By Courtney Albinson, PhD
Greetings, Society for Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology members. It is hard to believe that over one month has already passed since our last convention in Washington, D.C. I look forward to serving as your president this year. Since convention, we have been busy establishing our new executive committee, wishing outgoing committee members well and welcoming our newly elected members. First, I would to thank outgoing committee members Anthony Kontos (past president), Jessica Bartley (member-at-large), Linda Keeler (co-program chair) and Julie Vieselmeyer (student representative) for their excellent service to the society. Their contributions will have a lasting impact on the society and our field. Second, please join me in welcoming Bradley Hack (president-elect), Sari Shepphird (member-at-large) and Marina Galante (junior student representative) to the Executive Committee, and Jessica Bartley to a new role as co-program chair. And last — but definitely not least — we also have appointed two new chairs of our Cornerstone and Membership Committees, Kimberlee Bonura and Hillary Cauthen, who are taking the reins from Nick Galli and Kristin Henke. I look forward to working with all of these dedicated professionals on important initiatives in the upcoming year alongside our returning committee members.
Advancing the practice of sport psychology
A main focus for the society will be on continuing to advance the practice of sport psychology and setting the standards for the field. We have a number of related, ongoing initiatives under development, such as the renewal of the APA Sport Psychology Proficiency and the creation of Professional Practice Guidelines in Sport Psychology. The proficiency — first developed in 2003 under the leadership of Bradley Hack, Shane Murphy and Kate Hays — will be petitioned to APA for renewal in 2018. We are excited to have Bradley back to lead this process. Additionally, Trent Petrie and Anthony Kontos — division past presidents — convened a Professional Practice Guideline Development Committee this past spring and the writing of the guidelines is underway. We will continue to keep members updated on the status of these important projects.
Multidisciplinary collaboration and integrated health care
In addition to the proficiency and professional practice guidelines, I believe that one of the ways our field will advance is through multidisciplinary collaboration and the inclusion of sport psychologists in integrated health care teams. To achieve this objective, we need to strengthen our alliances with other sports medicine organizations and contribute to local, state and national/international initiatives that promote the health and well-being of athletes and athletic systems/organizations. In particular, I would like to focus our efforts this year on fostering relationships with organizations such as the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the National Collegiate Athletics Association.
Social justice and advocacy
As sport psychology professionals, we have a responsibility to advocate for social justice and to support athletes in their activism efforts. At the 2018 APA convention, we will be honoring the contributions of one of our colleagues to social justice and advocacy with the society’s Distinguished Contributions to Exercise and Sport Psychology in the Public Interest Award. We hope you will consider nominating someone by Dec. 31. Additionally, please be on the lookout for the next issue of SportPsych Works dedicated to athlete activism, produced by our Cornerstone Committee. Also, be sure to join us on social media for articles and continued conversation on social justice and advocacy.
The engagement of our members is vital to our growth as a field. I hope you will consider getting involved with one of our committees, submitting a proposal for a program at the 2018 APA convention in San Francisco, and completing the society’s membership survey, which is coming out soon. This is an exciting time to be involved with the society and the field. Please feel free to reach out to me with questions about ways to get involved, as well as with general questions or feedback about the work we are doing as a division of the APA. I look forward to hearing from you.