President-Elect's column

The president-elect discusses the launch of the new division website, focusing on issues of sport psychology as a profession, and increasing the division's competence and training over the next three years

By Trent A. Petrie, PhD

I want to begin by thanking the membership for giving me this opportunity to serve the Division on the executive committee during my three-year term as president. I am very excited by the prospect of working with the current executive committee and having the opportunity to be mentored by our current president (Dr. Gloria Balague) and past-president (Dr. Jennifer Carter) during this first year. I know their guidance and wisdom will make my transition smooth.

Since the conference this August in DC, I have familiarized myself with the Division’s policies, our current and ongoing projects, and our long-term goals. The recent migration of our website to APA and launch of our journal are examples of the progress made in the last year. Both of these changes will raise our prominence amongst APA’s Divisions and help us attract new members, which is vital for our continued growth. The other presidents and I have been planning for the 2012 convention, identifying keynote speakers who will be of interest to our current members and working with other divisions to develop collaborative, cross-discipline programs that would appeal to not only our members, but those from other disciplines.

In September I attended the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) conference and, while there, participated in the Sport Psychology Council (SPC) annual meeting. The SPC is comprised of representatives from the major sport psychology organizations from around the world and provides a forum for discussion and collaboration about the issues, challenges and opportunities that exist in our field. And, as we become a more integrated world, such meetings become even more essential.

As I look ahead over the next three years (and into the future), two issues take center stage and will be a focus for me. For sport psychology as a profession, and our Division specifically, the issues of competence and training are intimately linked. As the landscape of psychology continues to change and expand, the implications of who is competent to provide what services to which groups of athletes, coaches, and sport teams and organizations and what training models provide students with the best routes for obtaining the skills, knowledge and awareness to practice become paramount. I think the renewal of sport psychology as a proficiency within APA is a necessary first step and I applaud the Division’s past executive committee (and standing committee members) who made this a reality. I would like us, though, as a Division to continue the discussion about competencies and training (and in determining competency-based training), and to collaborate with other sport psychology organizations, such as AASP, on ways we can continue to refine what it means to be a sport psychologist and how we can help graduate programs develop ideal models for training future professionals. Although establishing sport psychology as a specialty within APA is a long-term project, my plan is to focus on the beginning steps associated with that so we can make it (or another mechanism of credentialing) a reality in the future.

I welcome comments, feedback, and suggestions from you about any of the issues I have raised or any that you would like us to address within the Division. I look forward to hearing from you.