The present investigation had three purposes. It (a) evaluated U.S. Olympic sport psychology consultants and the services they provide; (b) used Partington and Orlick’s (1987b) Consultant Evaluation Form (CEF) to examine effective sport psychology consultant characteristics; and (c) identified future sport psychology consultant and program needs. U.S. Olympic sport psychology consultants, sport science and medicine administrators, national team coaches, and athletes from various Olympic sports were surveyed. Results revealed that consultants were perceived in a favorable light across the four subsamples, which did not differ significantly in their effectiveness evaluations. The consultants also received high ratings on all 10 CEF consultant characteristics. Moreover, correlations between the consultant characteristic and effectiveness ratings revealed that fitting in with the team and drawing on athletes’ strengths were among the most important characteristics. Finally, the respondents identified the need to individualize sport psychology strategies as a major way for consultants to better meet athlete needs. Results are discussed relative to ways of improving applied sport psychology consultations with athletes and coaches.
Daniel Gould, Vance Tammen, Shane Murphy and Jerry May
Elaine M. Blinde and James E. Tierney III
This study explored in depth the process by which sport psychology ideas and techniques are diffused into elite-level swimming programs in the United States. Three stages in the diffusion process were examined: initial exposure, degree of receptivity, and rate of implementation. A questionnaire designed to measure this diffusion process was mailed to the 165 Level 5 coaches in the U.S. Sources through which coaches are exposed to sport psychology were identified, as well as factors influencing levels of receptivity and implementation. Intercorrelations among initial exposure, receptivity, and implementation were also examined and factors were identified that may reduce levels of receptivity and implementation. Findings suggest that despite only a moderate degree of exposure, coaches are generally receptive and willing to implement sport psychology into their programs. Major obstacles to both receptivity and implementation were generally related to structural aspects of amateur swimming in the U.S. or the sport psychology community. Identification of such factors can help the sport psychology community improve the process by which its knowledge base is diffused into the sporting community.
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.
Samuel J. Zizzi and Frank M. Perna
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.
Diane L. Gill
Feminist sport psychology encompasses many approaches and has many variations. The articles in this special issue reflect that variation but also reflect common themes outlined in this introductory article. The feminist framework for this article begins with bell hooks’ (2000) inclusive, action-oriented definition of feminism as “a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression” (p. viii). The following themes, drawn from feminist theory and sport studies scholarship, provide the supporting structure: (a) gender is relational rather than categorical; (b) gender is inextricably linked with race/ethnicity, class, and other social identities; (c) gender and cultural relations involve power and privilege; and (d) feminism demands action. Gender scholarship in sport psychology is reviewed noting recent moves toward feminist approaches and promising directions that incorporate cultural diversity and relational analyses to move toward feminist practice. The other articles in this issue reflect similar feminist themes and present unique contributions to guide us toward feminist sport psychology.
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.
Diane L. Gill
Women and women’s issues have a place in sport psychology today, but women have no place in most histories of the field. Some women sport psychologists, particularly Dorothy Harris, were instrumental in the development of sport psychology as a subdiscipline in the 1960s and 1970s. Re-searching the historical foundations reveals that the notable contributions of Harris and other women sport psychologists have roots in earlier work in both psychology and physical education. Pioneering women psychologists conducted research and challenged sexist assumptions and practices since psychology’s earliest days. At the same time, prominent women leaders developed women-oriented programs and contributed to the professional literature in physical education. Women and women’s issues have a place in sport psychology today, but too often that is an “other” or special interest place. By taking steps to re-place women in history and by engendering current research and practice, sport and exercise psychology will be a stronger science and profession.
Stephen J. Page, Scott B. Martin and Valerie K. Wayda
The purpose was to assess athletes’ attitudes toward seeking sport psychology consultation (SPC) and to examine demographic variables in relation to attitudes toward sport psychology consultants (SPCs). Participants were 53 wheelchair basketball athletes (34 males, 19 females). Data were collected with the Attitudes Toward Seeking Sport Psychology Consultation Questionnaire (ATSSPCQ) of Martin, Wrisberg, Beitel, and Lounsbury (1997). Participants exhibited a range of stigmas toward SPCs, an openness toward consulting with an SPC, and a recognition of need for an SPC. ANOVAs indicated no significant differences between genders, races, ages, educational levels, and SPC experience on ATSSPCQ scores. The results suggest that some wheelchair athletes are amenable to the notion of utilizing an SPC and provide further impetus for SPCs to work with athletes with disabilities.
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.
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.