As a young professional and student in the sport and performance field, I have fortunately had many opportunities to work with athletic teams. A majority of my responsibility has been introducing a variety of mental skills (e.g., goal setting, relaxation, visualization, etc.) to the teams based on the coaches’ request. These opportunities have provided me with great experience applying these different mental skills to help enhance performance of these teams. I have also gained great knowledge about myself as well as how to function as a SPP consultant. Though working with teams has provided me with great insight and experience, I have found my work with my individual client to be the most rewarding. The knowledge I have gained from working with him has been so valuable to me as a SPP consultant, and I have gained so much more experience from him than I have with a team. I believe to fully develop as a SPP, individuals need to have the opportunity to work with an individual client.
Below are three reasons why I believe that an individual client is so important to include in a student’s education/coursework when becoming a SPP consultant. First, I believe that you are to develop your theoretical framework by working with an individual client. Before working with my client, I had no idea what theoretical orientation I would use in my consulting work. However, after working with my individual client and videotaping my work, I was able to see my theoretic orientation evolve throughout the sessions. Secondly, I was able to specifically pick out the mental skill I should implement and cater it to fit my client’s exact needs. I felt like I could make personalize the skills for my client, which allowed him to have autonomy and ownership of what he could use to help himself. Lastly, I have been able to make my sessions 100% client centered, which I believe is beneficial for my client and me. I structure my sessions around my client because I believe it is his time and I am just there to be a guide and provide some suggestions.
To conclude, I believe that students in hopes of becoming SPP consultants need to have the experience of working with an individual client. From experience, I believe it is so valuable to develop fully as a SPP professional, and the knowledge that you gain is extraordinary.