Reflections on consulting in elite youth male English cricket and soccer academies
- Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
This article shares a joint reflection of two psychoeducation programmes delivered to athletes aged 13 to 18 years at two professional academies – cricket and soccer. These season-long programmes followed a cognitive-developmental framework, changing and adapting cognitive-behavioural techniques to benefit elite youth athletes. Initial elements of the programme focused on the 5C’s: commitment, communication, concentration, control, and confidence (Harwood, 2008) which also included team building sessions and one-to-one consultations. Feedback from players and academy directors revealed that the work was suitable and effective for their needs. We have reflected on the delivery of the programme and the challenges encountered especially: time, funding, specific youth sport psychological intervention frameworks, credibility, confidentiality, determining effectiveness, professional boundaries, and relationships. Finally, we offer future directions on how to integrate psychoeducation programmes for professional sport academies.