I’m starting on the assignment and I’m lost! Where should I start?
I would suggest starting by identifying an athlete. This can be someone you know (or yourself) or a professional athlete. Once youve identified that you will collect information about them (like we reviewed in chapter 2 behavioral assessment). Once youve collected the information (or found something online if you are using a professional athlete), you will select an area to improve on and propose an intervention that could be used to help that athlete improve. Youll consult your textbook (chapters 6 to end) for selecting an intervention. Included in your intervention, youll suggest how you would monitor progress.
Can I use X person or someone doing X sport or something slightly different but still using mental performance skills?
Please just email me to clarify, but likely, yes!
Information gathering section:
What should I include in my information gathering section?
Your background should be broad and related to specific mental performance strategies they use/dont use (these are things we covered in the textbook such as self-talk, motivation, etc)., and mental performance areas of weakness/ strength. It should not include personal health information (injuries, illness, medications, mental or physical health issues/diagnoses).
Working with multi-sport athletes and whether to collect general information (across sports) or specific sport information.
I might prompt you to consider the different sports they do play- would something like activation or self-talk be something that would be a universal issue or would they be having different concerns (and needs) across different sports? Just something to consider.
What do you mean by mental performance strengths and weaknesses- what do you mean by that and how do I gather that information?
Mainly, the mental performance strengths and weaknesses is which mental skills (skills weve covered in this course) are the athlete doing well in (likely practicing regularly), and which areas are they struggling in (using skills incorrectly, have problem behaviors getting in the way or are using no skills).
The checklist in chapter 2 on page 18-21 is a great example of what these specific skills are and how you can assess these skills. If you read through the scenarios, youll see that the various content areas weve talked about are covered (e.g., self-talk, confidence). An athlete could then identify if they are using a skill currently (a strength) or if they need to improve in that area (a weakness). If you are using a checklist or an interview to obtain this information, you can look for patterns.
Say an athlete is struggling with recovering after they make mistakes but is good at self-talk. That gives you information about a) a weakness and what the intervention (or program) should be targeting (recovering after making mistakes), and b) a strength and what skills might support the athlete and could be used in the intervention (self-talk).
When we gather the strengths and weaknesses of our athlete, are these specifically mental strengths and weaknesses or would you like us to also mention physical and technical strengths and weaknesses?
Mental only, unless you really feel these other things are important to your intervention. If you’re unsure, feel free to email.
How do I collect information on myself if I am the athlete?
Completing a questionnaire, as highlighted in the textbook, would definitely be a great way to do that.
If I do a professional athlete, should I make it sound like I interviewed them personally or just talk about the research I did and reference what I found?
To incorporate your references and citations appropriately it likely makes more sense to do the latter. If you choose to do a checklist to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the athlete, it is expected you won’t have information to complete it fully. That is okay!
Where to find information about professional athletes:
Others would be to search videos/content based on specific mental skills (e.g., athlete talking about self-talk). I find there are a lot of athletes talking about things in their interviews, and you would use that information to check off the boxes in your behavioral checklist, or write about in the information gathering open-ended responses. For example, Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic, Michael Phelps are great options. You arent expected to have every area covered of a checklist covered, but you should be able to find them talking about a few things that go well/dont go well. Another source would be online news articles- these are often ruthless and point out all the flaws an athlete has. That can as well be used to provide information for you to work with.
Difficulty finding checklists online:
It looks like there might be a physical version of the PSIS in the library (the scale is referenced there, it doesnt for sure mean it is in the book in its entirety, but could be worth a shot if youre up for a little adventure!) Ive attached a screen share below of the location in the library and the book.
An alternative would be to use the TOPS () I use this one often and it is not sport-specific.
Reference for TOPS: Thomas, P. R., Murphy, S. M., & Hardy, L. (1999). Test of Performance Strategies:
development and preliminary validation of a comprehensive measure of
athletes psychological skills. Journal of Sports Sciences, 17, 697711.
I also have access to Dr. Martins Behavioral Assessment Forms for Sport Psychology Consulting.
The intervention section is worth a lot more than the information gathering section. What should be included?
The areas youll want to make sure you cover in one or more paragraphs for this section are:
-the specific intervention you selected and what that would entail (describing the intervention and how this would carry out over time)
-the rationale for why you selected one intervention over other options, which should include some information that is tied back to the information gathering section and the athletes strengths/weaknesses
The rationale should not just be a simple line, for example I selected this intervention over X, Y, and Z, because the athlete wanted to work on self-talk, but should include a thoughtful reflection on the benefits of the intervention selected and why you feel that will help the athlete meet their goals.
Can I include more than one behavior to address in the intervention? Can I include more than one strategy in the intervention?
Yes, more than one behavior/weakness can be addressed. And yes, you can (and likely should) include more than one strategy for your intervention.
I’m unsure what to do for monitoring. Is there anywhere in the textbook we can reference?
For monitoring, there are some different options in chapter 16 of how an athlete can check in on doing the skills they were practicing. Essentially, the monitoring should answer the information a) are you practicing the skill/strategies covered in the intervention and/or b) is the behavior improving (happening less often if thats the goal, or more often if thats the goal), and/or c) is performance improving? The actual monitoring can take many forms, but I often use checklists or tracking sheets that document the behaviors Im looking form. I also have athletes retake their original scale checklist, or do some written reflection on what they are noticing. Finally, we meet and talk about it often. So all of those things could be possible monitoring you discuss.
*It does not need to be based on chapter 3 research methods in the textbook*
As I present the filled-out checklist by my athlete, do I need to put a citation beside it? If so, what should I put?
If the checklist is not one you developed, yes, you need to cite it. Youll need to look up the reference.
I am using several animation images from google to include in my presentation, do I need to cite them?
Putting the site you get photos from is fine.
For example, when I talk about self-talk in my intervention do I need to somehow put citations as I am talking about it? I am just a little bit confused on what bits of information I need to cite that are from the textbook.
You dont need to cite strategies specifically (e.g., self-talk) unless you are putting a specific strategy that is cited in the textbook.
How should I format the written paper?
It should include a title page and be formatted as an APA paper. You can find support for writing in APA style here:
You can include the different sections (introduction, information collecting, etc.) as session headers, or write as one big essay with paragraph breaks between sections (and as appropriate for length).
please ask questions if you have any.
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