Essay Example on Interview. Psychological assessment of an individual golf athlete

Background of Athlete and setting and approach to the needs assessment. Name F K Age 21 Gender Male Sport Golf Date of assessment 28 12 2017. Setting of assessment At the participants home.

Introduction. A psychological assessment of an individual athlete can take several forms, each contributing to an analysis of the individual's needs with respect to psychological well being, mental skills, development behavioural change performance enhancement participation and successful transitions. A variety of qualitative and quantitative practices may form the process of the individuals assessment. The collection of techniques that a practitioner can use the validity and reliability concerns accompanied with this are essential contemplations. For this written report the psychological profiling of an athlete referred to as F K will be assessed with suggested improvements and limitations. Ways of overcoming those limitations will be discussed and analysed through the use of performance profiling an interview process goal settings S M A R T and a sport anxiety test SAS. F K is 21 years of age competes at an amateur level in golf and has always had a passion for this sport but has only taken a playing role 10 years ago. The interview was conducted on the 28 12 2017 in an informal environment with semi structured questions and follow ups. The performance profiling and goal setting were both conducted on the same date as the interview letting the interviewer relate back to the performance profiling and S M A R T goal setting in an interview.

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Methodology. A consent form was signed pre interview refer to appendix 2 and before other assessments to guarantee everyone was abiding by the ethical code. An informal relaxed setting was selected and made for a more comfortable and easy flowing interview which allowed F K to express what they were feeling without an expectancy of particular responses for each question or that untruthful answers were given to sway the interview. A semi structured interview method was used because of the interviewer’s knowledge and experience in the sport. Therefore a natural selection of questions would arise through this semi structured process. The specific area of literature surrounding the interviewing process aided in recognising the suitable interview method. Turner 2010 says that it is important to comprehend the need for originality and flexibility in this informal approach with Gall et al 2003 underlining an informal interviewing trait maintaining it is a spontaneous generation of questions through natural interaction p 239. This practise of spontaneous generation can lead to separate questions, nevertheless this finally focuses on the interviewer’s inexperience among the environment, the interview is managed in thus the informal structure and setting of the interview, Sub questions were fundamental to the general intention of the interview stage. This was deliberated around the research study of Creswell 2007 who implies that the use of flexibility when designing follow up questions and to create these questions in such a way that will lessen the chance that interviewee’s will go off point when asked encourages the interviewees optimal responses. Turner 2010 also recognises Creswell’s 2007 research in refining his question structure. Turner 2010 found that by using Creswell’s recommendations it eased problems in any follow up questions producing a greater understanding and erected effective follow up prompts to gain much needed information. When researching suggestions in literature the semi structured element was used efficiently to contour key areas of F K’s psychological strengths and limitations, then follow up questions which happened in natural conversation flow were utilised to gain further information, when F K wasn’t elaborating and were framed in a way to make them more coherent. By asking more open ended questions it allowed F K to elaborate their answers rather than give a yes or no answer, such as asking for the interviewee’s opinion.
In your opinion do you think golf is more of a psychological game rather than a physical game Creswell 2007 Subsequent to the interview a revised performance profile guided by Gucciardi and Gordon s 2009 article was followed Performance profiling is a modified version of a Personal Construct Psychology PCP created by Kelly 1995 1991 cited in Gucciardi and Gordon 2009 p 93 Gucciardi and Gordon 2009 further explain that the PCP accentuated the significance of understanding ways in which individuals observe the world However the performance profile glances at an individual’s insight or meaning in their performance acceptable to maintain and eventually develop performance. Performance Profiling Butler Hardy 1992 was utilised in this practise to allow F K to gauge their skills in the physical as well as the psychological spectrum. With both of these spectrums involved the performance profile was manufactured of 10 items with a scale rating of 1 10 1 signified a low quality skill that requires immense improvement and 10 represented a perfection of the skill demanding little to no improvements. Amongst these ratings was an ideal rating which represented an ideal goal for the athlete in comparison to their current skill level. These factors are recognised through various layouts refer to appendix 1 helping to pinpoint the areas of desirable improvement in specific areas. By using this process it let the interviewer analyse the psychological as well as physical components, which F K incorporated and clarify which of these affect others in the performance profile. Performance profiling is widely deemed as a technique which aids the performer in rating the essential qualities to achieve top performance in the chosen sport and also allows peers to see what the performer feels is vital to improving performance Butler 1996 Butler and Hardy 1992 propose that by presenting the profiling procedure the athletes have more of an awareness of fundamental qualities mandatory for elite level performance therefore making the athlete more self aware and building on what can be enhanced to reach that level.
Results Figure 1 a bar graph exhibiting components of performance y axis applicable to golf with the rating of these components x axis catalogued by a current and ideal rating emphasised by two different colours orange ideal and blue current Rating is 1 10, 1 rating recognises a low rating of that component which requires major improvement and a 10 rating recognises a high rating of a component that involves little to no improvement. Current rating detects the current status of that component and ideal detects a state which F K would like to accomplish in that specific component. The results from the performance profiling S M A R T the interview and Sport Anxiety Scale SAS 2 will work in combination to assess and clarify F K’s needs for psychological assessment and focuses in probable performance improvements through involvements. By assessing Figure 1 F K wants to increase his rating in almost every component especially in concentration where he wants to achieve a perfect rating in that component. This was evident in the interview refer to appendix 5 with F K expressing umm commitment I think, I think if you’re committed to the cause and you are going to spend the time and resources to get to where you think you need to be um I think you’re more likely to achieve those goals. Also in the interview F K referred back to what they said in their S M A R T goals refer to appendix 3 by discussing the link between science and sport F K studies computer science and previously studied sciences and wishes to link sport with science F K stated Bryson DeChambeau who just left university in America he brings physics and science into sport in general and he’s just trying to change it for the right reasons and I think that’s good Figure 1 additionally presents F K’s aspiration to improve in all aspects of their game with particular attention focused on concentration as previously stated skill coachability and fitness. The results of these tests should have been read more thoroughly before the interview to discuss more of the components with F K.
Discussion.To advance the athlete and to help them further progress in their chosen sport F K’s concentration levels needed to rise significantly. All of the research methods concluded that F K recovers well from a loss and has control over their aggression but needs to really work on his motivation commitment and concentration which all play vital roles in his sport. Because golf is such a psychological sport and golfers need to focus foremost on their game, the athlete’s ideal concentration level is 10 whereas F K believe they are at a 5 now so his utmost aim is to work on their concentration. According to a comment made by Tiger Woods on the 2001 US Open Golf Championship the tournament would be decided by which golfers were controlling their emotions Ballard 2001 p 26. The collective theoretical approaches used to link athletic performance and emotion have been negatively biased concentrating on anxiety performance relationships Hanin 2000. To determine the relationship between sport performance and emotion two questions were examined in this study a) is there a relationship between the three dimensions of emotion i.e arousal level functionality and pleasantness and perceived performance levels. And b) How do emotions and performance change following a psychological skills training PST intervention/ As said by Sakai Y 2012 there is presently no quantitative index of mental concentration and golfers rely on subjective thoughts and their experiences during practice. An objective index of mental concentration would enable golfers and trainers to conduct putting practice more effectively The instinctive link between psychology and golf seems eternal Professional golfers have forever discussed the significance of thinking correctly on the golf course with the most successful golfer affirming a good golf shot is 10 swing 40 setup and 50 mental Nicklaus J 1976.
Academic research has provided that the most successful tour golfers are usually more mentally astute using more consistent pre shot routines planning more effectively on and off the golf course and setting high quality goals on a consistent basis Boutcher S H 1987 McCaffrey N 1989 Thomas P R 1994. These components are consistent with our athlete’s goals and overall aim to become a better golfer Mental imagery has been utilised widely to enhance concentration in the majority of sports training to avoid distractions and maintain concentration when performing Singer et al 1991. Imagery is a highly practical tool which can be used by any golfer. When developing confidence you may imagine yourself hitting a particularly difficult golf shot successfully when you are in an unfavourable position. Storing and recalling your ten best shots ever could possibly be an effective way to impact upon acute low confidence Finn J 2008. This could be taken into account and used by F K to develop his playing technique and mental ability F K gives himself positive feedback as well as parts of his game he needs to improve on short game is a lot better now than it used to on form my putting would be great. I think my length just gets me away with it need to work it’s just accuracy trying to hit the ball a bit straighter hit the irons a bit closer. This shows that their mentality is on form and F K knows where the game can improve Golfers can set short term and long term goals. Short term goals act as a stepping stone to achieving the athlete’s long term goals whereas long term goals usually focus on the ultimate outcome such as lowering your handicap to single figures which F K stated in his interview. It’s important for golfers to talk to themselves whether it’s out loud I tried to par the 7th or the voice in their head saying don’t hook to the right. Self talk is nearly constantly present in both practice and competition and it is important that its understood and used effectively.
Conclusion. This assignment touched on the mental skills self talk and goal settings whilst demonstrating how these skills can impact on the athlete’s concentration anxiety confidence and motivation. Considering golf is as much a psychological as it is a physical sport F K seems to have his mind set under control F K shows his recovery from a loss is acceptable but his concentration skills need to be improved. A suitable way for him to do so would be to analyse some of the techniques professional golfers use e.g Boutcher s Studies 1987 and integrate them into his practice routines. Researching concentration techniques is beneficial to any athlete because it improves their game and provides them with tools to lessen the mental and physical strain that can occur. This assignment concluded that F K could improve his performance significantly by researching and integrating concentration techniques into his game References 1 Ballard C 2001 June 25 Candid open Sports Illustrated 94 26 2 Boutcher S H and Crews D J 1987. The effect of a preshot attentional routine on a well learned skill International Journal of Sport Psychology 3 Butler R 1996 Performance profiling Coachwise 1st4sport 4 Butler R J Hardy L 1992 The Performance Profile Theory and Application The Sport Psychologist 6 3 pp 253 264 5 Cohen A B Tenenbaum G and English R W 2006 Emotions and golf performance An IZOF based applied sport psychology case study Behavior Modification 30 3 pp 259 280 6 Creswell J W 2007. Qualitative inquiry research design Choosing among five approaches 2nd ed Thousand Oaks CA Sage 7 Finn J 2008. An introduction to using mental skills to enhance performance in golf Beyond the bounds of positive and negative thinking International Journal of Sports Science Coaching 3 1_suppl pp 255 269 8 Gall M D Gall J P Borg W R 2007 Educational Research an introduction 8th ed Boston Pearson Allyn Bacon p 239 9 Gucciardi D F and Gordon S 2009 Revisiting the performance profile technique Theoretical underpinnings and application The Sport Psychologist 23 1 pp 93 117 10 Hanin Y L 2000. Introduction. An individualized approach to emotion in sport Emotions in sport pp ix xii 11 Kazmi M 2016 Effect of Motivational Type on Goal Setting Behavior Available http www kon org urc v13 kazmi html Last accessed 28th Dec 2017 12 Kunkel L 2017 Use This Free Worksheet to Set and Track Your Goals Available http womensrunning competitor com 2017 02 inspiration smart goals worksheet_71324 Last accessed 28th Dec 2017 13 McCaffrey N and Orlick T 1989. Mental factors related to excellence among top professional golfers International Journal of Sport Psychology 14 Nicklaus J 1976 Play Better Golf New York King Features 15 Sakai Y Yagi T and Ishii W 2012 December EEG analysis of mental concentration in golf putting In Biomedical Engineering International Conference BMEiCON 2012 pp 1 5 IEEE 16 Singer R N Cauraugh J H Tennant L K Murphy M Chen D Lidor R 1991. Attention and distracters Considerations for enhancing sport performance International Journal of Sport Psychology 22 pp 95 114 17 Thomas P R and Over R 1994 Psychological and psychomotor skills associated with performance in golf The Sport Psychologist 8 1 pp 73 86 18 Turner D W 2010 Qualitative interview design a practical guide for novice investigators The Qualitative Report 15 3 p754.

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