As sport psychology consultants, we are so caught up in assessing the individual or team’s mental status as an athlete. Do we ever stop and think about how effective we are as sport psychology consultants? More specifically, what should we be assessing from the athlete’s perception of a sport psychology consultant?
As a sport psychology consultant in training, I know what I am suppose to do and how I am suppose to act; however, identifying what activities and characteristics should be evaluated is a little more difficult to pinpoint. Most importantly, the athletes and performers we work with should be assessed to give us the accurate and influential feedback of an effective sport psychologist. I believe it is very valuable to find out what factors are important to be an effective sport psychology consultant. An assessment developed by Partington & Orlick (1987b) known as the Consultant Evaluation Form has proven to be valuable and an effective way of evaluating a sport psychology consultant. Effective sport psychology consultants have been classified as flexible, hard-working, willingness to learn about the sport, and strong interpersonal skills.
I believe it is important that though we are primarily with a client to assess their mental status as an athlete, we need to be aware that the athlete is constantly evaluating our effectiveness as a sport psychology consultant. I find it interesting and informative to understand how athletes perceive me. Feedback from an athlete allows for professional growth and necessary adjustments so the sport psychology consultant can better serve their client. Lastly, I believe it is important to understand that all athletes are different and all perceive services from a sport psychology consultant differently. One athlete’s perception may differ greatly from another athlete’s perception, so it is wise to be careful when generalizing.
Anderson, A., Miles, A., Robinson, P., & Mahoney, C. (2004). Evaluating the athlete’s perception of the sport psychologist’s effectiveness: What should we be assessing? Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 5, 255-277.