Experiences of Sport and Performance Psychology Consultants in Professional Sport

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Mark Aoyagi

Second Advisor

Alyson Calman


Performance psychology consultants, Professional sports, Elite athletes, Sport psychology


Research examines sport and performance psychology consultants’ (SPCs) philosophies, approaches, models, and services provided with elite athletes in the professional sport domain. The majority of extant research consists of personal narratives by SPCs and therefore, a need exists to qualitatively study the current experiences that SPCs have with athletes, teams, and organizations in professional sports. The purpose of this study is to explore SPC experiences with professional organizations in North America. To gain a better understanding of this domain, a purposeful sampling of four participants currently working with professional teams in the NHL, NBA, NFL or MLB were interviewed. The results of this study include four themes and 13 sub-themes. The four themes are: Service delivery model, business of professional sport, organization receptivity of sport psychology, and the professional athlete client. The results indicate both similarities and differences to consulting in professional sport. The results also indicate that while there is overlap between multiple SPC experiences in specific topics, consulting in professional sport is individualized. The results of this study can impact the sport psychology field by providing information in an area that is currently lacking data and guide further research in the field. This study may also impact future SPC approaches to working in professional sport and influence training for students and neophyte practitioners.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


28 pages

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