If only we could stop once we have identified a good ‘answer’ for our clients’ questions — ‘just do this!’ — life might be so much easier. However, sport psychologists not only need to identify a promising course of action (or ‘intervention’ — i.e., Chapter 7), we also need to help ensure it actually happens. This takes the form of both planning (this chapter) and monitoring (Chapter 9) the support programme. There can be an enormous difference between knowing an appropriate strategy and meticulously implementing the desired actions every day. Many psychologists can recall the frustration of meeting an athlete and asking: ‘How did it go?’ only to be told: ‘I didn’t do what we talked about’. Likewise, as a reader and assessor of case studies, it is notable how many simply recommend a broad strategy (e.g., imagery, pre-shot routines, cognitive reframing, etc.) without any further explanation. Perhaps by consequence, it is unsurprising when case studies conclude that the support package might have worked (or worked better) if the athlete had carried out the intervention as intended. Bearing in mind that case studies are most commonly submitted by practitioners at the end of their formal training — about to become independent and registered practitioners — then we, as a profession, ‘could do better’.
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