Working with CA method has brought me new possibilities
Prof. Mariana Mladenovic, PhD. the Serbian sport psychologist said, “CA method explores a part of variance in mental state of an athlete which other psychological methods do not.”
You have been using CA method since 2009. Can you tell us for what purposes do you use this Method and what are its advantages in this area?
I use CA method mostly for diagnostics of mental state before the competition. There are two main advantages. First, it is ‘user friendly’, the athlete can easily do the test just before the competition. The next important advantages are due to the Method itself. Answers can not be rationally modified since the Method goes deep in the psychodynamics of an athlete and brings information about an actual mental state.
Are there any other methods you like to use?
I use a paper-pen psychological test like personality inventories, questionnaires.
Do you remember when you first heard about CA method? What were your first reactions?
Now, many years ago I heard about CA method. One of the guys from DAP Services approached me ready to present CA method as a diagnostics psychological tool. My first reaction was ‘Why should I need another test when I already have classical psychological questionnaires!?’
Did working with CA method bring you any new possibilities?
Working with CA method did definitely bring new possibilities. One of the great puzzles in sport psychology is the mental state of an athlete just before the competition. There are many different layers of mental state in a competitive situation, and in order to help an athlete to overcome some unconscious obstacles from the inside, we need to discover it. To make an exact assessment of the mental state is sometimes very difficult. Mental readiness for the competition is not just a matter of motivation, as a sports audience often easily assume. The athlete is not always aware of his/her actual mental state for competition, and mental preparation for competition starts with psychological diagnostics. And that is the point when CA method comes to save the day.
Did you need to verify its predictive ability and accuracy?
As a psychologist, university professor and researcher I was ‘grown up’ professionally on a good tradition of empirical research. In practical work with athletes, what was my impression about the mental state of athletes and what would come out after competition, usually was in accordance with what CA method was suggesting. So, we may say that CA method ‘is telling the truth’ without need to be verified. But on the other side, empirical research on it is necessary and that is why I use CA method as an instrument in sport psychology research, too.
In case you explain how the Method works to other experts, what do you often encounter?
I always say that CA method explores a part of the variance in a mental state of an athlete which other psychological methods do not. And that is why CA method is important. With CA method we get a complete psychological profile.
Do you see any pitfalls, difficulties or risks when working with the CA method?
I believe it is important to bring some ethical standards in using CA method, or even levels of usage. It would be very useful to make levels that can learn to use anyone regardless of education, and what will be psychologists only area. In a wider sense, CA method may be even misused and contribute to psychological damage of a client, and that should be prevented as suggested.
Experienced Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry (Associate university professor). Skilled in Athlete Development, Psychological preparation for competition and mental training in different sports (Handball, Soccer, Basketball, Kayak). Strong community and social services professional with a B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. focused in Psychology and Sport Psychology from Univerzitet u Beogradu / University of Belgrade.