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Candidate statement for APA Council Representative: Kate F. Hays

Kate F. Hays offers clinical, sport and performance psychology through her consulting practice in Toronto

Kate F. Hays offers clinical, sport and performance psychology through her consulting practice in Toronto, The Performing Edge. She describes herself as an “independent scholar”: she has published five books and numerous professional articles and book chapters regarding physical activity and mental health and the emerging area of performance psychology; she has taught at a number of universities and given workshops; she conducts tele-consultation groups for aspiring and engaged sport psychology practitioners, along with mentoring individual practitioners.

A founder of Division 47 and APA Fellow, Dr. Hays has served in a number of capacities, including: first Council 
representative, president and member of the committee that developed the APA Proficiency in Sport Psychology. She received the Bruce Ogilvie Award for Professional Practice in 2004. Within APA governance, she has been elected to (and chaired) various boards and committees, including: BAPPI, CSFC, CODAPAR, PIC, COPPS, and Women’s Caucus of Council. (She’s developed great familiarity with APA’s endless abbreviations in the process!) Currently, she is art co-editor for American Psychologist and a member of Division 47’s Public Interest Committee.

Dr. Hays grew up in New York City, spent many years in community mental health and independent practice in New Hampshire following graduation from Boston University, and moved to Toronto to practice, teach, and write in 1997. Avocational interests include: running, yoga, music making (voice and recorder), jewelry making, and vegetable gardening. She and her husband recently purchased a lakeside cottage in Vermont in order to summer with nearby son and his family.


Running is what brought me to (the then-nascent) Division 47 and running is what I am doing again (or still, depending on how you interpret it). In brief, I began running 10 years after completing my doctorate — and was an immediate convert to the mental benefits of physical activity. Like many psychologists then — and now — I didn’t know that there was a field of sport psychology. One of my primary tasks over the years has been to help change that.

The Council of Representatives is one of APA’s epicenters, an excellent place for networking, connecting between divisions, and assisting APA to move forward in meaningful ways. Division 47 has so many opportunities to engage meaningfully throughout the organization, whether in relation to positive aspects of the mind-body relationship, the science of performance, training the next generation or the challenges of practice in the digital age. We can learn from and teach.

Why me and why now? I am an inveterate networker; I know APA, its structure and its people; and there’s significant unfinished business to address: The Proficiency in Sport Psychology was developed in part to raise the profile of our field within psychology in general. That is still an important objective. We still need to move from the organizational to the individual level, developing methods to insure competence and quality in our field. Whether that is through guidelines, through collaboration with AASP, or some other method has yet to be determined, but it is vital. Additional information.