ABSP Certification: Resulting Competencies and Mandated Responsibilities
Sport psychologists must distinguish themselves from coaches and other practitioner-advisors who work with athletes. ABSP board certified psychologists must demonstrate the following competencies and be committed to ABSP mandated client and practice responsibility requirements:
- Thorough knowledge of construct validity, conceptual bases and accountability methodologies relating to assessment instruments and procedures that are used with athletes and in the context of intervention modalities that are taught and administered to athletes.
- The ability to validate and establish the reliability of assessment measures, instruments and tests that are not part of the ABSP-CP athlete evaluation suite; includes being able to establish a test battery’s criterion-referenced and predictive validity at both the group and individual levels.
- The ability to establish the extent of intervention efficiency and efficacy for ABSP-CP advanced intervention modalities and other mental training methods at the group and individual levels.
- The ability and responsibility to convey to clients, athletes, coaches, parents, administrators and other stakeholders “practice realities” that are associated with applied sport psychological assessment and intervention, making clear in no uncertain terms that assessment can be fallible and that interventions do not always lead to positive or successful income. The guiding mantra of an ABSP certified practitioner is that “attempts are undertaken to accurately assess athletes using advanced evaluative methodologies as well as increase the probability that an athlete can benefit from mental training.” ABSP practitioners also make known that individual differences factors, temporal and financial realities can greatly impact the intervention process and that there are no quick fixes. ABSP practitioners discourage consulting arrangements that do not allow for the accommodation of the comprehensive ABSP-CP. ABSP practitioners adhere to the ABSP validated athlete-centered evidence-based applied sport psychological services protocol when working with athletes.
- The ability to use psychophysiological instrumentation for assessment and intervention purposes including heart rate variability and heart rate deceleration monitoring and analysis systems.
- The ability to carry out ABSP mandated accountability methodologies across all assessment and intervention sessions, the vast majority of which must be carried out on the playing-field, including the acquisition of brain-heart-mind-body-motor/technical and sport-specific outcome measures; managing the acquired responses in individual and group databases, analyzing the acquired data and providing comprehensive written and oral reports to client athletes and other stakeholders as permitted by informed consent regarding confidentiality.
- The ability to fully train athlete clients, coaches and other potential “assistants” in distance-based multi-modal assessment, intervention/mental training and data acquisition/management so as to facilitate seamless, ongoing applied sport psychological activities in the absence of the primary sport psychologist/sport psychology practitioner; especially when an athlete is away from his or her home base for training or competition purposes. (see Chapter 15 of Evidence-Based Applied Sport Psychology).
- Specific Assessment and Intervention Mental Training Procedural Competence
All ABSP Board Certified Sport Psychologists can procure and interpret data acquired from all procedures listed in the Practicum requirements.