Consultancy Under Pressure: Intervening in the ‘here and now’ with an Elite Golfer

John Pates

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

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This case study is a reflective account of a consultation with a 30-year-old male professional golfer. The approach by the player was made on the evening prior to the final round of a European Tour event, needing a top 20 finish on the final day of the tournament year. Failure to achieve this objective would have resulted in forfeiting of his playing privileges on the PGA European Tour for the following season, with the associated loss of income, and in this case genuine threats to the livelihood of the client. The consultant used a number of interventions (e.g., best performance imagery, an external focus of attention, hypnosis and music) and an approach established in humanistic, phenomenological and transpersonal psychology. Effectiveness was determined by performance and the players' descriptions of his transcendental experience. The client provided social validation for the consultation approach and the intervention through his reflections. The intervention in this case appeared to elevate positive emotions and trigger a transcendental precursor to peak performance. While this type of intervention may provide immediate performance benefits for golfers experiencing low self-confidence, the case-study also illustrates how consultants are often asked to support athletes within severe time constraints.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalCase Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020


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