After 12 years of studying sport psychology, I consider myself well versed in the theories that underpin the mental side of elite performance. After 6 years practicing as a sport psychologist I consider myself to know how these theories work in practice. There are however a number of books that I still consult on a regular basis to remind myself of some of the basics of sport psychology, and sport psychology consulting. Below are 10 of my favorites, if you click on title of the book it will take you to amazon where you can find out more...
This book is known by many as the first book on sport psychology they buy and look at. It is the key text for many undergraduate and post-graduate sport psychology courses and is still the book I go to on a regular basis to remind myself of the key theories and principles of sport psychology. It is the foundation for many of my undergraduate lectures and provides up to date information about the underpinnings of being a sport psychologist. As must have in all sport psychologists libraries.
As many trainee and experienced practitioners will know being able to measure and report the impact of your work is paramount to showing your effectiveness. I have not found a better and more comprehensive book than this on the measurement of key issues in sport psychology. It provides titles, references, and some downloads of some of the best known psychometrics in the business, along with an overview of some of the key principles or formulation and measurement in sport psychology.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I came across this book when it was first published and to this day it remains a staple in my arsenal of literature on sport psychology. As a practitioner it reminds me of the key principles of my profession, as a supervisor it guides the sport psychology skills that I need to help my supervisees to develop. It has a neat and tidy way of explaining all of the key elements of service delivery. A must read for every sport psychologist.
A good and in-depth overview of applying sport psychology to a number of different contexts. It provides an overview of case studies that have been written by some of the worlds best sport psychologists and once again it is a great reference book that helped me when I first started as a practitioner. Whilst it doesn't cover the more complex problems sport psychologists face it does covers the bread and butter work of a sport psychologists.
A book that is edited by my old supervisor Dr Hemmings and an excellent colleague Dr Holder, this book provides a case based approach to sport psychology. It was one of the first books I ever brought during my undergraduate degree and is still one of the books that I go to when I am working on a typical sport psychology case. It covers many of the key competencies required to be a well-rounded sport psychologist.
A book I brought during my masters degree, this book provides one of the most comprehensive overviews of the theory and application of sport psychology. It details the theories in sport psychology and then gives a number of techniques and ways to apply those theories to improve performance.
With sport psychology becoming more systemic in the way it works, having to adapt and move beyond the individual athlete and coach to a more systemic approach the understanding of developing effective high performance cultures is something sport psychologists are going to need to know more about. I brought this book when I joined the English Institute of Sport and it has been fundamental in my assessment and development of a good high performance culture within sport.
Often considered one of the fundamental texts for counsellors and psychologists alike. The Skilled Helper gives a detailed overview of the skills and techniques needed to be a good practitioner. Whilst not strictly a sport psychology text I believe it to be a fundamental read for all sport psychologists. A must have on all sport psychologists book shelves.
A book that I've recently been introduced to and again one that I think all sport psychologists should read no matter what their theoretical orientation. This book overviews how to formulation problems from nearly every major theoretical model. It will help practitioners to understand problems and create good behaviour change interventions that are tailored to the client. I would also recommend however looking at a model specific formulation text in addition to this book.
Whilst not technically a psychology book, it is one that I totally recommend that any sport psychologist or sports enthusiast read. This book details how Team GB went from a successful home games into a successful Rio Olympic games. It an immense amount of insight into the context and environment in which sport psychologists in elite sport operate.
There you have it my top 10 reads for sport psychologists. Get in touch if you want to know more.
Building a high performance environment.
January 14, 2015
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Sport Psychologists: An interesting bunch but what do we actually do.