President’s review of 2017

The 2016-2017 president for the Society for Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology provides a review of initiatives and accomplishments over the past year.

By Vincent Granito, PhD

First, I want to say that it has been an honor to serve as the president of the Society for Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology. The year has been an exciting and fast-paced time frame for the field. I would like to thank the outstanding board and committee members for their dedication and service to Sport, Exercise & Performance Psychology. The board members include: Past President Anthony Kontos; Incoming President Courtney Albinson; Secretary/Treasurer Jamie Shapiro; Senior Member-at-Large Jessica Bartley; Junior Member-at-Large Mitch Abrams; APA Council Representative Shane Murphy; Senior Program Chair Linda Keeler; Junior Program Chair Brandonn Harris, Communications Coordinator Ken Chew; Senior Student Representative & President of Running Psychologists Julie Vieselmeyer; Junior Student Representative Ryan Sappington; Cornerstone Committee Chair Nick Galli and Membership Chair Kristin Henke. These individuals have provided service to the advancement of the field and should be looked upon as some of the outstanding leaders in our history. We also need to congratulate our incoming board members: President-Elect Bradley Hack; Member-at-Large Sari Shepphird; and Junior Student Representative Marina Galante.

Speaking of history, last Aug. 24, Div. 47 celebrated its 30th anniversary, and this August the 30th year of convention programing. One of my main initiatives was to document the rich history our society has played as a major sport, exercise and performance psychology organization in North America. To this end, my presidential address at the APA convention in Washington, D.C., centered on the connection between APA and sport psychology. I have also developed a timeline of Div. 47. This is a working document that can be updated as we move forward in our history. This timeline highlights some of the key professionals who have helped shape the field in our most formative years (1980s to the present); demonstrates the leadership the society has played in defining the field with the establishment of the proficiency in sport psychology; and documents the connections to sport organizations such as the NCAA, USOC and ACSM. This information comes from a careful review of every society newsletter since 1987.

Another goal of mine was to inform students about the field of sport psychology at levels outside graduate programs.  We’ve done a great job of listing graduate program and internships in the field, but the educational pipeline begins in psychology classes at the high school and undergraduate levels. The society had two advancements on this level: first, the education directorate of APA does a blog for high school and undergraduate psychology teachers called Psych Learning Curve, which focuses on careers in psychology.  Secretary/Treasurer Jamie Shapiro was interviewed for a post entitled “What Students Should Know About Sport Psychology From A Specialist In The Field.”  Second, the education directorate has teamed up with Skype and Microsoft to provide “Careers in Psychology.” This is a way for high school and undergraduate teachers to bring in guest speakers via Skype. I am currently presenting the Careers in Sport Psychology.  They are always looking for other speakers, especially in areas of exercise and performance psychology, so let me know if you might be interested.  You would need to create a profile and make yourself available via Skype during class times.

Finally, I wanted to create more opportunities for professionals in the field by looking outside our traditional NCAA and professional models of service. The fact of the matter is that there are only so many jobs at major college programs or with professional athletes. I am a professor of psychology and the women’s basketball coach at a community college. My basketball team is in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and competes in a league with twelve other schools in Ohio. The NJCAA is made up of over 500 two-year institutions that compete in a wide variety of sports including football, track and field, bowling and swimming/diving. Most of these schools do not have counseling centers, but instead refer out to professionals in the community. This is where sport psychology professionals might be able to provide services to players, coaches and school administrators. Later this fall, I will be meeting with the leadership of the NJCAA to look for possible collaborations between the Society for Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology and these two-year schools. As more information becomes available, I will post things on our email list and update in our newsletters.

Thank you all again for allowing me to serve this great society and help advance the great field of sport, exercise and performance psychology.