A scientific revolution in sport psychology: Challenges and opportunities in the assimilation and delivery of acceptance-based behavioral interventions

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Scientific progress requires a commitment to theory development, empirical examination, and assimilation and accommodation of empirical findings. With growing professional acceptance worldwide, the acceptance-based behavioral movement that began within clinical psychology represents a potential paradigm shift within sport psychology as well. This article proposes how sport psychology can shift from a paradigm maintained by insufficient evidence to a new paradigm that demonstrates empirical efficacy as a performance enhancement intervention. We present (a) a discussion of the historical development of the traditional psychological skills training approach and compare its development to that of the cognitive behavioral model from which it arose, (b) a discussion of the basic theory of and empirical status for acceptancebased approaches to performance enhancement, (c) an appreciation for how the acceptance-based movement represents a paradigm shift within sport psychology, and (d) a presentation of challenges and opportunities in developing an acceptance-based practice for the enhancement of athletic performance.

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Athletic Insight's Writings of 2012

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