President's column

At the midwinter meeting, leadership discussed a mission statement, a paper about concussions, minority outreach and awards

By Gloria Balague, PhD

Happy Spring everyone.

I hope you have all noticed the beautiful new Division 47 logo. It is brand new and we think it conveys the dynamic energy of sport psychology.

This past winter the executive committee met in sunny Chicago (and yes, it was sunny Chicago in January, 2012) and we had a very productive three days. The first accomplishment was to come up with a mission statement for our division that we  felt represented us well.

Here it is:

APA Division 47 is a professional organization whose members are engaged in the science and practice of psychology within sport, exercise, and human performance. The division develops, promotes, and disseminates information to professionals and the public related to: 1) standards for competent and ethical practice, 2) models of graduate and post-doctoral training, and 3) scientific knowledge that informs and guides practice.

We also received information from the activities of the different committees. I want to recognize their commitment to the division and thank them for their work. Some of their initiatives here.

The Public Interest Committee, under the strong leadership of Scott Goldman, has tackled several different and interesting projects:

  • Concussion Paper: A paper which we hope will become a resource for psychologists about sports concussions and their sequelae. Besides submission to a journal, the authors (Adam Shunk, Anthony Kontos, RJ Elbin, and David Coppel) hope to place it on the division website.

  • Minority Outreach Project: The Public Interest Committee of the division developed a flyer with the goal of 
    attracting/recruiting minorities into the field of exercise and sport psychology. The flyer was distributed to APA Ethnic and Minority Affairs, APA Division 45, Psi Chi, AASP Diversity Committee. The effort will continue and we will send the flyer to Division 2, and to psychology departments across the country.

  • Collaboration with other professional organizations: An initial contact has been established with the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) with the aim of establishing ongoing collaboration. Some of the ideas discussed are lecture exchanges and position papers.

The Education Committee, under the helm of Ed Etzel, is gathering information about the curricula of sport psychology programs across the country, as one of the first steps in developing a consistent educational model for our discipline.

The Membership Committee has seen a change, with Ed Acevedo taking over for Chris Selby, and they have already developed a “Welcome to Division 47“ letter to be sent to future members. They have also set a goal of increasing membership in our division and will make specific suggestions in the near future.

The Science Committee, with Mark Aoyagi at the head, received eight submissions for the Dissertation Award and selected a winner who will receive the award at APA convention. The Practice Committee, led by Steve Portenga, continues to work on the important issue of clarifying the competencies of sport psychology. Their initial document will now be followed by a conference of experts to address the issue as part of our pathway towards becoming a specialty.

You will also receive the call for voting for division president, member-at-large, and council representative. Please send your vote. The division will be stronger when more members are actively involved. I urge you to join a committee, or contact one of us with your ideas and suggestions. We will be happy to communicate with you. Everyone should have received the first issue of the journal, so I also encourage you to submit your work for publication and to publicize our journal in your professional environments.

We have an exciting program ready for convention. We want to see you there and we hope you will get actively involved in some of the projects or suggest one of your own. See you in Orlando, Fla.