Sport psychology service delivery: perspectives of elite athletes from Malaysia and Australia

Vellapandian Ponnusamy

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    928 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] Effective delivery of sport psychology services requires that consideration be given to numerous personal, interpersonal, and situational factors, including the athlete's cultural background and social milieu. However, much of the research on mental skills training has been conducted within Western cultures, and service delivery models based on this research are predominant even in non-Western societies. The general purpose of this research project was to investigate issues pertinent to the delivery of sport psychology services within a particular society in Southeast Asia. More specifically, the project examined the perceptions of Malaysian athletes with regard to: (a) the relevance of selected psychological skills for performance enhancement; (b) preferred characteristics of the service provider; and (c) preferred modes of delivery for sport psychology services. Three studies were undertaken to investigate these issues. Study 1 provided descriptive information about the psychological skills considered most important for performance by elite Malaysian athletes participating in coactive and interactive sports. Comparisons were also made between two procedures for assessing the perceived importance of these skills (i.e., rating scales versus forced choice). Findings indicated that: (a) the forced-choice procedure allowed for better discrimination among the skills than the rating scale procedure; and (b) the perceived importance of various skills differed as a function of sport type and gender. Specifically, athletes in interactive sports placed more importance on setting team goals and clarifying roles/responsibilities than athletes in coactive sports. At the same time, participants in coactive sports viewed setting of personal goals, use of psych-up strategies, and use of imagery as more important for performance than those in interactive sports.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2012

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