This tool assists to optimize the phase of contacting between an athlete and a counsellor prior to the first session. By using the tool, the most relevant information of the athlete can be efficiently collected.
Counselling starts with the first contact between a person and the counsellor. This phase already sets the course towards an effective process. The quality of this initial contact is therefore crucial. However, this contact is not only a window of opportunity, but has its pitfalls too. On the one hand, the counsellor can use this phase to commence the professional process. On the other hand, at this stage there is not yet a formal agreement to take up counselling. Therefore, the counsellor must not behave as if such agreement is already considered a foregone conclusion.
With reference to dual career contexts, the unique type of sporting or educational system affects the way an athlete and a (dual career) counsellor get in touch. There are 3 obvious routes for initial contact: via telephone, via email or in person. In any case, a compact investigation of the athlete’s concern and, correspondingly, their wishes and expectations towards the counselling is required.
This is where the tool Kick Start comes into play. It helps dual career practitioners to establish a counselling agreement and collect most relevant athlete data that will each support the upcoming process.
Follow the instructions to apply this tool and browse our manifold resources to find out more about the addressed topic.
The better you get to know about the athlete and their concern, the better you can prepare for your first session. Moreover, by clearing the indication and background of the athlete (in case of athletic and/or academic qualification criteria in your system), you can determine whether or not you are the right person to professionally deal with this request. Consequently, the Hello! Checklist (pdf) helps you to be as efficient as possible in your first contact with an athlete by collecting relevant initial information and start building a relation. More precisely, it supports you in: roughly getting to know the request of the athlete, clearing their indication and expectation to cross-check your own competence, informing the athlete about your approach, discussing main organisational points, and scheduling the first physical meeting.
The Athlete Intake (pdf) is a bilateral information template. The form provides the athlete with fundamental information on dual career counselling in written form. The signed approval of the rules and data protection by both athlete and counsellor contributes to enhance the transparency of the process and fosters mutual commitment from the beginning on. Furthermore, the form helps you to collect the most relevant athlete data before your first physical meeting, spanning personal, sporting, educational and work-related information. It can be adapted based on your specific requirements. If not yet conducted within your system, a formalisation of the counselling collaboration and focused collection of most relevant data (in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation) is further advised.
- Have the Hello! Checklist (pdf) at hand and adapt the outlined items to your professional context.
- Subsequent to your first contact with the athlete, you should have managed to tick off the relevant items listed in “Understanding the request”, “Outlining the approach” and “Clarifying the organisation”.
- If you Organise the first physical meeting with the athlete by defining the date and place for it.
- Send the Athlete Intake (pdf) via email or personally hand it out to the athlete. Ask the athlete to fill in the template to formalize the collaboration and provide their most relevant data. Optionally, add the privacy statement used in your system. Ask the athlete to return the filled-in form in a defined time prior to the first session (or, alternatively, to take it with them to the first session).
- European Parliament, Council of the European Union (2016): General Data Protection Regulation
- Grolimund, F. (2014): Psychologische Beratung und Coaching. Lehr- und Praxisbuch für Einsteiger
- Molnos, A. (1998): A psychotherapist’s harvest
Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com
The tool "Kick Start" in action: See real-life examples of its application in EU dual career practice.