Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
 
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Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2014) 13, 638 - 644
Research article
Sport Psychology Service Provision: Preferences for Consultant Characteristics and Mode of Delivery among Elite Malaysian Athletes
Vellapandian Ponnusamy1,2, J. Robert Grove1,

1 University of Western Australia, School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, Crawley, Western Australia
2 National Sports Institute of Malaysia, National Sports Complex, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

J. Robert Grove
‚úČ School of Sport Science, Exercise & Health, M408, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, W.A. 6009, Australia
Email: Bob.Grove@uwa.edu.au

Received:
11-02-2014 -- Accepted: 30-05-2014 --
Published (online): 01-09-2014

ABSTRACT

Factors relevant to the working alliance between athletes and sport psychology consultants were investigated in a sample of elite Malaysian athletes (n = 217). The athletes represented a variety of team and individual sports, and they provided information about the perceived importance of seven consultant characteristics/behaviors as well as seven program delivery options. At a full-sample level, general preferences were expressed for consultants to lead a physically active lifestyle, regularly attend training sessions and competitions, and have prior experience as an athlete or coach. General preferences were also expressed for program content to be determined by the coach or consultant, and for regular, small doses of mental skills training to be delivered in a face-to-face context throughout the year. At a sub-group level, team sport athletes had stronger preferences than individual sport athletes for program delivery on a group/team basis, while individual sport athletes had stronger preferences than team sport athletes for having a role in determining program content. Findings are discussed in relation to dominant value themes within Malaysian society and the reinforcement of these themes within specific sport subcultures.

Key words: Elite athletes, mental skills training, sport psychology, cultural influences
Key Points
Consultant characteristics and program delivery methods have an impact on the effectiveness of sport psychology services.
Preferred consultant characteristics and preferred methods of delivery may be affected by cultural and subcultural values.
Elite Malaysian athletes prefer consultants to lead a physically active lifestyle; to regularly attend training/competition; and to have prior experience as an athlete or coach.
Elite Malaysian athletes also prefer that the coach or consultant determine program content, and that mental skills training take place in a face-to-face context throughout the year.

 


  

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