intimidation were his main methods of motivation I realized the program would

Intimidation were his main methods of motivation i

This preview shows page 13 - 16 out of 24 pages.

intimidation were his main methods of motivation I realized the program would have little chance for success, especially since he was not open to changing his methods, so I opted out. Of course, if you are just beginning to work with teams, it may be worth the time to gain experience with a team whose coach's values and methods conflict with your approach. It is im- portant to work in a variety of situations so you can learn to adapt to a multitude of issues and situations. This challenge helps you to become a better consultant Confidentiality The coach must agree that all information obtained is confidential and will only be shared with that individual's permission. In many situations the athletes or assistant coaches will give their consent for you to share the concerns of their conversations, but it should be at the athlete's discretion and not as a result of the coach's or management's desire to know information the athlete wants to re- main private. The vast majority of coaches agree with the need for confidentiali- ty. One way to make a program self-
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destruct is to destroy the trust of a confidential conversation. Breaking that confidence destroys effectiveness because everyone soon learns that nothing is truly private or safe. I make it very clear to the coaches that I am not an undercover agent, regardless of their reason for wanting the in- formation. Information can be shared as general information, but be certain the player's identity is protected. Open and Honest Communication At the professional and major college levels, time with players is limited and access to the coach is frequently restricted. In these circumstances, communica- tion must be direct, honest, and open. The time-limited consultant role may lead to insights that are valuable to the coach but that also carry the risk of being in- correct because the consultant may not pick up on unique situations. It is the coach's responsibility to assess the accuracy of the input. There is just not time to tiptoe around the couch trying to say the right thing. I try to obtain an understand ing about this issue at the outset because it puts me more at case with the coach and staff in providing input. I also clarify procedural matters, such as obtaining permission to call the coach at home. 252 Ravizza I tell the athletes that I will ask many questions and that they can say not now" at any time. I realize that athletes need time alone and that it is im- portant to be sensitive to and respect those needs. This is especially the case in the midst of or immediately after competition (Orlick & Partington, 1987). The Need for Referrals I clarify
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with the coach at the outset that my training is as a sport psychology consultant, and that if serious clinical issues arise a referral will be made to a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist (Heyman, 1984a, 1986; Nideffer, 1981; Ryan, 1981). This need for referrals is also required of the clinical psychologist for complicated performance related issues (Brodsky & Ravizza, 1985). Therefore, whatever the
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