President's column

The division president discusses issues and future plans seeking the specialty status for Sport Psychology, and the retention and support of early career professionals

By Gloria Balague, PhD

Gloria Balague, PhDIt seems as if the APA Convention in Washington was a long time ago! Nevertheless I want to highlight the excellent attendance we had and the overall quality of the programs (Thank-you Anthony Kontos, Program Chair!). As we prepare for Orlando I encourage everyone to submit proposals, and I strongly recommend considering Poster presentations as a way to share your work and engage in conversation with people interested in the topic. Several topics will be highlighted at the APA Convention as part of the presidential initiative of Dr. Suzanne Bennet Johnson. One of these areas is particularly relevant to Division 47: Obesity, all aspects of obesity, the basic science of obesity, determinants of obesity, important psychological correlates of obesity, obesity across the life span, and both prevention and treatment efforts. Please keep it in mind when thinking about submissions for Orlando!

As a Division we have several news items to report: Sport Psychology has officially been renewed as a proficiency in professional psychology until 2018. The efforts of Past-President Jen Carter, who spearheaded the process, are greatly appreciated! We also have a new website managed now by APA, and very soon we will have a new logo, so please give us your feedback on these new developments. Finally, the Journal of Sport Exercise and Performance Psychology was officially presented at the Convention and all Division members will start receiving it this year. As you know, we also have a new membership option, that of Affiliate. Professionals and students can now be members of Division 47 without joining APA and still receive the Journal as part of their membership. We hope that this option will encourage more members of the sport psychology community to join Division 47.

Looking ahead, there are two issues that I would like to address: One of them is seeking the specialty status for Sport Psychology. That requires a consistent educational path and we are still far away from it, but for that reason I feel it is important to start the discussion. Perhaps the first question is What should a sport psychologist be able to do? Following that we can ask What is it that a sport psychologist needs to know (to be able to do these things) Feel free to send me your comments and ideas.

Finally, the last issue I want to tackle is the retention and support of early career professionals. As a Division we have a clear role for students but I am not sure we take care of their transition to professional life and I fear we lose many potential members. So I would like to start a section specifically for Early Career Professionals and I will suggest that to our Executive Committee in our upcoming Winter meeting.

As always, I welcome your feedback, suggestions and comments. Happy Holidays to all.