Publication: Journal of Applied Sport Psychology (2012)
Article: Athletes’ preferred characteristics and qualifications of sport psychology practitioners: A consumer market analysis
Authors: John R. Lubker, Amanda J. Visek, Jack C. Watson II, & Darius Singpurwalla
Reviewed By: Scott Charles Sitrin
When choosing a sport-psychology practitioner, intercollegiate athletes prefer a female practitioner who is physically fit with high interpersonal skills, large amounts of sport knowledge, an ethnicity similar to that of the athlete, an athletic background, and a professional degree, according to research by John R. Lubker, Amanda J. Visek, Jack C. Watson II, & Darius Singpurwalla.
A total of 464 male and female intercollegiate athletes from Division I, II, and III institutions were surveyed and indicated their preferred gender, ethnicity, interpersonal skills, physical appearance, athletic background, and professional status of sport-psychology practitioners. Overall, the athletes preferred someone who was similar to them (e.g., similar ethnicity), who has “walked-the-walk” (e.g., athletic background, physically fit), and who has some professional training.
Anecdotally, this reminds me of my friend who will walk out of any group-fitness class at the gym if the teacher is not fit and able to complete all of the exercises of the class herself. Though this study did not speak to this point, I imagine that in most settings, the preferred practitioner is in some way similar to the client and has a successful background in the area that he or she is instructing on.
Lubker, J. R., Visek, A. J., Watson II, J. C. & Singpurwalla, D. (2012). Athletes’ preferred characteristics and qualifications of sport psychology practitioners: A consumer market analysis. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 24(4), 465-480.