Sport Psychology and Intercollegiate Athletics: 25 Years Servicing Coaches and Athletes

David Yukelson, Penn State University, USA

Theme: Professional development and mentoring

Program ID: WKSP-04

Presentation: October 2, 2013 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

Room: Belle Chasse


The purpose of the workshop is to provide an interactive forum from which to educate participants about the practical realities of what it is like working as full time sport psychology practitioner within an intercollegiate athletic department. From a psychosocial perspective, developmental issues pertaining to the special needs of intercollegiate coaches and student-athletes will be discussed, along with logistical problems associated with delivering applied sport psychology services to 31 different teams and coaching staffs. Drawing on over 25 years’ experience consulting at the same institution, the first part of the workshop will highlight data from over 30,000 interactive contacts classified by gender, class standing, teams, and nature of the problem, followed by group discussion of two case studies depicting typical situations encountered. In terms of distribution across student-athletes, 51% of the contacts were found to be females, 49% males, with seniors representing 28% of those contacts, followed by juniors 24%, sophomores 23%, freshmen 19%, and 5% high school recruits. Analyzing frequency by nature of the problem, the top three categories include stress management and interpersonal development (22%), mental skills training and performance focus (21%), and ongoing meetings with coaches (19%). In terms of objectives, participants will learn strategies from which to gain entry, build bridges, develop partnerships with coaches, athletes, administrators, counselors, and various sports medicine personnel. Participants will also explore developmental transitions and interpersonal psycho-social issues student-athletes typically confront, how to individualize a mental training program based on the needs of each team and/or Student-Athlete, the importance of visibility and following-up in being an effective consultant, how to consult in a politically sensitive athletic environment, overcoming potential pitfalls and adapting to change, and as a sport psychologist, how to keep things in balance and proper perspective. Interactive questions and answers will follow the case studies.

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