Student-athlete preferences in seeking help when confronted with sport performance problems

Sameep D. Maniar, Lewis A. Curry, John Sommers-Flanagan, James A. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


This study's purpose was to evaluate athlete willingness to seek help from various sport-titled and non sport-titled individuals when confronted with three common sport performance problem scenarios: midseason slump, return from serious injury, and desire to perform more optimally. Athlete intervention preferences were also assessed. Data were collected on a stratified (by gender) random sample of 60 NCAA Division I athletes. Using an observable one-point difference on a nine-point Likert-type scale and a corresponding moderate to large main effect (Cohen's d > .40), results indicated that for all scenarios, athletes preferred seeking help from a coach over sport-titled professionals, whereas sport-titled professionals were preferred over counselors and clinical psychologists. Goal setting and imagery were the preferred interventions. Hypnosis and medication were less preferred. The discussion focuses on sport-related professional titles and athlete education to enhance service acceptability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-223
Number of pages19
JournalSport Psychologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2001


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