Sport psychology consulting effectiveness: The athlete's perspective

Lee-Ann Sharp, Ken Hodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
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The purpose of this study was to investigate what athletes perceived to be essential for effective sport psychology consulting and to examine athletes’ perceptions of the key components of an effective sport psychology consulting relationship. Nine elite athletes participated in individual semi-structured interviews (6 males and 3 females, mean age = 32.7 years, SD= 11.05, mean competitive experience = 17.9 years, SD= 9.0) from a variety of sports (e.g. cricket, rugby, swimming, triathlon, dressage, and wheelchair rugby). Inductive content analysis indicated that three categories were essential for sport psychology consulting effectiveness; (a) sport psychology consultants (SPCs) were friendly but not a friend; (b) SPC consulting experience; and (c) athlete-centered consulting. Four categories emerged regarding effective consulting relationships: (a) flexibility; (b) open, honest, and respectful; (c) contributions from both the athlete and SPC; and (d) athlete as an active participant in the consulting relationship.Keywords: consulting relationships; working alliance; effectiveness
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-105
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 12 May 2014


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