Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Sport and Exercise Psychology

Committee Chair

Jack Watson


There is abundant empirical evidence supporting the benefits of psychological skills training (PST) on performance (Vealey, 1994). Despite evidence of how PST can help athletic performance, some athletes still do not readily adopt its use (Gould, Tammen, Murphy, & May, 1989). Rather than ignoring individuals that are not interested (Weinberg & Williams, 2001), one possible method of approach would be to apply the transtheoretical model of behavior change (TTM) to the use of PST (Grove, Norton, Van Raalte, & Brewer, 1999). This model suggests that behavior change is a progression through a series of stages (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983). There is a need for further investigation applying this model to PST. In the present study, 31 elite adult female rugby athletes with access to a mental skills trainer (MST) were given questionnaires measuring their stages of change, decisional balance, and self-efficacy towards PST four times over four months. Processes of change information and the amount of individual consultations with the MST were also gathered. Individual stage scores and decisional balance scores did not change over time and did not differ between those who consulted the MST (n = 8) and those who did not (n = 23), with one exception. Precontemplation scores were found to be the highest F(3, 87) = 6.60, p < .001, eta2 = .185, power = .967) at the onset of the study (and before an introductory PST presentation) than all other times. Self-efficacy was negatively related to precontemplation scores and positively related to action scores. Those who sought individual consultations were more likely to have been in contemplation (45.5%) at the onset of the study. Further, previously identified processes of change (Prochaska, Velicer, DiClemente, & Fava, 1988) were confirmed to be used by this population. The successful application of the transtheoretical model to PST and implications for consultations and future research will be discussed.