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.
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.
William D. Parham
The ascendance of cultural sport psychology as a concentrated focus of academic inquiry is timely, and emergent investigations therein represent welcome areas of scholarship. The invitation embedded in this forthcoming discussion to sport psychology researchers and practitioners to stretch beyond their comfort zones is being extended with a request to consider pursuing sport psychology research and practice with a “more of thee and less of me” mindset. The North Star goals articulated herein are to stimulate avant-garde and imaginative thinking by expanding the concepts of reflective practice and reflexivity, thereby creating a portal through which to see how perceived stumbling blocks to overcoming traditional approaches to the study of sport psychology can be transformed into stepping stones. Six premises provide the context within which this discussion is presented. Collectively, these premises support and raise caution about the scientific method and suggest that the time has come to rethink commonly held beliefs about color-blindness, melting pot formulations, and alleged-to-be-absent historical and contemporary cultural influences on in-the-moment interpersonal interactions. A context-sensitive across-cultures communication model is offered as a way of synthesizing the premises and creating a portal through which to enter into new domains of investigative inquiry. Implications for the future of sport psychology relative to research, practice, training, and consultation will be offered for consideration.