Taming the wild west: training and supervision in applied sport psychology

David Tod, David Lavallee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Drawing on the literature and their experiences as educators and practitioners, the two Davids reflect on ways in which current training and supervision practices might be insufficient for preparing students for applied sport psychology careers. They begin by asking if a focus on performance enhancement, underpinned by a psychological skills training (PST) approach, is leading to a large number of trained professionals relative to the number of jobs available. The Davids then ask if there is an overemphasis on a PST model when evidence suggests that exposure to a variety of approaches may better prepare students for the range of issues that clients present. In addition, they identify an underemphasis on process and relationship issues that also affect service delivery. The Davids then review evidence about whether the quality and quantity of supervision in the field is adequate for helping practitioners develop as professionals and meet their clients’ needs. They also ask if the focus on research in universities creates environments that hinder educators’ attempts to assist students’ development. In conclusion, they suggest that much can be gained when applied sport psychology training and supervision are brought under the providence of mainstream psychology departments and professional bodies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical essays in applied sport psychology
EditorsMark Anderson, David Gilbourne
Place of PublicationLeeds
PublisherHuman Kinetics
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781450411837
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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