Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology - Florida School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Sierra Iwanicki, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Gary Howell, Psy.D.


Youth athletes are different from adult and elite athletes in several domains that include cognitive resources, working memory, automaticity of motor movements, conscious control for propensity, attentional focus, and acquisition of motor-skills. Due to significant differences between athletes, not all instructions and feedback provided by coaches are best suited for every player. Instructions and feedback may direct an athlete’s attentional focus and cognitive resources incorrectly leading to poor acquisition and performance of motor-skills. Clinical psychologists with knowledge of motor-skill acquisition, cognitive resources, learning theory, conscious control propensity, automaticity of motor movements, constrained action hypothesis, and attentional focus can follow the Youth Sports Consultation Model when working with youth sports programs, coaches, and youth athletes to improve the youth athlete’s experience by improving the language used by coaches and correctly directing the youth athlete’s attentional focus during the performance and acquisition of motor-skills.