Genograms are used by psychologists as a way of gathering family and psychosocial information from their clients. They are widely used as an assessment tool due to their accessible, systematic, and easy to use format. Results conducted from Genograms allow psychologists to better understand the background and issues present in their clients family units. Since sport teams are very similar to families, in that the relationships and bonds formed within a team mirror the connections parents’ form with their children, grandparents, etc, Sport Psychologists use Genograms as forms of assessment as well. Another reason as to why sport psychologists find Genograms useful is because understanding relationships within a team can help aid team performances. Previous research by Taggard and Brown (2001) shows that “there is a statistically significant relationship between team members’ behavior and team performance (e.g., participation and involving others, goal setting, feedback, team commitment, reaction to conflict, addressing conflict, averting conflict and communication).” Therefore, Genograms are great starting points in order to help teams reach their optimal level of performance as one cohesive force. Depending on the type of referral question depends on the type of role the sport psychologist will play within the team. For example; if the team is having trouble communicating with their head coach, a sport psychologist may play a different role, than if the team is struggling with managing high pressure situations. One thing that remains consistent in the role a sport psychologist however, is the use of collaboration. It is very important to always collaborate with each member that makes up a team, this includes: coaches, assistant coaches, captains, players, and trainers. The key to success is collaborating so that everyone is on the same page and all heading in the same direction. Whatever the issue may be, centralizing it is another key component that will help in performance. It is important to first understand what the problem is and then to centralize it, so that everyone is focused on finding the steps needed to take in order to reach a solution. This also means that in order for centralizing to be done successfully, everyone needs to be open and able to share emotions. The role thus of a sport psychologist is to create an environment where players feel comfortable and safe in expressing their emotions. This is done through creating trust and communication between the team and the sport psychologist. In order to create trust however, it is also important to keep in mind that this process also takes time. When working with a team, a sport psychologist should keep these 6 main points in mind: 1. The establishment of a safe and trusting relationship (as mentioned above) 2. Gaining new information and experiences across the domains of cognition, emotion, sensation and behavior. • This goes along with the importance of communication. “you don’t know
what you don’t know,” therefore it is important to listen and understand what the team is communicating to you. It is not until you listen to teams that you can understand what their needs are, only then you can move forward in helping them. The simultaneous or alternating activation of neural networks that are inadequately integrated or dissociated. • We feel first then we think, therefore it is important to recognize the neuroscience involved in our actions. • Activation of these channels is key to understanding emotional knowledge, as well as Integration. Want to work with the brain! Moderate levels of stress or emotional arousal alternating with periods of calm and safety. • Without stress there can be no growth, so therefore it is important to have a stimulus that triggers emotions or some sort of stress. But then to follow it up with calmness and safety, so that it is understood within the team that the goal is for the greater well being of the team, not to create any harm. The integration of conceptual knowledge with emotional and bodily experience through narratives that are coconstructed with the therapist. • This is where collaboration (as illustrated above) plays an important role. Developing a method of processing and organizing new experiences so as to continue ongoing growth and integration outside of therapy. • As a sport psychologist, we want to give teams the knowledge to be co dependent of us. Therefore we strive to teach them skills in understanding themselves, and what they can do to create change if need be. • For example: Teaching Goal setting skills is very common for sport psychologists when they are working with teams. Most of the time the team is struggling with performance because the members who make up the team are striving for a different goal. Therefore if everyone is striving for a different goal that means not everyone is heading in the right direction, which means no collaboration or cohesion within the team. Thus by teaching teams the steps of successful goal setting, and aiding them through process, it will prepare them for future goal setting.
In conclusion, a sport psychologist has many relationships in working with a sports team. However even though the people who form these relationships may change, the role of the psychologist does not. It is important to be close and have good communication with everyone. The only time a sport psychologist can share information, is if they seek permission, which is another way of establishing trusting relationships as well. Even though the sport psychologist is called in to help teams with performance, overall it is the team and coaches, who learn the skills to help themselves improve, sport psychologists are just there to teach them how to do so. Attach own Example of my Genogram!