Full-text resources of PSJD and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


Preferences help
enabled [disable] Abstract
Number of results
2014 | 61 | 1 | 28-38

Article title

Personal Qualities of Effective Sport Psychologists: A Sports Physician Perspective


Title variants

Languages of publication



Previous literature within applied sport psychology offers little detailed discussion regarding the personal qualities of sport psychology practitioners and the impact of these qualities on practice. This paper presents an exploration of the views of sport physicians regarding the personal characteristics and qualities of applied sport psychologists deemed necessary for effective practice. Five UK-based physicians and one Head of Medical Services, working in a range of elite and professional sports, were interviewed about their experience and perceptions of working with sport psychologists. The interview transcripts were content analysed and trustworthiness criteria applied. Four key themes emerged from the data, labelled ‘Personal qualities’, ‘Relationship Building’, ‘Professionalism in Practice’, and ‘Similarities between Psychologist and Physician’. The findings within each theme offered interesting insights into the impact of personal qualities on effective sport psychology practice. This study extends the existing literature on sport psychologists’ characteristics and effectiveness and offers new insights into their personal qualities and how these interact with the practice environment. The findings supported the growing emphasis within the field on the importance of the person behind the practitioner. Suggestions are offered with reference to the need to consider how literature from counselling psychology and medical training could assist the development of practice and education and training in sport psychology.









Physical description


1 - 6 - 2014
6 - 6 - 2014


  • Liverpool John Moores University, England
  • Liverpool John Moores University, England
  • Liverpool John Moores University, England
  • Liverpool John Moores University, England


  • Andersen, M. (2009). Performance enhancement as a bad start and a dead end: A parenthetical comment on Mellalieu and Lane. The Sport and Exercise Scientist, 20, 12-14.
  • Anderson, A., Miles, A., Robinson, P., & Mahoney, C. (2004). Evaluating the athlete’s perception of the sport psychologist’s effectiveness: What should we be assessing? Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 5, 255-277.
  • Balague, G. (1999). Understanding identity, value, and meaning when working with elite athletes. The Sport Psychologist, 13, 89-98.
  • Berg, B.L. (2009). Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences. (7thed.). Boston: Pearson Education Bore, M., Munro, D., & Powis, D. (2009). A comprehensive model for the selection of medical students. Medical Teacher, 31, 1066-1072.
  • Corey, G. (2009). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. (8thed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.
  • Corlett, J. (1996). Sophistry, Socrates and sport psychology. The Sport Psychologist, 10, 84-94.
  • Cropley, B., Miles, A., Hanton, S., & Niven, A. (2007). Improving the delivery of applied sport psychology support through reflective practice. The Sport Psychologist, 21, 475-494.
  • Dorfman, H.A. (1990). Reflections on providing personal and performance enhancement consulting services in professional baseball. The Sport Psychologist, 4, 341-346.
  • Fifer, A., Henschen, K., Gould, D., & Ravizza, K. (2008). What works when working with athletes. The Sport Psychologist, 22, 356-377.
  • Friesen, A., & Orlick, T. (2010). A qualitative analysis of holistic sport psychology consultants’ professional philosophies. The Sport Psychologist, 24, 227-244.
  • Gilbourne, D., & Richardson, D. (2006). Tales from the field: Personal reflections on the provision of psychological support in professional soccer. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 7, 325-337.[Crossref]
  • Glick, S.M. (2000). Selection for entry to medicine and specialist training. Medical Teacher, 22, 443-447.[Crossref][PubMed]
  • Hack, B. (2005). Qualifications: Education and Experience. In S. Murphy (Ed.), The Sport Psych Handbook (pp. 293-304). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Harter, S. (2002). Authenticity. In C.R. Snyder, & S.J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of Positive Psychology (pp. 382-394). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Jones, C. (2007). Developing good practitioners: Issues of clarification and character. Sport & Exercise Psychology Review, 2, 40-42.
  • Lindsay, P., Breckon, J.D., Thomas, O., & Maynard, I. W. (2007). In pursuit of congruence: A personal reflection on methods and philosophy in applied practice. The Sport Psychologist, 21, 335-352.
  • Lumsden, M. A., Bore, M., Millar, K., Jack, R., & Powis, D. (2005). Assessment of personal qualities in relation to admission to medical school. Medical Education, 39, 258-265.[PubMed][Crossref]
  • McGaghie, W.C. (1990). Qualitative variables in medical school admission. Academic Medicine, 65, 145-149.
  • Nesti, M. (2004). Existential Psychology and Sport: Implications for Research and Practice. London: Routledge.
  • Nesti, M. (2010). Psychology in Football: Working with Elite and Professional Players. London: Routledge.
  • Orlick, T., & Partington, J. (1987).The sport psychology consultant: Analysis of critical components as viewed by Canadian Olympic athletes. The Sport Psychologist, 1, 4-17.
  • Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. (3rded.). Sage: London.
  • Rogers, C. R. (1957). The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 2, 95-103.[Crossref]
  • Shenton, A.K. (2004). Strategies for ensuring trustworthiness in qualitative research projects. Education for Information, 22, 63-75.
  • Stambulova, N., & Johnson, U. (2010). Novice consultants' experiences: Lessons learned by applied sport psychology students. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11, 295-303.[WoS][Crossref]
  • Strupp, H.H. (1978). The therapist's theoretical orientation: An overrated variable. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 15, 314-317.[Crossref]
  • Taylor, J. (2008). Prepare to succeed: Private consulting in applied sport psychology. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 2, 160-177.
  • Tod, D., & Andersen, M. (2005). Success in Sport Psych: Effective Sport Psychologists. In S. Murphy (Ed.), The Sport Psych Handbook (pp. 303-312). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Truax, C.B., & Carkhuff, R.R. (1976). Toward Effective Counseling and Psychotherapy: Training and Practice. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.

Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.