The process of assessment in a sport psychology consulting relationship never ends. Either consciously and formally with paper and pencil inventories, consciously in observation, or unconsciously in all interactions, consultants and coaches are sponges of information flowing from the environment to our internal concepts. We cannot stop this flow of information. It is my personal creed that we assist athletes in learning how to conduct this process by raising self-awareness and consciousness. It is my personal goal to make each client more able and active in self-assessment. This spans skills that are technical, physical, tactical, and psychological, the last of which often receives the least attention. As a side note, approaching an athlete in all domains of performance, not just psychological, can provide an inlet to a temporally new client or one that is resistant to talking about mental skills; speak their language first, meet the client where they are at, etc.
I have found that baseline self-assessment of the athlete followed by in the here-and-now check-ins can develop the discrepancy of self-awareness in all four domains. Placing this information in some sort of systematic visual representation can grab athletes’ attention to potential growth areas. This process combines concepts from motivational interviewing and assessment. As such, I have found that athletes are more motivated and more likely to adhere to programs (not just mental skills training) in areas that they view themselves as needing improvement. On a lighter note; this reminds me of convincing “Dad / manager…” to do something. If you elicit the behavior change as that person’s idea, they are much more likely to take pride in that change. You can move this concept into planning how an athlete will continue to self-assess once your consulting relationship has terminated or decreased.