Coping With the Demands of Professional Practice: Sport Psychology Consultants’ Perspectives

Brendan Cropley, Lee Baldock, Stephen Mellalieu, Rich Neil, Chris Wagstaff, Ross Wadey

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This study aimed to gain an insight into the general coping strategies used by sport psychology consultants (SPCs) based in the UK, and an in-depth understanding of their development and impact. To achieve these aims a mixed-method approach was adopted by means of two linked studies. In study one, BASES accredited and/or BPS chartered SPCs (n = 29) completed the modified COPE inventory (Crocker & Graham, 1995) to gain a better understanding of the general coping strategies used by practitioners. In study two, follow-up interviews (n = 6) with participants sampled from study one were conducted to explore how the reported strategies were developed, the perceived impact of coping/not coping with stressors, and how future SPCs may be better prepared for the stressful nature of consultancy. Findings suggested that the participants had a statistically significant preference to using problem-focused coping strategies. Further, the interviews suggested that coping strategies were primarily developed through reflection on experiences in different contexts. The impacts of coping/not coping and the practical development implications raised are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-302
Number of pages13
JournalThe Sport Psychologist
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2016


  • Consultancy
  • Stressors
  • Practitioners
  • Well-being
  • Reflection
  • Coping


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