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Virtual Conference - In Order to Thrive, the Field of Sport Psychology Must...

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Session length is 3 hours.

Wendy Borlabi, PsyD, CMPC, Chicago Bulls
Mike Chu, New Zealand Rugby
Alex Cohen, PhD, CMPC, United States Olympic Committee
Jonathan Fader, PhD, CMPC, SportStrata
Laura Finch, PhD, CMPC, St. Cloud State University
Eric Wedge, Toronto Blue Jays

When a group of professionals come together, there are bound to be conversations about strengths and weaknesses of their field. Certainly, sport psychology is no exception to this statement. Indeed, as we have watched similar professions such as athletic training and strength and conditioning thrive, many in sport psychology have wondered, “Why not us?”

The 2017 AASP Virtual Conference is designed to share perspectives and stimulate conversations about what sport psychology should do to prosper. For this purpose, we have assembled six highly successful speakers who have participated in sport psychology in a variety of ways: practitioners, scholars, consumers, and hirers. 

They will each share their answer to the prompt, “In order to thrive, the field of sport psychology must…”

Embrace Change
Wendy Borlabi
The field of sport psychology must embrace change and make room for the ideas, presence, and influence of others. Although I fully admit I am not engrossed in AASP to a degree, from my seat, the association has looked the same since the year I joined in 1998. We continue to talk about who can call themselves a sport psychology consultant and there continues to be a lack of cultural and gender diversity amongst the members. We must adapt to the direction the world is working towards, and debunk this an overall sense that we are not representing the populations we are working with.

Find the Key Maker 
Mike Chu
In this presentation I want to provide some personal insights into working with elite athletes as a Sport Psychology educator and practitioner, as a Coach Development Manager, and as a General Manager responsible for hiring Sport Psychologists.  For many practitioners in the field, they have the skills to make a difference to athletes and teams…if only they can get through the door!

Be Effective
Alexander Cohen
In order to thrive, the field of sport psychology must become consistently effective. We must define who we are as a profession to provide value to performance stakeholders. Advancements in basic research are needed to provide a solid theoretical foundation for evidence-based practice (i.e., knowing what works and for whom). Competency-based professional development must include training in validated theories of performance excellence, core counseling skills, and organizational consultation for effective practice within systems. Effective application of these core competencies is developed through quality supervision of experiential activities, coupled with reflective practice. Accredited programs will be recognized for their ability to train scientist-practitioners to provide effective sport psychology services.

Get Better at Helping People Understand its Value 
Jonathan Fader
While mental skills training has been shown to be highly effective in boosting athlete performance, many athletes, coaches and administrators remain ambivalent about whether or not to utilize sport psychology consultants. This may be due to stigma or misunderstanding around the mental conditioning process. This talk will address theses issues in the context of work with professional sports teams and discuss Motivational Interviewing (MI) which is technique that has demonstrated efficacy for responding successfully when confronted with resistance 

Training Future Sport Psychology Consultants
Laura Finch
In order to thrive, sport psychology must address the training of future sport psychology consultants as well as the recertification of current sport psychology consultants.  Higher education is currently experiencing great upheaval, from declining student enrollments, an increase in alternative graduate experiences such as “badges” and certificates, the pitting of traditional graduate programs against accredited programs, the rise of for-profits [and the subsequent demise of some of those institutions], increasing student debt, decreasing legislative support for state institutions, and the demise of the liberal arts and their influence on general education offerings. It’s becoming more clear that sport psychology must continue its conversation about our training models and the accreditation of sport psychology graduate programs.

Translate to the 'Diamond'
Eric Wedge
Often practitioners assume what's said in conversation translates, when in fact the coach and/or player doesn’t fully understand. Ultimately, the efforts are translation from theory to practice. When done well, there's consistency of teamwork between staff, player and follow through on a day-to-day basis. Not just handoff, but teamwork with the player working fluidly with incremental progress, feedback and follow through. 

Continuing Education Credit
K2: Sport Psychology
3.0 CE Credits


Students – $49.00

Members – $75.00

Non-members – $99.00

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