Sport psychology both in Ireland and globally continues to evolve and within this context professional development is critical. The sport psychology community on our island aligned both to the Psychological Society of Ireland (Div. of Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology) and the British Psychological Society equivalent provide local forums. The diversity of approaches within our field requires practitioners and researchers alike to be cognisant of international perspectives.
Founded in 1985, the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) offers a forum for linking with international colleagues. AASP is the leading organization for sport psychology consultants and professionals who work with athletes, coaches, non-sport performers (dancers, musicians), business professionals, and tactical occupations (military, firefighters, police) to enhance their performance from a psychological standpoint. AASP is an international, multidisciplinary, professional organization with over 2,500 members in 55 countries worldwide, with backgrounds in a variety of areas including sport science, social work, counseling and clinical psychology.
AASP was formed in the US, has headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana and has been a fertile forum for both the Irish diaspora and our own community of aspiring and accredited practitioners. An Annual Conference, now in its’ 33rd year, is the feature of the global sport psychology calendar. In 2016, Professor Aidan Moran from UCD, mentor to Dr Tadhg MacIntyre and Dr Mark Campbell at PESS, was the invited international keynote. Expert panels on mental health in sport, symposia on Olympic Games consulting and organizational psychology in sport have provided an opportunity for researchers for PESS postgraduate researchers both current Hannah McCormack and past Noel Brick PhD, and staff at UL including Dr Deirdre O’Shea and Dr Tadhg MacIntyre, our adjunct Professor David Lavallee (Uni. of Abertay) and PESS external examiner Prof. Craig Mahoney (Uni. of the West of Scotland) and elsewhere across the island including Dr Alan Ringland (IT Tralee). Interestingly, Hannah’s PhD studies are based upon a project which was supported by seed funding from AASP. The association also offers Student Travel Awards for the annual conference. The collaborations that evolve from this conference are plentiful and the 2018 event held in Toronto with over 1,800 participants will offer many opportunities for attendees.
In addition, AASP makes a significant contribution to sport and exercise psychology research and practice through its three journals. The Journal of Applied Sport Psychology (JASP) publishes academic works that significantly advance thought, theory, and research on applied aspects of sport and exercise psychology using a diverse range of methodologies. The Journal of Sport Psychology in Action (JSPA) focuses on applied practice works with concrete implications for both advanced and developing practitioners. Finally, the Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology (CSSEP) journal publishes specific case examples of applied practice and case study research showcasing different approaches and methods used in sport and exercise psychology consulting. These dissemination routes offer authors a chance to speak directly to professional international peers continuing AASP’s role of creating a global community for sport, exercise and performance psychologists. AASP also publish a Directory of Graduate Programs in Sport Psychology, which features our MSc. programme at PESS and is significant in attracting international students.
In May 2018, Tadhg MacIntyre PhD was awarded AASP fellow status, and joins less than 100 other members of the association recognised for having achieved distinction through significant contributions to academic and professional practice knowledge in sport and exercise psychology.
Feature Image L-R: harlie Brown PhD, Prof. Judy van Raalte, Tadhg MacIntyre PhD & Prof. Britt Brewer after their expert panel on mental health at AASP.
To join AASP click here. Follow on twitter at @AASPTweets