Stories of critical moments contributing to the development of applied sport psychology practitioners

Nick Wadsworth*, Hayley McEwan, Moira Lafferty, Martin Eubank , David Tod

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


This study explored the stories of critical moments experienced by applied sport psychology practitioners. The 13 recruited practitioners (eight male and five female) were in different stages of their development (trainee, neophyte, and experienced) and were asked to tell one story about a critical moment that significantly contributed to their development as applied practitioners. Narrative analysis was used to explore the stories of critical moments. Four distinct narrative structures were evident; Re-birth, Rags to Riches, Tragedy, and The Quest. There was one consistent narrative feature that supported these plots: critical moments contribute towards an alignment between a practitioner’s beliefs and behaviour, which supports the development of a congruent philosophy of practice and the environment they choose to work within. We recommend future research, such as the use of narrative analysis to explore alternative narrative structures and the investigation of successful and unsuccessful consultancy experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalThe Sport Psychologist
Issue number1
Early online date8 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2021


  • critical moments
  • practitioner individuation
  • applied sport psychology
  • narrative analysis
  • identity


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