Shifting Focus: Transitioning from College Sport to Youth Sport

Ira Martin, Boston University, USA

Theme: Professional development and mentoring

Program ID: SYM-25

Presentation: October 5, 2013 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Room: Oak Alley


Sport psychology consulting often has a keen focus on identifying and understanding psychological interventions that can be applied to enhance the performance and personal growth of “elite” college and professional athletes (Sharp & Hodge, 2011). Although sport psychology consulting has shown to be useful and prominent in higher levels of sport, entrepreneurial consultants may find the youth sport setting to be an exciting and new developmental location to give service (Baron, 2007). Weaving sport psychology consulting into a youth sport organization highlights opportunities and challenges for the sport psychology consultant (Tashman, Loney, & Green; 2010; Visek, Harris, & Blom, 2009). Therefore, effective management, sound teaching practices, and execution of curriculum goals are necessary. This presentation will outline the implementation and lessons learned from sport psychology consulting with youth athletes, ranging in age from nine to sixteen, and will discuss the author’s work in the uncommon field of Irish Step Dance. Throughout the presentation the following topics will be discussed: the purpose of introducing a sport psychology curriculum into a new and exciting youth sport setting; the process of creating, preparing and implementing a mental skills program to youth athletes; navigating developmental concerns among a large range of youth athletes; and lessons learned from shifting focus from the college setting to the youth setting. Together, these topics aim to be useful to future practice with consultants, and educators, in the field of sport psychology.

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