Print off the attached case study and respond as per instructions below The purpose of this exercise is for you to apply what you have reviewed so far to an actual case study. In reviewing the attached case study you are to adopt the role of a Sport Psychologist / Consultant and provide advice to me the assistant coach. Please seriously consider the feedback provided to you in the previous case study and consider what you have learned in the application of a PTSP. To guide the discussion the following question guide is offered. Students may continue use this guide to provide advice to me but points will be deducted if you do not follow the PTSP approach as covered in chapter 12. The questions are as follows: Describe the main issues in this caseWhat factors are contributing to Donald’s poor performance>Generate some courses of action as a sport psychologist that might assist Donald that will address:Training and preparation for the upcoming round of golfPsychological strategies for dealing with anxiety and heightened arousalHow feasible is each course of actionWhat are the ramifications for Donald of each course of action?As a sport psychology consultant would you become involved with the relationship between Donald and his father? Why or why not?What you do to prepare Donald if he had a bad first hole?How would you help Donald deal with the outcome of the third round (success or failure?)
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A Hole New Ball Game
A Hole New Ball Game
“Oww! You jumped on me!!” Those were the first words I ever heard out of Donald Anderson’s mouth. He bellowed
those words at me in 1981 at the YMCA when we were both first graders at different schools. Strange as it seems,
that encounter represented the start of a friendship that would grow stronger with during the years to come. Donald
and I spent countless hours at each other’s homes, playing games in the backyard, watching cartoons, and getting into
squabbles. Arguments often revolved around who was or was not following the rules of the many games we played.
We even had a full blown fight over whether Babe, my 80lb black Labrador, could “beat up” Donald’s 15lb poodle.
“Muffin would kill Babe in a fair fight, Ray and you know it!” Donald screamed with a tear running down his seven
year old face.
The basic reality of size and strength obviously did not enter his mind at any time during the argument. I finally
relented and said it would be a “tough fight.” The routine of arguments and compromises continued throughout our
childhood, but the frequency declined as we grew older. Donald’s competitive nature, however, never did decline.
Our sport lives also began early and together. Donald’s father, Mr. Anderson, was a well known basketball coach. He
persuaded one of our youth team golf coaches to place us on the same golf team when we were 11 years old. Both of
our fathers were avid, as well as accomplished, golfers. They agreed we should also play in the summer junior
tournaments together if we wanted to go beyond hitting balls and learn to play the game. Mr. Anderson was a
confusing man at times, but his intentions were in the right place.
A Hole New Ball Game | [Pick the date]
“Ray, this karate class you and Donald are taking is important to y’all’s discipline. Once you are done, I could tell you
to chop down a tree with your bare hands, and you would do it,” Mr. Anderson said one night as he drove us home
I never knew whether he meant it as a joke, or if he was serious. I simply smiled and politely agreed, as I still do to
many of his comments that I do not fully understand. Mr. Anderson prompted hard work and discipline, and he was
never slow to critique our performance while on the practice tee or on the golf
“You don’t chip that ball, you village idiot. Putt it!” That was one of his favorite
and mist used sayings then, and one that he still says to me today at times.
As Donald and I settled into our summer, the junior tournaments began.
Because my father worked Saturday mornings, Mr. Anderson would take us to
the course and my father would pick us up. Donald was, and still is, a better
athlete than me. Unfortunately, Donald’s attitude and emphasis on finishing
first was a problem even when we first started to play. I remember Donald
throwing his golf bag into a stream after losing a play off for first place.
“Leave them there, Ray! I quit this game. I should have quit after that tee shot on number 5. I just knew I wasn’t
going to win after that!”
I did not understand what the fuss was all about. After all, Donald had just won a trophy half the size of his driver. It
made me smile about getting a chance to hold thr trophy in the car. I didn’t say anything though, and I picked up the
bag and carried it in for him. Donald was not reprimanded by the course officials for his conduct, and he told me it
wouldn’t happen again. Once in the car we talked about our rounds. My comments were simple.
“I had fun playing with Scott today. He said his dad was a pro who could probably beat you, Dad. Oh, and could you
help me with my putting when we get home? Irealy need some help,” I rattled off to my father.
Donald was still obsessed with the bad drive he had hit off the number 5 tee.”The ball hit the last pinecone on the tree
and fell in the water! I was done after that. That ruined my whole round.”
My father told Donald not to worry about one shot too much and to try and play each shot one at a time.
Unfortunately, this advice went in one ear and out the other.
Before we knew it, we were staring high school. In high school our social and athletic lives began to blossom. Donald
became a very good basketball player, a good golfer and a complete perfectionist. As teammates on both the football
and golf teams we enjoyed much success. We shared three regional titles and one state championship in football.
Donald also became the scoring and inspirational leader on his father’s basketball team. As a senior, he led the team in
scoring, assists, and, interestingly, technical fouls. He was named MVP for his efforts. As a junior, he helped our golf
team win the state championship, an accomplishment that we were expected to repeat the following year. With
Donald and me occupying the two top spots on the team, we were considered a lock to repeat. This was not going to
happen though, and I will never forget how we lost both the region and state championships.
In a nutshell, Donald played the worst two rounds of his high school career. It all seemed to start when Donald got
upset with the coach when he was asked to play conservatively during the state championship.
“I am going to play great tomorrow, Ray. Can you believe the Coach asked me not to take any chances? I know I
played bad at the region tourney, but I’ll make something great happen tomorrow. You wait and see.
“The course we’re playing tomorrow is pretty tight and can really get you if you hit one off line,”, I replied. “Why
don’t we both play to the middle of the greens and just try to make the putts? We do that, and I guarantee you we’ll
win the team championship.”
After making a six on the first hole and a par four on 2, Donald progressively played worse. His only words to me
were, “I can’t believe I made a six on the first hole this morning. You know, I had holed out with a par, I would have
played well. Damn, that sic really ruined the rest of my round. “
After that tournament, the last high school tourney of our careers, we moved on to graduation and college. I decided
on the University of Springfield, where I had a spot on the team, while Donald surprisingly was invited to play on the
golf team at the University of Southern Georgia. This was a wonderful, albeit strange, thing that happened for
Donald. Yes, he was a good athlete, but he was never an individual medalist in a major high school or junior
tournament. Recruiters consider a golfer’s record in these events the most important factor when deciding who they
want to sign.
During our first year apart, our friendship grew surprisingly stronger. Each time I returned home, we played golf and
hung out together as much as possible. I was happy to hear college life was going well for him but dismayed to witness
A Hole New Ball Game | [Pick the date]
“No, I am going to charge that course from the start. I’’ play well, and you will, too,” Donald rebutted.
his declining ability and attitude on the golf course. Because of his walk-on status, Donald felt he had to prove he
could play to the other players on the team, instead of proving that to himself. As his scores worsened, the head coach
began to put more pressure on Donald to improve.
By spring, six months later, Donald’s play continued to be mediocre. Donald’s coach finally gave him an ultimatum:
Complete three rounds of golf with a total score of 235 or lower (a decent score on a tough course) or leave the
Donald brought his predicament to my attention almost as soon as the coach told him. At first, he did not seem too
worried. “It shouldn’t be a problem, ray. I can play this course that well any day.”
I was not as confident. Donald had a history of taking high pressure situations much too seriously and these were the
most important three rounds of his career.
When we saw each other at Easter break, I could see the tension beginning to build in both his words and his golf
swing. To make matters worse, Donald’s father was going to “help” his son, making the trip back to gerogia to be
there for Donald’s all important three rounds.
“You’ve got to get off to a good start, Son. I don’t know what you’ve been thinking up to this point, but you have to
get yourself together,” he said abruptly at the driving range one day before Donald’s first round.
Donald went out and shot 80 for the first round. The next night he called me to tell me that he had played poorly
again and had shot a 79. Now he had to shoot a 76 or better, or his college golf career would be over.
“Ray, I don’t know how to start this round off. I’m afraid I’ll do something wrong on the first couple of holes and
blow the rest of my round. And da said that if I don’t play well I would either have to go back to school back home
and move in with them or get a job to pay for the apartment at school. Man I have got to do well, what do you think?
I need some help, pal, and you’re the only one I’ve got”
“Give Doc, the sport guy, a call. A couple of other guys on your team told me he helped them quite a bit. He deals
with this kind of think all the time. I’’ bet if anyone can get you ready, he can,” I said.
A Hole New Ball Game | [Pick the date]
“Sure, I’’ try it. I’ve talked to him casually, and he’s a decent guy. Heck, I’ll try anything right now. You know how
much golf means to me!”
Donald called Doc and arranged to meet the next morning. The two of them sat in the corner of the gym, where Doc
asked him how he decided to call. Donald started telling him about me, and then told the whole story pretty much
like I did. After about seven minutes of straight talk, Donald finished and looked at Doc expecting a miracle.
If you were this sport psychology consultant, what would you do to assist Donald?
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