Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Sport and Exercise Psychology

Committee Chair

Edward F Etzel

Committee Co-Chair

Malayna Bernstein

Committee Member

Monica Leppma

Committee Member

Matthew Martin

Committee Member

Sam Zizzi


Sport psychology consultation is a problem solving situation and process (Sears, Rudisill, & Mason-Sears, 2006) in which sport psychology consultants (SPCs) are interpersonal and content communicators. To date, research in applied sport psychology has not examined consultants from the perspective of consultants as communicators in problem solving situations. Additionally, it remains unclear how consultants' graduate education and applied training experience relates to certain communication skills, such as mindfulness, cognitive flexibility, and communication flexibility. Yet, these skills, and its influence on consultants, have garnered interest for further study in professional practice literature (Baer et al., 2008; Davis, 2013; Poczwardowski & Sherman, 2011). Therefore, this study examined the relation between graduate education and applied training and three consultant skills: (a) mindfulness, (b) cognitive flexibility, and (c) communication flexibility. Professional consultants (n = 157) and graduate level consultants (n = 72) completed an online survey, which included three brief questionnaires (i.e., educational background, mindfulness exposure, and demographic questionnaires) and three scales: (a) Comprehensive Inventory of Mindfulness Experiences-beta (Bergomi, Tshacher, & Kupper, 2013a), (b) Cognitive Flexibility Scale (Martin & Rubin, 1995), and (c) the Communication Flexibility Scale (Martin & Rubin, 1990; 1994).;Results from structural equation modeling indicated a partially mediated model in which mindfulness mediated the relation between mindfulness exposure and cognitive flexibility and communication flexibility. Mindfulness exposure also directly related to communication flexibility. Applied training directly related to cognitive flexibility and communication flexibility. However, the revised model was not significantly different than the hypothesized theoretical model and demonstrated poor model fit. Mindfulness did not significantly differ between type of graduate education, thought cognitive flexibility and communication flexibility did.;Additionally, participants (n = 7) were interviewed regarding how they developed mindfulness and its role in their applied practice. Following a grounded theory approach (Charmaz, 2014), results suggested that after exposure to mindfulness, participants engaged in self-directed learning. Integration of mindfulness into consultation occurred in client-directed and SPC-directed ways and reflected SPCs' definitions of mindfulness.;These results aim to: (a) contribute to the on-going discussion about sport psychology training and (b) inform professional development programming in graduate programs and professional organizations, (c) understand the role of mindfulness in consultation.