NCAA Division I Head Softball Coaches' Confidence, Openness and Stigma Tolerance Toward Sport Psychology Consultants

Laurie Ann Neelis


This study used a mixed-method to look at NCAA division I head softball coaches confidence, openness, and stigma tolerance about sport psychology principles and consultants, as well as what sport psychology principles, time of year used, and what a Sport Psychology Consultant (SPC) can do to help division I head softball coaches have more success with their teams. These variables were measured through the use of the Sport Psychology Attitudes--Revised Coaches instrument developed by Zakrajsek and Zizzi (2007). For the qualitative component, the researcher developed five inquiries that allowed for a more in-depth response from the coaches concerning principles used, confidence in using, and when they are implementing the principles. Descriptives of the data show that coaches feel mental skills are important, while descriptives of the independent variables of age gender and years coaching revealed that none of these variables are significantly related to a coach's use of an SPC. A two-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to analyze differences in the dependent variables of openness, stigma tolerance, and confidence as a function of gender and the use of sport psychology consultants. The results show that a significant difference based on respondent's use of consultants; however, no significant differences were found for gender. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted as a follow-up. For the factor, use of sport psychology consultants, the ANOVA for stigma tolerance was significant. The ANOVA for confidence and openness was non-significant. The five inquiries revealed five to eight themes per inquiry. Overall, NCAA division I head softball coaches use of sport psychology principles and SPCs falls in line with previous research done by Weinberg & Gould (2007) as to the principles used and when the best time to implement them is.