Australian Men's Hockey Team: Virtually there. Telepsychology in Olympic Sport

Corinne Reid, Catherine Campbell, Vance Locke, Richard Charlesworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective

This article provides a description of a pilot telepsychology programme introduced in the Australian Men's Hockey programme in the lead-up to our gold medal World Cup and Commonwealth Games campaigns in 2014.

Method

This article is a case description of a novel application of videoconferencing technology and a reflective practice evaluation of our initial clinical experiences with this technology.
Results

Observations and feedback from players and coaches augur well for the acceptability and effectiveness of new technologies in responding to the considerable psychological demands of an increasingly globalised elite sporting context. Despite the usual array of technological challenges, not only did individual sessions become a critical part of ensuring individual well-being but group sessions also contributed to team cohesion. Coaching staff also utilised video links to access timely psychological input during tours, and to strengthen multidisciplinary assessments and treatment planning.

Conclusions

The successful application of telepsychology with these exceptionally high-functioning clients in a high-stakes context allayed some of the concerns about telepsychology among the coaching and sport science team. This novel application of telepsychology has provided a base from which to explore the use of communication technologies more routinely in our practice and to catch up to the digital natives that are our elite athlete clients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-284
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian psychologist
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2015

Keywords

  • elite sport
  • groupwork
  • mental health
  • telepsychology
  • therapeutic
  • videoconferencing

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