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Sport psychology in an Olympic swimming team: Perceptions of the management and coaches

Cook, GM and Fletcher, D (2017) Sport psychology in an Olympic swimming team: Perceptions of the management and coaches. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 48 (5). pp. 343-351. ISSN 0735-7028

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It has been over 20 years since research has been published on perceptions of sport psychology services in Olympic sport, and this work spanned multiple sports, had a North American focus, and did not report management’s views. In this study, we resurrect this line of inquiry through the investigation of management and coaches’ perceptions of sport psychology in a European Olympic swimming team. Following semistructured interviews with 12 members of the management and coaching staff, we identified themes relating to retrospective reflections of past psychology-related services (i.e., negative previous experiences, lack of understanding, unease with service, threat to coach-swimmer relationship) and prospective projections of future psychology-related services (i.e., recognition of importance, scope of target client groups, roles with the coaches, confidentiality issues, practitioner characteristics). Within this team, sport psychology was perceived largely negatively, but despite this, the coaches and management recognized the importance and potential of the service. This apparent disparity can be explained by a range of factors, but the team culture, delivery method, and individual personalities appear to be particularly influential in this regard. To enhance the quality and receptivity of service provision, researchers and practitioners should effectively communicate with recipients of the service and consider not just what is delivered but by whom and how it is delivered.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ©American Psychological Association, 2017. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: 10.1037/pro0000142
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1799 Other Psychology and Cognitive Sciences, 1701 Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports > GV711 Coaching
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2019 10:59
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 08:24
DOI or ID number: 10.1037/pro0000142
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11797
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