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Comparing interventions with youth and senior elite athletes: Insights from expert sport psychology practitioners
University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Health and Sport.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6198-0784
2017 (English)In: Sport psychology: Linking theory to practice: Proceedings of the 14th ISSP World Congress of Sport Psychology / [ed] G. Si, J. Cruz and J.C. Jaenes, 2017, 492-492 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Meaningful sport psychology practice requires a context-sensitive approach. Competitive youth sport and senior elite (professional) sport can be seen as two different contexts that require different applied approaches; however we know little about the differences, and we are in lack of studies that directly compare interventions from these two contexts (Henriksen, Larsen, Storm & Ryom, 2014). Literature on applied sport psychology with senior athletes is far richer than corresponding literature on working with youth athletes. The objectives were: (1) to identify key themes that expert practitioners used to communicate their experiences of sport psychology interventions, and to integrate them into an empirical framework, and (2) to explore the experiences of these practitioners in their successful and less successful interventions in youth and senior sports using the framework. Twelve internationally recognized sport psychology practitioners (SPPs) were involved in semi-structured interviews (Smith & Sparkes, 2016). The data were thematically analyzed (Braun, Clarke & Weate, 2016). The SPPs’ intervention narratives contains eight themes integrated into two categories: (1) content and focus, with themes concerning e.g., adaptation of content, targeted mental skills, and beyond mental skills. (2) The organization and delivery with themes concerning e.g. the settings and ways of delivery, the nature of the athlete-practitioner relationship, the involvement of the athletes’ significant others. There were significant qualitative differences between competitive youth and elite senior contexts regarding how the interventions goes beyond mental skills and in how the SPPs involved the athletes’ significant others. From an overall perspective, the present study supports a key notion: talented youth athletes are not miniature versions of their elite adult counterparts. Working in these two different contexts requires specific approaches and should follow different guidelines.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. 492-492 p.
Keyword [en]
applied sport psychology, expert practitioners, youth athletes, influential relationships
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-34652ISBN: 978-84-9148-282-6 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-34652DiVA: diva2:1128185
Conference
The 14th ISSP World Congress of Sport Psychology, Sevilla, Spain, July 10-14th, 2017
Available from: 2017-07-23 Created: 2017-07-23 Last updated: 2017-08-01Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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More languages
Output format
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