Division Reports

Science Committee report

The new committee Chair Mark Aoyagi discusses their commitment to actualize the scientist-practitioner model

By Mark Aoyagi

As the new Chair of the Science Committee, I wanted to take a moment to update the Division 47 membership on our committee members and goals/objectives. The committee is comprised of: Jon Hammermeister, Sharleen Hoar, Jon Metzler, Judy Van Raalte, Kristin Frevert (student), and Shawn Zeplin (student). It is a dynamic group and I am excited to work toward the directives of the Science Committee with them.

One of our primary objectives is to partner with the Division 47 Practice Committee to actualize the scientist-practitioner model. Specifically, the Practice Committee is working on developing practice competencies and the Science Committee will gather existing evidence and propose future research to support and validate the competencies.

Related to the practice competencies, the Science Committee would also like to contribute to a greater scientific understanding of optimal performance. In particular, the APA Proficiency in Sport Psychology refers to, "training in the development and use of psychological skills for optimal performance of athletes" (American Psychological Association, 2011); however, there are no empirical theories of optimal performance in the existing sport psychology literature. Most sport psychology teachings and textbooks focus on atheoretical techniques and interventions. There have also been a number of models of sport psychology service delivery developed (see Aoyagi & Poczwardowski, 2011a for a review), and while these models organize techniques and interventions in specific patterns or for specific purposes, they too lack an overarching theory of optimal performance. Artur Poczwardowski and I are currently editing a book (Aoyagi & Poczwardowski, 2011b) in which many of the leading practitioners will be describing thir theories of optimal performance. This should allow for a consistent understanding of these theories so that empirical research can explore their efficacy.

As is hopefully evident, I am excited to be chairing the Science Committee during such an important time in the progression of exercise and sport psychology. It is our intention to ensure that science will solidify its proper place as the foundation upon which the profession of sport psychology is built.


American Psychological Association. (2011). Public description of sport psychology. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/sports.aspx

Aoyagi, M. W., & Poczwardowski, A. (2011a). Models of sport psychology practice and delivery: A review. In S. D. Mellalieu & S. Hanton (Eds.), Professional practice issues in sport psychology: Critical reviews. Book in preparation.

Aoyagi, M. W., & Poczwardowski, A. (Eds.). (2011b). The chronicle ofexpert approaches to sport & performance psychology: Applied theories of optimal performance. Book in preparation.