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Emma J. Stodel

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Penny McCullagh

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Bob Rotella

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Kate F. Hays

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Cal Botterill

This article describes the features and characteristics of a 3-year involvement of SportPsych consulting in professional hockey from 1987 to 1990. Primarily discussion revolves around a 2-year development program with the Chicago Blackhawks. The components of an educational interdisciplinary philosophy of mental skills development and application are outlined and some of the challenges involved in professional team sport are discussed. The range of services described includes involvement in training camp, game preparation, individual development, subgroup work, team meetings, staff development, family support, minor pro development, playoffs, off-season programming, and scouting. The importance of a primary responsibility to players is pointed out, along with some of the advantages and disadvantages of a part-time role. Discussion covers some of the challenges faced and the potential effectiveness of various interventions and services.

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Michelle Joshua

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Duncan Simpson, Phillip G. Post, Greg Young and Peter R. Jensen

Ultramarathon (UM) running is a rapidly growing sport throughout the world, yet to date it has received little attention in sport psychology literature. To obtain further insight into this sport, the current study examined the training and competition experiences of UM runners. Phenomenological interviews were conducted with 26 participants ranging in age from 32 to 67 years (M = 44.1 yrs, SD = 8.1). Qualitative analysis of the interview data identified meaning units, which were grouped into major themes. A final thematic structure revealed five major themes that characterized the participant’s experience of UM running: preparation and strategy, management, discovery, personal achievement, and community. Taken together, the present results extend previous research on UM running and provide a number of suggestions for sport psychology consultants working with UM runners.

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Suzie Godfrey and Stacy Winter

This paper presents a reflective account of the sport psychology support work delivered across one season at a professional football academy by a neophyte practitioner. The development of the sport psychology program, referred to as Winning Mentality, was guided by Harwood and Anderson's (2015) 5C guidelines to psychological skills training.The Winning Mentality program outlined within this paper was delivered to the U9-U12 age groups and focused on the three key topics: (1) growth mind-set; (2) emotional control; and (3) confidence.The intervention comprised predominantly of classroom-based workshops delivered at the team level that focused on one topic per training cycle. Working with these young age groups uncovered a number of challenges that form the basis of this reflective account.Drawing upon child developmental literature was a necessity to ensure the effective matching of session content to the relevant age group. In addition, the heavily classroom-based nature of the program limited the youth footballers application of sport psychology techniques on the football pitch.Finally, opportunities to empower coaches with the knowledge and skills to apply psychological concepts within their training sessions should be welcomed.

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Áine MacNamara and Dave Collins

The importance of psychological characteristics as positive precursors of talent development is acknowledged in literature. Unfortunately, there has been little consideration of the “darker” side of the human psyche. It may be that an inappropriate emphasis on positive characteristics may limit progress. Negative characteristics may also imply derailment or the potential for problems. A comprehensive evaluation of developing performers should cater for positive dual effect and negative characteristics so that these may be exploited and moderated appropriately. An integrated and dynamic system, with a holistic integration of clinical and sport psychology, is offered as an essential element of development systems.