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Live Sessions

Leadership Spotlight: Virtual Meet & Greet with Kensa Gunter
Join fellow members in welcoming Kensa Gunter, AASP’s 35th President and the first Black woman elected to our top leadership post. Learn more about Dr. Gunter, as she answers your questions and shares her thoughts about the opportunities that lie ahead for the field of sport and performance psychology. The session will be interactive, and participants will be able to engage in real time. So, bring your questions and let’s have a “conversation” with Kensa.

Diversity Lecture - Disability Sport: A Parallel Push for Inclusion
Anjali Forber-Pratt, Paralympic Ambassador & Vanderbilt University Professor
Dr. Forber-Pratt's talk will highlight her work about disability identity as well as elements of her personal story as an elite athlete, advocate, mentor and researcher. As a wheelchair-user for over 30 years, a two-time Paralympian and medalist in the sport of wheelchair racing, Dr. Forber-Pratt is nationally and internationally recognized as a disability leader and mentor. She was a White House Champion of Change in 2013 and the American Psychological Association awarded her the 2020 Citizen Psychologist Award for Advancing Disability as a Human Rights and Social Justice Issue Award. Globally, she is involved with disability advocacy efforts related to access to sport and has actively been involved to help create inclusive sport opportunities for individuals with disabilities in Bermuda, India, Zambia and Ghana. 

The Team Behind the Team: Advocating for the Mental Health of Team USA Athletes
Sean McCann, Karen Cogan, Lindsay Shaw, Sara Mitchell, Caroline Rodriguez, & Alexander Cohen, United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee
Leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) sport psychology team advocated for the additional role of Mental Health Officer (MHO) to create an environment that promotes mental well-being and resilience. In this panel, five USOPC sport psychologists (including a panel moderator) will describe the process of working to develop the MHO role, collaboration with Sports Medicine, adjustments to the MHO role and enhanced provision of remote services as a result of Games postponement, and examples of integrated work with the MHOs to meet athlete mental health needs going into Tokyo 2021. Panelists will share highlights, challenges, and lessons learned from the new MHO role and recently hired Director of Mental Health, as well as recommendations for ongoing support of elite athlete mental health and performance.

Keynote Presentation
An Interview with Brandon Marshall, Former NFL All Pro & Current Co-Host of Inside the NFL

Join incoming AASP President Kensa Gunter as she interviews Brandon Marshall, a 6-time NFL All Pro wide receiver who played professionally for 13 seasons. Brandon will share valuable insights over his entire career, including how he mentally prepared and stayed focused during games. Brandon will talk about the importance of sport psychology and mental performance in the league and how it has evolved to the present day. An advocate of breaking down the cultural stigmas of mental health, he will highlight his own Foundation’s efforts (Project375) to raise awareness in this important area. Kensa and Brandon will discuss current events as well - including the current intersection of sport, media and activism related to racial injustice issues.

International Symposium: Athlete Career Excellence
Natalia Stambulova, Halmstad University, Sweden; Stiliani "Ani" Chroni, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway; Robert Diehl, Boston University, USA; Robert Book, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
In the focus of this symposium is a new concept of career excellence defined as an athlete’s ability to sustain healthy, successful, and long-lasting career in sport and life. Presenters will introduce new trends in applied career research – the ecology of career development, the transition to residential high-performance center, and the athlete-to-coach transition – along with evidence-based messages for practitioners. Discussion involving the audience will focus on the transfer of research into practice, aiming to supply mental performance consultants with ideas and tools to support athletes in their striving for career excellence.

Graduate Program Spotlight: University of Western States’ Sport and Performance Psychology Doctoral Program
Looking for the right graduate program for you? Come to this special session just prior to AASP’s Graduate Program and Career Fair to learn more about the University of Western States’ Sport and Performance Psychology (SPP) doctoral program. UWS Faculty and CMPC supervisors will walk students through pathways to completing a degree. Learn how to set up a clinical mental health counseling internship as well as important details about the SPP mentorship or the dissertation. Hear how UWS provides students valuable opportunities to work with established applied practitioners who have positions with the military, special forces, college teams and professional organizations. Interested in becoming certified? UWS curriculum is geared toward preparing students for the Certified Mental Performance Consultant ® exam.

Employer Spotlight: Magellan Federal Hiring Performance Experts
Interested in a job helping individuals perform their best when it matters most? Attend this session to learn more about Magellan Federal, a wholly owned subsidiary of Magellan Health, a Fortune 500 company. Magellan Federal is a market leader providing high-impact, innovative, and cost-effective solutions to the nation's most demanding human needs. In this session, we will highlight our work in human performance and resilience, including our contracts with the military. In the past 2 years, we have hired over 125 Performance Experts, each with a graduate degree in sport psychology. Demands for specialized training in performance psychology has grown incrementally over the past 5 years and we anticipate this trend to continue in the near future. We will introduce you to the roles and responsibilities of the Performance Expert and provide insights into what makes a high performing Performance Expert. This session will be ideal for aspiring professionals interested in joining Magellan Federal and graduate program directors who train future professionals in performance psychology.

Maintaining Integrity & Professionalism While Working with Youth Sport: Ethical Considerations
Amanda Myhrberg, Private Practice, USA; Robyn Trocchio, Texas Christian University, USA; Kristin Webster, Self, USA
The objective of this workshop is to introduce attendees to the ethical challenges of consulting within youth sport. Workshop facilitators will provide strategies for best practices in ethical decision making from the perspectives of a mental performance coach, researcher, and a parent. Teaching methods will include both a didactic and experiential component including case study analyses and ethical decision-making models.

Coleman Griffith Lecture - Gazing into a Hazy Crystal Ball: The Sequel
Jack J. Lesyk, Ohio Center for Sport Psychology
In 2011 Dr. Lesyk gave a Presidential Address with a similar title.  In this current lecture he will discuss what has changed in our culture and in sport psychology during the past nine years.  What has remained unchanged, and forecasts and advice for the future of sport psychology. All from a private practitioner’s point of view.

Gatekeeping the Profession of Applied Sport and Performance Psychology
Traci Statler, Cal State Fullerton, USA; Barbara Meyer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA; Sarah Castillo, National University, USA; Cecilia Craft, SOCEP, USA
Many in the field of applied sport and performance psychology serve a gatekeeping role for the profession, either through the supervision and training of neophyte practitioners, as members of professional hiring committees or in evaluation of certification and licensensure requirements. This session addresses the roles and responsibilities of professionals serving in this gatekeeping role in a variety of domains and provides strategies for effectively navigating these expectations.

Student Workshop: Getting the Job - Best Practices for Securing an Applied Sport Psychology Position
Shannon Baird, KBRwyle/1st Special Forces Group, USA; Zach Brandon, Arizona Diamondbacks, USA; Angus Mugford, Toronto Blue Jays, USA; Ashwin Patel, Humber College, Canada
This presentation will bring a combination of experiences from successful practitioners in full-time applied roles with specific emphasis on what organizations are looking for in qualified mental performance candidates.  The workshop will cover four main topics (a) initial steps, (b) Highlighted experiences, (c) interview skills, and (d) other considerations. The purpose of the workshop is then to help students critically think about, and begin to construct, a step-by-step plan for how to build their repertoire as a practitioner in the pursuit of full-time work.