Barriers to the prescription of psychological strategies by strength and conditioning specialists

Jon Radcliffe, Paul Comfort, Tom Fawcett

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    2 Citations (Scopus)
    318 Downloads (Pure)


    The purpose of this paper was to explore the barriers to strength and conditioning coaches integrating psychological strategies within the strength and conditioning practice. The sample of accredited strength and conditioning coaches comprised 10 subjects working within the UK, 3 within the USA and 5 within Australia offering a cross section of experience from a range sporting disciplines and educational backgrounds. Subjects were interviewed using semi-structured interviews and thematic clustering was employed utilizing interpretative phonological analysis to identify common themes. It was evident that not incorporating psychological strategies into strength and conditioning practice could be attributed to either internal, personally governed beliefs, or external, environmentally governed situations. Internal sources consisted of insufficient knowledge either regarding the value of psychological strategies or methods of implementing such techniques in addition the implementation of psychological techniques was outside the remit of the coach and difficulty existed in demonstrating the effectiveness of interventions. External causes consisted of a lack of time, insufficient control and authority of training session content and athletes’ negative perceptions. Recommendations are made on the basis of eliminating the observed barriers to the inclusion of psychological strategies. This included the use of education programs for both strength and conditioning coaches and organizational gate keepers and the suggestion for increased collaboration with qualified psychologists.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1948-1959
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2017


    • Continual professional development
    • sport psychology
    • barriers


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