The present study compared the effects of two contact methods on sport psychology service use. The sample consisted of a total of 163 athletes on 14 teams. After a workshop, teams were randomly assigned to contact the sport psychology consultant (SPC) by traditional methods or by electronic methods. There were greater contacts and assessments completed in the electronic group compared to the traditional group one month after the workshop. The results suggest that athletes prefer using E-mail and web pages over phone and in-person meetings when initially contacting a SPC and gathering sport psychology information. Overall results suggest that electronic contact methods are at least equal, and in several cases superior, to traditional contact methods regarding generating requests for service from athletes on a short-term basis.
Samuel J. Zizzi and Frank M. Perna
Kelly A. Wilson, Jenelle N. Gilbert, Wade D. Gilbert and Scott R. Sailor
Seventy-two college athletic directors (ADs) participated in a survey about (a) previous experience with sport psychology consultants (SPCs), (b) previous exposure to the field, and (c) attitudes toward sport psychology consulting. ADs were confused about appropriate training for SPCs, highlighted by the fact that 66.7% were unaware of any certification for SPCs. Although ADs’ attitudes toward SPCs did not differ based on previous experience with SPCs, there was a statistically significant difference between ADs who were aware of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and those who were unaware. Results demonstrate the need to educate potential employers regarding appropriate qualifications for SPCs. The discussion culminates with suggestions for future research and recommendations for enhancing effectiveness of outreach programs.
Jack C. Watson II, Samuel J. Zizzi, Edward F. Etzel and John R. Lubker
The applied sport psychology supervision experiences of student and professional members of AAASP (N = 313) were surveyed. The results revealed that of those who provide applied sport psychology consultation, students were more likely than professionals to receive supervision and to receive weekly supervision. However, both groups received equal amounts of supervision and had case management as the primary component of their supervision. AAASP professional members providing supervision were more likely to hold certified consultant and licensure status than those who did not provide supervision. Only 22.4% of professionals reported providing applied sport psychology supervision, 75.9% of whom had little or no training in supervision. No differences were found in the amount, type, and quality of supervision provided to students from physical education/sport science programs and those in psychology programs.
This article relates experiences and knowledge gained in providing sport psychology consulting services to professional hockey teams over a 6-year period. The process of getting involved in professional hockey is described and the importance of obtaining ample consulting experience before working with professional athletes is discussed. Philosophical and organizational components of service delivery are presented along with the range and type of service provided. The development of trust and confidence in the player/consultant relationship is seen as the key to effective sport psychology consulting. Also, the importance of being able to read situations, fit into the professional sports environment, and adopt a low-key, behind-the-scenes approach is discussed.
David J. Lutz
The education and training process of sport psychologists has been, for the most part, an unplanned process. The divisions within the field are explored along with the attempts by national bodies to systematize the standards and qualifications necessary for sport psychologists. Educational opportunities tend to be hybrid versions of programs in physical education combined with counseling or clinical psychology. Within these programs, it is not unusual to find few faculty who emphasize sport psychology as a primary area. Potential training models are explored and suggestions are made for programs seeking to develop a sport psychology component.
Siobhain McArdle and Phil Moore
This article highlights four key principles of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and proposes situations where these tenets would be relevant from an applied sport psychology perspective. To achieve this aim, a case study of an athlete with a dysfunctional perfectionist mindset is employed. We conclude with possible research directions in applied sport psychology informed by CBT. These recommendations include the need to further develop an evidence based formulation system and the relevance of building a repertoire of “evidence-based” behavioral experiments to improve practice.
Frank L. Gardner and Zella E. Moore
Providing effective sport psychology services requires practitioners to conceptualize the unique issues and concerns of each individual athlete. However, collecting information on the athlete, understanding the athlete’s issues and needs, and determining how to best assist the athlete can be a complex process. Thus, this article outlines a case formulation approach to help the sport psychology consultant assess the athlete, organize and conceptualize assessment data, classify the athlete’s issues, and choose interventions that directly target those factors that are impeding the athlete’s progress in athletics or other life domains. Two case examples are provided to illustrate the case formulation process.
Daniel S. Kirschenbaum
This paper attempts to demonstrate the interdependence of research and theorizing on self-regulation and sport psychology. The process of maximizing sport performance was conceptualized as a self-regulatory problem. A five-stage model of self-regulation was presented to show the usefulness of this perspective. In particular, the model of self-regulation applied to this problem indicates that athletes should: specify their goals, establish commitments to change, manage their physical and social environments to facilitate pursuit of goals, execute the components of self-regulation to achieve goals (self-monitor, self-evaluate, self-consequate), and attempt to generalize changes achieved via the development of obsessive-compulsive styles of self-regulation. Recent findings in the self-regulation literature were reviewed to show how this conceptualization should be refined. Several applications in sport psychology were then described. This analysis supports the conclusion that (a) sport psychology provides an excellent medium for testing principles of self-regulation, and conversely, (b) self-regulatory models and principles can lead to effective interventions in sport psychology.
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.
This paper discusses a model of providing a specialized employee assistance program, with psychological services that are far-reaching and beyond what traditional employee assistance programs offer. Three main areas in which services are deemed especially critical include working with the athletes to improve their sports performance using various mental skills techniques, providing personal counseling, and impacting the organization at an organizational level. Also discussed is the author’s current role with the team and management, both during the preseason and the official season. Further, the author evaluates his effectiveness as a sport psychology consultant and the problems encountered as well as the importance of developing and maintaining proper boundaries within the organization. In conclusion, issues related to the goodness of fit between the professional sport organization and the sport psychology consultant are addressed.