The application and professionalization of sport psychology has attracted increased attention from various sources including colleagues in the field, sport science and psychology departments, collegiate, Olympic, and professional sport organizations, and the media. Unfortunately, the attention generated has not resulted in significant organizational progress on issues crucial to the integrity of a developing specialization such as sport psychology. These crucial professional issues include the orderly growth of the field, requirements for the establishment of a recognized profession in sport psychology, the training of future sport psychologists, and the process and procedures required to develop and implement the certification of sport psychologists. The present paper was written to address these critical issues, identify progressive steps currently being taken, and recommend subsequent actions that can advance the field toward the professionalization of sport psychology without compromising the integrity of the academic subdiscipline.
John M. Silva III
Mark B. Andersen, Judy L. Van Raalte and Britton W. Brewer
To assess the supervisory skills of sport psychologists who are training future practitioners, the Sport Psychology Supervisory Skills Inventory (SPSSI) was mailed to 201 potential applied sport psychology supervisors. Supervisors were associated with graduate programs that offered applied sport psychology practica and/or internships, as identified in the Directory of Graduate Programs in Applied Sport Psychology (Sachs, Burke, & Salitsky, 1992). Supervisors rated themselves on 41 supervisory skills. The SPSSI was also mailed to 416 student members of AAASP, who were asked to rate their supervisors. There was a 35% return rate from supervisors and a 45% return rate from students. The findings suggest that supervised experience with athletes is limited for both supervisors and graduate students.
John Partington and Terry Orlick
Individual interviews were conducted with 17 Canadian Olympic coaches in order to assess sport psychology consultants and services provided to their athletes and teams in the 4 years leading up to the 1984 Olympic Games. The coaches represented a wide range of sports; all but 2 had worked directly with a sport psychology consultant in preparing their athletes for the Olympics. A total of 21 consultants were reviewed and evaluated. The coaches outlined their personal criteria for assessing the effectiveness of a sport psychology consultant and his or her mental training program. A consensus regarding desired personal consultant characteristics is presented, as well as coaches’ reasons for retaining or terminating the services of a sport psychology consultant.
William B. Strean and Herbert S. Strean
Sport psychology practitioners use various theoretical perspectives to inform their work. The potential contribution of psychodynamic concepts to professional sport psychology practice is explored. The basics of psychodynamic theory as it relates to normal personality, maladaptive functioning, and therapeutic intervention are reviewed. Specific attention is addressed to free association, resistance, transference, and countertransference. Treatment procedures, such as confrontation, clarification, and interpretation, are presented. Suggestions for including psychodynamic principles within other frameworks are offered.
Tammy Sheehy, Sam Zizzi, Kristen Dieffenbach and Lee-Ann Sharp
In the field of applied sport psychology, sport psychology consultants (SPCs) help their clients enhance the process of performance, holistic well-being, and social functioning (Association for Applied Sport Psychology, [ AASP], 2016 ). Although coaches are discussed as client recipients in a
Brad D. Hatfield and Daniel M. Landers
An area of inquiry that has largely been ignored in scientific studies in the field of sport psychology/motor performance is the subdiscipline of psychology called psychophysiology. This subdiscipline, which is concerned with inferences of psychological processes and emotional states from an examination of physiological measures, is rich in methodological and theoretical insights that could improve research and practice within sport psychology/motor performance. The current methodological and theoretical issues in psychophysiology are first reviewed and then specifically related to recent sport studies that demonstrate their applicability to the enhancement of both theoretical and applied aspects of sport.
Brenda Light Bredemeier
This article presents a discussion of feminist praxis in sport psychology research. Praxis is a dialectical process of reflection and action that is motivated by one’s commitment to transformation. Those who are engaged in feminist praxis are working to transform the power and privilege differentials based on social structures and practices that deny or diminish the full humanity of all peoples. Sport psychology research that is grounded in feminist praxis seeks to better understand the sport experiences of marginalized people, especially girls and women, in order to inform strategies and processes for personal and social change. Two research projects are used to illustrate feminist praxis in sport psychology research. The first research project involved an investigation of women’s epistemological perspectives in their daily lives and physical activity domains. The second involved a study of lesbian moral exemplars who have been active and influential in sport. The feminist praxis that grounded both projects impacted the relationships among sport psychology researchers and study participants as well as other methodological considerations.
Robert M. Nideffer, Peter DuFresne, David Nesvig and Dennis Selder
Applied sport psychology is a field that is still in search of a definition. This article examines some of the ethical issues involved in the provision of psychological services to athletes and coaches. Observations are made regarding the types of services that sport psychologists are offering. The need for the development of applied internship experiences is emphasized.
Lawrence R. Brawley and Kathleen A. Martin
Over the past three decades, an interface has developed between sport and social psychology, characterized primarily by commonly utilized concepts and theories. The list of social psychological benefits to sport psychology is lengthy and includes theory, hypotheses, research paradigms, general independent and dependent variables, methods, and measures. In this paper, the following areas of sport research are used to illustrate the interface between sport and social psychology: (a) social facilitation and cohesion as two social influence phenomena, (b) anxiety and goal orientations as personality moderators of social behavior, and (c) self-efficacy beliefs and attitudes as social cognitions relevant to motivated behavior. Each of these areas are discussed in terms of social psychology’s impact on its development as a line of research in sport and in terms of the recent contributions each has made in return to social psychology. The general nature of the interface of social and sport psychology is also discussed.
William B. Strean
Various forms of qualitative research can aid our applied practice by increasing our understanding of the contexts and psychological dynamics of sport. To reap greater benefits from qualitative research, a key step will be to recognize and accept different views of knowledge that underlie many qualitative approaches. From this perspective, this paper focuses on possibilities to use qualitative research in sport psychology to describe, interpret, verify, and evaluate phenomena of interest. The potential of qualitative research to allow for surprises and produce understandable and credible findings and theories is also addressed. The spirit of the paper and the conclusion focus on the many ways in which the “goodness” (Peshkin, 1993) or “strength” (Maxwell, 1996) of qualitative research can be part of what is done in sport psychology.