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.
Pete Lindsay, Jeff D. Breckon, Owen Thomas and Ian W. Maynard
William Winstone and Misia Gervis
The literature in psychotherapy and sport psychology has supported the importance of self-awareness and countertransference management (Ellis, 2001; Leahy, 2001; Van Raalte & Andersen, 2000) and its applicability in all psychological settings (Hayes, 2004). This study was an audit of (n = 58) accredited UK sport psychology practitioners that explored the importance they attached to self-awareness and their behavior in practice that supported the management of these concerns. Results indicated that practitioners regarded self-insight and self-integration as important (Mdn = 4), but relied upon themselves and informal peer networks rather than regular supervision for professional support. Most practitioners never (Mdn=1) used counseling or therapy for personal support. Recommendations are made for piloting post-accreditation professional supervision in sport psychology and developing the provision of general counseling and sport psychology sessions for trainees.
Robert C. Eklund
Sport psychology research conducted in field settings has expanded considerably in the last decade and a half. However, there has been little formal discussion of a number of important issues concerning the notion of conducting research in ecologically valid settings. Gaining entry to collect data with sport participants is one such issue. This important initial stage of the field research process regards not only the feasibility of collecting data but also the very quality of data that one might be able to collect in the setting. This manuscript presents important guiding considerations for efforts to gain entry to field settings, including personal attributes of the researcher, connections, accounts, knowledge, and courtesy. Social science and sport psychology practitioner literature regarding gaining entry are examined, and relevant examples are integrated into the discussion.
Diane M. Wiese and Maureen R. Weiss
Psychological rehabilitation in response to physical injury is of primary concern to athletes, trainers, coaches, and sport psychologists. To date, there is little empirical research to shed light on this topic, as well as on the role of sport psychology practitioners in facilitating the prevention, rehabilitation, and recovery from athletic injuries. The purpose of this paper is to consolidate and report the information available on the nature of injuries and make suggestions concerning the application of sport psychology principles when working with injured athletes. Four major concerns are addressed with regard to current knowledge and practical implications: how injuries happen, how athletes respond to injuries, how psychological rehabilitation as well as physical recovery from injuries can be facilitated, and determining when injured athletes are psychologically ready to return to competition.
Kristoffer Henriksen, Natalia Stambulova and Kirsten Kaya Roessler
The holistic ecological approach to talent development in sport highlights the central role of the overall environment as it affects a prospective elite athlete. This paper examines a flat-water kayak environment in Norway with a history of successfully producing top-level senior athletes from among its juniors. Principal methods of data collection include interviews, participant observations of daily life in the environment and analysis of documents. The environment was centered around the relationship between prospects and a community of elite athletes, officially organized as a school team but helping the athletes to focus on their sport goals, teaching the athletes to be autonomous and responsible for their own training, and perceived as very integrated due to a strong and cohesive organizational culture. We argue that the holistic ecological approach opens new venues in talent development research and holds the potential to change how sport psychology practitioners work with prospective elite athletes.
Jeffrey G. Caron, Gordon A. Bloom, Karen M. Johnston and Catherine M. Sabiston
The purpose of this study was to understand the meanings and lived experiences of multiple concussions in professional hockey players using hermeneutic, idiographic, and inductive approaches within an interpretative phenomenological analysis. The interviewer was an athlete who had suffered multiple concussions, and the interviewees were five former National Hockey League athletes who had retired due to medically diagnosed concussions suffered during their careers. The men discussed the physical and psychological symptoms they experienced as a result of their concussions and how the symptoms affected their professional careers, personal relationships, and quality of life. The former professional athletes related these symptoms to the turmoil that is ever present in their lives. These findings are of interest to athletes, coaches, sport administrators, family members, sport psychology practitioners, and medical professionals, as they highlight the severity of short- and long-term effects of concussions.
Stephen Pack, Brian Hemmings and Monna Arvinen-Barrow
The maturation processes of applied sport psychologists have received little research attention despite trainees and practitioners having often reported experiencing challenging circumstances when working with clients. Within clinical psychology literature the self-practice of cognitive techniques, alongside self-reflection, has been advocated as a means of addressing such circumstances, and as a significant source of experiential learning. The present study sought to identify the possible types of, and purposes for, self-practice among twelve UK-based sport psychology practitioners. Thematic analysis of semistructured interviews indicated all participants engaged in self-practice for reasons such as managing the self, enhancing understanding of intervention, and legitimising intervention. Some participants also described limitations to self-practice. Subsequently, three overriding themes emerged from analysis: a) the professional practice swamp, b) approaches to, and purposes for, self-practice, and, c) limitations of self-practice. It is concluded that self-practice may provide a means of better understanding self-as-person and self-as-practitioner, and the interplay between both, and is recommended as part of on-going practitioner maturation.
Justine J. Reel
strategies and performance enhancement approaches to best serve athletes, exercisers, and other performers. JCSP provides practical recommendations to mental health providers and applied sport psychology practitioners, stimulates provocative discussions, promotes best practices and intervention strategies
Matthew D. Bird and Brandonn S. Harris
consultants provide performance enhancement services to their clients, which may include mental skills training that incorporates goal setting, imagery, and relaxation interventions. Contingent on their type of training, a sport psychology practitioner may also work within clinical settings targeting
Nick Wadsworth, Ben Paszkowec and Martin Eubank
read them a number of times throughout this consultancy process, they raised more questions than answers in relation to my role and responsibilities during this particular case. What if the sport psychology practitioner doesn’t recognize that the athlete is experiencing a mental health disorder? What