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.
Robert J. Rotella
This paper presents a philosophy for sport psychology consulting that emphasizes a belief in helping people’s dreams come true, believing in possibilities, trusting in ability and talent, and the awesome power of the mind if the mind is properly directed. Particular attention is focused on learning how to resist socialization in order to do one’s best. A brief introduction of strategies for doing so and how such ideals may be delivered is presented.
Lee-Ann Sharp and Ken Hodge
The purpose of this study was to investigate the components necessary for the development of an effective applied sport psychology consulting relationship between a sport psychology consultant (SPC) and a coach. To address this purpose, two SPC-Coach consulting relationship case studies will be presented. Following purposeful sampling methods, members of two SPC-Coach consulting relationships (2 SPCs and 2 elite coaches) participated in individual interviews to discuss their perceptions of effective consulting relationships. Inductive \content analysis was conducted to search for common themes both within and across the two case studies (Weber, 1990). Three categories emerged with shared similarities between both case study relationships as important to the development of effective consulting relationships between SPCs and coaches; (a) SPC knowledge; (b) trust; and (c) friendship. In addition, two categories individual to each of the case study consulting relationships emerged; (d) SPC fitting in with team culture; and (e) flexibility.
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.
Courtland C. Lee and Robert J. Rotella
This article examines important concepts for effective sport psychology consulting with black student athletes. First, sport psychology consultants are urged to examine their own cultural background prior to working with black student athletes. Second, a discussion of black expressiveness is presented to provide sport psychology consultants with a knowledge base from which to operate in interactions with black student athletes. Third, relevant skills are presented for effective sport psychology consulting with black student athletes. These skills are derived from consulting with and doing research on black student athletes.
Lee-Ann Sharp, Ken Hodge and Steve Danish
The purpose of this investigation was to; (a) examine what experienced SPCs perceived to be the necessary components of the sport psychology consulting relationship, and (b) examine individual contributions of the SPC and client to the consulting relationship. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit 10 experienced SPCs (8 male and 2 female, M age = 50.44 years, M years consulting experience = 21.67 years) who held current sport psychology accreditation/certification and who had considerable consulting experience. Following individual interviews, extensive content analysis revealed that the sport psychology consulting relationship was reflective of (a) rapport, (b) respect, (c) trust, (d) a partnership, and (e) a positive impact on the client. Members of the consulting relationship made individual contributions to the relationship; SPCs contributed; (a) honesty, (b) commitment, (c) knowledge and expertise, (d) counseling skills, and (e) professional ethical behavior. With clients contributing; (a) openness to change, (b) honesty, and (c) willingness to work.
Joan S. Ingalls
James E. Loehr
This paper explores personal experiences in building a career in sport psychology and providing consulting services to professional tennis players. It describes the range of services provided, major client groups, and philosophy of service delivery. It reviews the overall training model used in service delivery as well as psychological assessment procedures used in consultation. It also describes how professional services were organized, type of services provided to specific client groups, and specific training components. Factors and issues influencing professional effectiveness and competence are explored. The importance of training and competence in all sport sciences are emphasized. The challenges and hardships encountered in building a successful career in this specialty are reviewed. The need for more effective and responsible applied technology and research is discussed.
Robert J. Rotella and Mi Mi Murray
Homophobia has been an issue of concern in the world of sport for decades. It has had a negative impact on the world of athletes, coaches, and sport psychology consultants. Both heterosexuals and homosexuals are affected. Homophobia has kept some from striving for excellence while interfering with and hindering some who pursued success in sport. Specialists in sport psychology who claim to care about the development of human potential in sport must be concerned about the impact of homophobia. An honest look at attitudes, beliefs, and values is a necessary step forward if change is to occur. A move in the direction of healthy acceptance of differing sexual preferences is suggested, along with an effective philosophy for doing so. A wish list for the future is included.