Overview for the Introduction of a Psychological Intervention and Support for Sports organisations:
- To undertake an in depth needs analysis of the club from a psychological perspective.
- To develop an integrated psychology strategy throughout the club
- To work within the existing club culture and structures, and through collaboration contribute effectively to the realisation of the club’s overall aims and objectives.
- To implement a programme that adheres to the principles of positive psychology and ACT, and as such works on developing
P= Purposeful Behaviour
In order to meet the overall aims a phased process would have to be implemented to ensure that a quality programme could be created to meet the needs of the club. This process would generally have four key phases to it as illustrated below.
The first phase of the process would concentrate on understanding the current practices and philosophy within the club and identifying areas that could benefit from some psychological input. Through a process of observation and discussion it is anticipated that the sport psychologists will be able to gain enough insight and understanding into the needs of the club to be able to present an informed identification of needs.
The second phase is perceived to be a collaborative process with key personnel at the club to ensure that there is mutual understanding and agreement as to the priorities and initial focus of the work. It must be acknowledged that psychological programmes do not offer a ‘quick fix’ solution. The implementation of any psychological strategy is most effective when it is delivered consistently over a period time. In essence it is only really effective when embedded throughout the multiple activities that exist within any elite performance environment, and as such take time before the benefits may be fully realised.
The third phase is the education/implementation of the psychology programme. This will be delivered in accordance to the agreed programme by the psychology team. This phase may include a range of different elements from education sessions focusing on psychological skill development, group workshops with players and coaches to improve team functioning, One to One sessions with players and staff to enable individualised support and development.
The fourth phase, although this does to some extent run concurrently with phase three, will evaluate the effectiveness from a broad spectrum. This will ensure that all viewpoints are considered and will serve to ensure maximum effectiveness of the service provided.
A more detailed outline of this phase is illustrated below. It is anticipated that this process will take place over a number of weeks in order to get as clear a picture as possible of the needs of the club. This phase will be completed by the psychology team, together and separately as deemed appropriate. Overall a ‘low profile’ approach will be adopted to allow everyone in the club to get used to having the sport psychologists around. Consequently it may be appropriate for the sport psychologists to be integrated into the club by ‘helping out’ to demystify their presence. It will also be important to consider the different environments of training and match days.