Sport Psychology and Student-Athlete Development: Ah-Ha experiences that have shaped my collaborative counseling style

David Yukelson, Penn State University, USA

Theme: Consulting/private practice

Program ID: SYM-27

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

Room: Napoleon


During my career, I have had tremendous educational and professional experiences that have shaped my understanding of Applied Sport Psychology principles and theories and influenced my personal counseling style the past 30 years with intercollegiate athletes, coaches, and teams. The purpose of my presentation is to reflect on people, mentors, educational teachings, key events and “ah-hah” moments in my career path that have significantly impacted the development of my own perspective on theories of performance excellence as it pertains to the personal growth and overall development of intercollegiate student-athletes from the time they enter college to the day they matriculate. At the intercollegiate athletic level, I believe performance excellence starts at the beginning of the year when a coach outlines the vision and goals an individual or team is striving to accomplish for the season and creates the training environment and team culture conducive to achieving these goals. From this, it is the responsibility of the athlete to internalize the day to day commitment, work ethic, focus, and sense of accountability to make that vision a reality. Being confident and having steadfast belief in one’s ability to persevere and stay focused is also an important consideration. Likewise, life as a division one intercollegiate student-athlete (or coach) brings with it multiple demands, pressures, and stressors that if not managed properly can impact an individual’s confidence, focus, and self-esteem. The role of a sport psychologist serving as a positive sounding board in helping student-athletes find and maintain balance and developing proper perspectives about the personal meaning they attach in their quest to excel on and off the athletic field of play will also be addressed.

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