NCAA Division-I Athletic Trainers’ Support of Sport Psychology Consultants and Willingness to Seek Mental Training Services

Rebecca Zakrajsek, University of Tennessee, USA

Theme: Injury/trauma/rehabilitation

Program ID: LEC-12C

Presentation: October 5, 2013 8:15 am - 9:30 am

Room: Rosedown


With the physical, mental, and social demands in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I (NCAA DI) athletics, many member institutions use various means to help support their student-athletes’ sport performance and overall health and well-being. Recently, Wrisberg et al. (2009, 2010, 2012) examined NCAA DI student-athletes, coaches, and administrators receptivity to mental training services and support for the possible roles of sport psychology consultants (SPCs) within athletic departments. While these individuals represent a large sect of the athletic department, certified athletic trainers (ATCs) also greatly influence the provision of SPC services at NCAA DI institutions. The purpose of this study was to assess ATCs experience with SP services, willingness to encourage student-athletes to use SP services, and support for the possible roles of SPCs at NCAA DI institutions. Of the 659 NCAA DI ATCs (341 males, 318 females) who participated in this study, 416 (63.1%) indicated that they had access to a SPC at their institution. Of those who knew they had an SPC available at their institution, 329 (81.8%) interacted with them whereas 73 (30%) of the 243 who did not have an SPC available at their institution interacted with consultants off campus. Likewise, 360 (76.2%) of the 472 ATCs who encouraged student-athletes to seek mental training services had an SPC available at their institution. ATCs were more willing to encourage student-athletes to see a SPC for personal and performance related issues (83.5% and 77.8%, respectively) than for injury and rehabilitation related issues (52.4%). Lastly, logistic regression indicated that gender, job title/experience, SP experience, and perception of previous SP experience were significant predictors of ATCs perceptions of the benefit of including SPCs into athletic departments. Implications for SPCs interested in working with athletic departments and ATCs to improve student-athletes sport performance and well-being will be discussed.

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