Values driven delivery: a qualitative case study exploration of the experience in an NCAA division I holistic integrated sport psychology program
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Self-affirmation theory states each person has a self-system. This system is motivated to maintain optimal self-integrity, which is restored when people re-affirm their core values (Steele, 1988). Values, therefore, play a key role in our behaviors and motivation. From a sport psychology service standpoint, Poczwardowski, Sherman, and Ravizza (2004) understand values as one of five foundational elements that define professional philosophy. Many research-practitioners shifted towards a holistic sport psychology (HSP) approach, emphasizing athletic performance and personal development (Anderson et al., 2001; Bond, 2002: Danish and Nellen, 1997; Friesen and Orlick, 2010, 2011; Miller and Kerr, 2002; Owton et al., 2014; Ravizza, 2002; Wrisberg et al., 2012). With this approach, a sport psychology professional's (SPP's) role includes understanding whole person development to facilitate performance enhancement (Bond, 2002; Friesen and Orlick, 2010). The purpose of this study was to examine ways in which a nationally recognized mental performance staff provides HSP services integrated within an NCAA Division I athletics program. Specifically this study hoped to understand how personal values and self-integrity impact delivery services to teams from many role perspectives. The sample consisted of five mental performance coaches (MPCs) and 28 coaches, athletes, and support staff who worked directly with those MPCs. Findings support six consistent themes across the mental performance staff. Additional across-group themes were constructed based on supplemental group experiences. These findings support some of the same findings with Poczwardowski and Sherman (2011) in relation to roles, operating standards, personal growth and authenticity. Specifically, the emphasis on balance between a "friend" role and "professional" role, and how this connects to support. This study adds to the field in terms of how authenticity connects to sense of purpose and delivery. These findings also support Fifer et al. (2008), in that an integrated model builds trust between individuals and mental performance coach, as well as trust in holistic sport psychology services. Athletes, coaches, and support staff involved shared experiences' valuing the comprehensive support across their programs, as well as how this positively impacted their experience with performance enhancement. Findings offer interpretation for SPPs and athletics departments collectively in understanding the range of roles integrated HSP delivery services can provide, including comprehensive support for performance enhancement. Keywords: holistic sport psychology, self-affirmation theory, mental performance
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