The guru-driven nature of sport psychology has contaminated the field and how it is perceived, evaluated, and valuated by coaches, athletes, and decision makers in organizations who may want to utilize the services of sport psychology practitioners. This chapter provides a foundational and fundamental rationale for advancing evidence-based and validated athlete assessment and intervention protocols. The prevalent approach to applied sport psychology is practitioner-centered. The American Board of Sport Psychology (ABSP) mission is to advance practice, education, and training standards in the field of applied sport psychology as well as provide licensed psychologists the opportunity to achieve board certification in sport psychology. Sport psychologists and sport psychology practitioners must distinguish themselves from coaches and other practitioner-advisors who work with athletes. Sport psychology offers practitioners of highly disparate education, training, experience, and credentials an unparalleled opportunity to break into the elite strata of sports.
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Neurofeedback (NF) is a brain-based procedure that has made its way into the sport performance mental training (MT) arena. Athlete-specific NF protocols have also been used in an attempt to enhance performance. However, there are conceptual and methodological issues and problems associated with NF, more so in sport performance contexts. The current state of NF mirrors that of the field of sport psychology in general. According to the Dietrich’s Transient Hypofrontality Hypothesis (THH), the brain must make do with a finite amount of metabolites and blood flow. The THH can be difficult to test due to motion artifact issues associated with most brain imaging instruments, including positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). THH-based NF may have the potential to reprogram/program performance adaptive brain-heart responses in athletes who are burdened with the worst athlete’s profile (AP) by taking the frontal lobes out of the performance disruption equation.