Navigating management dismissal and COVID-19 in a professional football club: a trainee sport psychologist finds her way through

Zoe Black*, Paul McCarthy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this case study, we report the experiences and reflections of a female trainee sport and exercise psychologist who navigated the dismissal of a management team and COVID-19 in a professional football club. The trainee delivered an educational intervention to a group of ten players transitioning from a youth academy into the first team at a professional football club. This formed part of a larger organisational intervention to integrate sport psychology into the club. During the delivery, her mode of working changed from face-to-face to online support (because of the COVID-19 pandemic) and the management team, except the first author, were dismissed from their duties after lockdown. We discuss the challenges of integrating and working within an organisation, experiencing the dismissal of the management team, the effect of the practitioner’s gender as a female working in a male dominated sport, and the unrelenting football culture and how we, as practitioners, may choose to navigate it. We supplement personal reflections and notes from client work with learning logs and supervision as part of coursework components on a doctorate in sport and exercise psychology. This case study contributes to the literature by presenting and reflecting on challenges novice practitioners might face working within a professional football organisation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCase Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • trainee, football, female, dismissal, gender, organisation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Navigating management dismissal and COVID-19 in a professional football club: a trainee sport psychologist finds her way through'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this