to coaches working in other contexts.
Lawrence W. Fielding, Donald H. Steel and Marvin H. Eyler
Human performance enhancement is one of kinesiology’s many vibrant topics for inquiry. Though philosophers in kinesiology departments have offered some contribution to this topic, this paper argues that philosophers could improve their relevance by better engaging the existing scientific research. Rather than simply defending their place at the table, this paper proposes that philosophers build upon existing contributions to the ethics of human enhancement by increasing their scientific literacy. At the same time, this paper argues that certain patterns in philosophical discussions of human enhancement do not connect with scientific researchers. The paper concludes that ultimately philosophers must become more conversant with the language of science if they are going to continue contributing to central questions within the field of kinesiology.