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Sport Psychology Consultants’ Views on Working With Perfectionistic Elite Athletes

Ellinor Klockare, Luke F. Olsson, Henrik Gustafsson, Carolina Lundqvist, and Andrew P. Hill

To be successful in elite sport, athletes are required to perform exceptionally and even, at times, perfectly ( Hill et al., 2020 ). Sport psychology consultants can therefore expect to frequently encounter athletes who are perfectionistic. However, so far, research in sport psychology has focused

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Sport Psychology Consultants’ Perspectives on Facilitating Sport-Injury-Related Growth

Ross Wadey, Kylie Roy-Davis, Lynne Evans, Karen Howells, Jade Salim, and Ceri Diss

account for the factors (e.g., prior relationships with injured athletes) and processes (e.g., transactions between practitioners and injured athletes) that inform how sport psychology consultants (SPCs) can work with athletes to facilitate SIRG. These factors and processes have long been deemed vitally

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The Sport Psychology Consultant Evaluation Form

John Partington and Terry Orlick

An evaluation inventory was developed to help sport psychology consultants assess and improve the field services they provide. Consultant characteristics included in the inventory were based on extensive interviews with Olympic athletes and coaches. The inventory was administered to 104 Canadian Olympic athletes who assessed 26 sport psychology consultants. Data from this survey were used to determine the validity and reliability of the Sport Psychology Consultant Evaluation Form (CEF). Practical suggestions are provided for enhancing the quality of sport psychology consultation services through the use of the CEF.

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The Sport Psychology Consultant: Olympic Coaches’ Views

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.

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An Insight Into the Use of Personality Assessment by U.K. Sport Psychology Consultants

Stephen Rowles and Tim Holder

-socially, which can have severe consequences for team functioning ( Jones et al., 2017 ). Importantly for the sport psychology consultant (SPC), there are clear applied implications. For example, narcissists can benefit from imagery but only if this focuses on an image of themselves from an external perspective

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Sport Psychology Consultants’ Reflections on the Role of Humor: “It’s Like Having Another Skill in Your Arsenal”

Stephen Pack, Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Stacy Winter, and Brian Hemmings

humor use, and their experiences of humor use. Method Participants Sport psychology consultants ( N  = 48, 20 female and 28 male; mean age 42.2 years, range = 26–77 years) were included in the data analysis (U.K., n  = 38; U.S., n  = 6; Ireland, n  = 2 Australia, n  = 2). The participants

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Gender and the Evaluation of Sport Psychology Consultants

Trent A. Petrie, Karen D. Cogan, Judy L. Van Raalte, and Britton W. Brewer

An investigation was conducted to examine the possibility of gender bias in the evaluation of sport psychology consultants. AAASP members were sent a packet that included a description of a football player who wanted to work with a sport psychology consultant to improve his consistency, a vita of a fictitious sport psychology consultant, and a rating questionnaire. The packets differed only in regard to the gender of the fictitious sport psychology consultant, which served as the independent variable, with half the sample being assigned to the male condition and the other half to the female condition. Participants (N = 293) evaluated the sport psychology consultant on several dimensions and indicated how strongly they would recommend the consultant to the football player. Results indicated that participants generally evaluated the fictitious sport psychology consultant similarly, regardless of gender. Indeed, the only gender differences that emerged were that the female sport psychology consultant was rated higher than the male consultant on attractiveness, trustworthiness, and general “good counselor” dimensions. Even though evidence of bias against women did not emerge in this study, the importance of promoting an atmosphere of inclusion for both male and female sport psychologists still exists.

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A Qualitative Analysis of Holistic Sport Psychology Consultants’ Professional Philosophies

Andrew Friesen and Terry Orlick

Incorporating the holistic development of the athlete into an applied sport psychology intervention has been addressed in the literature (e.g., Bond, 2002; Ravizza, 2002). How sport psychology consultants actually practice holistic sport psychology remains unclear. The purpose of this research was to provide a clarification as to what holistic sport psychology is and examine the beliefs, values, theoretical paradigms, and models of practice of holistic sport psychology consultants’ professional philosophies (Poczwardowski, Sherman, & Ravizza, 2004). Qualitative interviews with five purposefully selected holistic sport psychology consultants were conducted. In general, holistic consulting can be interpreted to mean: (a) managing the psychological effects to the athlete’s performance from nonsport domains; (b) developing the core individual beyond their athletic persona; and (c) recognizing the dynamic relationship between an athlete’s thoughts, feelings, physiology, and behavior. The corresponding beliefs, values, theoretical paradigms, and models of practice of holistic consultants were also presented.

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An Evaluation of U.S. Olympic Sport Psychology Consultant Effectiveness

Daniel Gould, Vance Tammen, Shane Murphy, and Jerry May

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.

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Sport Psychology Consultants’ Perceptions of Their Challenges at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Peter Elsborg, Gregory M. Diment, and Anne-Marie Elbe

The objective of this study was to explore how sport psychology consultants perceive the challenges they face at the Olympic Games. Post-Olympics semistructured interviews with 11 experienced sport psychology consultants who worked at the London Games were conducted. The interviews were transcribed and inductively content analyzed. Trustworthiness was reached through credibility activities (i.e., member checking and peer debriefing). The participants perceived a number of challenges important to being successful at the Olympic Games. These challenges were divided into two general themes: Challenges Before the Olympics (e.g., negotiating one’s role) and Challenges During the Olympics (e.g., dealing with the media). The challenges the sport psychology consultants perceived as important validate and cohere with the challenge descriptions that exist in the literature. The findings extend the knowledge on sport psychology consultancy at the Olympic Games by showing individual contextual differences between the consultants’ perceptions and by identifying four SPC roles at the Olympic Games.