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  • Writer's pictureDarren Britton

One question Sport Psychologists can ask more...

One question that I think sport psychologists don't ask enough, and how not doing so might be holding them back 👇👇👇

'How can I best help you today?'

For many reasons, I feel like a lot of sport psychologists, myself included, can feel uncomfortable asking this question that can seem very and simple and straightforward to the outside eye.

We are often told that 'client-led' work is often best, which involves us not adopting the position of an expert or helper, and letting the athlete 'work things out for themselves'.

We are often told that a sport psychologist's best work is over 'long-term' interventions, and anything other than this is a 'quick fix', and thus frowned upon.

We are often told that an athlete's immediate need is the 'real problem' and our job should be to dig deeper to find that instead. Ultimately telling the athlete that we know best about what it is they think they need (which is paradoxically not very client-led...)

I think my biggest failures as a practitioner have been when I haven't made an attempt to address an athlete or organisation's immediate need. They would leave with an impression that I cared more about my frameworks and processes than them...

Yes, a long-term approach will of course be more impact in the long-term. But we often talk about building rapport with athletes and organisations as a bed rock of our work. 'We're people people!' So what difference would it make if we did this by focusing on the 'quick wins' we can make with our athletes first?

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