Exercise psychology and sport psychology involve the scientific study of the psychological factors that are associated with participation and performance in sport, exercise and other types of physical activity. Sport psychologists are interested in two main areas: (a) helping athletes use psychological principles to achieve optimal mental health and to improve performance (performance enhancement) and (b) understanding how participation in sport, exercise and physical activity affects an individual's psychological development, health and well-being throughout the lifespan.
The practice committee of Div. 47 recently completed a paper (PDF, 86KB) that more thoroughly defines the practice of sport psychology. This paper is intended to be a starting point for further developments regarding the training and certification of future practitioners.
Applied sport psychology is the study and application of psychological principles of human performance in helping athletes consistently perform in the upper range of their capabilities and more thoroughly enjoy the sport performance process. Applied sport psychologists are uniquely trained and specialized to engage in a broad range of activities including the identification, development and execution of the mental and emotional knowledge, skills and abilities required for excellence in athletic domains; the understanding, diagnosing and preventing of the psychological, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and psychophysiological inhibitors of consistent, excellent performance; and the improvement of athletic contexts to facilitate more efficient development, consistent execution and positive experiences in athletes.
The Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology (JSEP) publishes peer-reviewed research articles by leading world scholars that explore the interactions between psychology and exercise and sport performance, editorials about contemporary issues in the field, abstracts of current research on sport and exercise psychology, and book reviews. JSEP is an official publication of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA). JSEP is published bimonthly (February, April, June, August, October, and December), along with one annual supplement of the NASPSPA Conference abstracts.
The Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology (JSEP) is a peer-reviewed publication designed to stimulate and communicate research theory in all areas of sport and exercise psychology. JSEP emphasizes original research reports that advance our understanding of human behavior as it relates to sport and exercise. Comprehensive reviews employing both qualitative and quantitative methods are also encouraged, as well as brief reports of soundly designed research studies that are of special interest or importance. Areas of interest include research in social, clinical, developmental, and experimental psychology, as well as psychobiology and personality. Moreover, the terms sport and exercise may pertain to either the independent or dependent variables. Generally speaking, work on motor control processes, studies of sport as a social institution, or broader social issues are beyond the scope of JSEP. A wide variety of methods are acceptable for studying sport and exercise psychology topics.
In addition to original research reports and theoretical papers, JSEP publishes a digest of recent sport and exercise publications, book reviews, a commentary section with short articles on methodological advances, innovative pilot or replication research, dialogue on published articles or theoretical issues, and occasional position papers that present innovative ideas of general interest to the field, heuristic observations, or important points on controversial issues.
Sport and Exercise Psychology (SEP) integrates theory, research, and practice, and includes the study of cognitive, emotional, psychophysiological, and social factors that influence sport and exercise behaviors as well as the effects of physical activity on psychological factors. Graduate students in SEP typically come from Kinesiology or Psychology undergraduate programs and come to UNCG to learn how to enhance human development and functioning by acquiring cutting edge knowledge in the area of SEP. Our graduates pursue careers as teachers, researchers, coaches, exercise leaders and sport and exercise psychology consultants.
The PhD degree with a concentration in SEP is primarily intended to prepare individuals as academic researchers and faculty members in the areas of sport and exercise psychology. There are no clinical or applied sport psychology training opportunities offered within this program.
The field of sport and exercise psychology is an interdisciplinary science that explores the relationship between various psychological factors and participation in sport and/or physical activity. The two-year program in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion offers students the choice to pursue a graduate education in the field of sport and exercise psychology by either following an applied or research track. Each option integrates theory-based research and the application of key concepts associated with performance enhancement and life skill development. In this context, successful completion of this program will result in a strong understanding of the various psychosocial factors that influence sport participation and performance.
The applied curriculum aims to prepare students for professional certifications (e.g., CMPC) and careers (e.g., sport and performance consultant, coaching, master resilience trainer, strength and conditioning coach, academic advisor, etc.) in applied sport and exercise psychology. In addition to a 300 (minimum) hour supervised internship, students in the applied track will complete graduate coursework in various professional fields related to sport and exercise psychology, including counseling psychology, sport leadership, and exercise science. Students in the applied curriculum will be required to sit for written and oral comprehensive examinations.
Students in the applied track will have the opportunity to choose from various approved internship sites and settings, allowing them to build a foundation in applied sport and exercise psychology/mental skills training. A certified consultant with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (CMPC) will supervise all internships, preparing students for CMPC designation post-graduation.
About Me: I am a first-year graduate student originally from the Northern Virginia/Washington D.C. area. I attended the College of William & Mary where I studied psychology while competing as a Division I heptathlete on the track and field team.
My research background is in adolescent mental health, health-risk behaviors in college student populations, and military veteran mental health. My research interests in the Sport and Exercise Psychology field include athlete body image, psychology of sport injury, and mental health stigma in athletics. Outside of the classroom I also volunteer as a Crisis Hotline Counselor, which has reinforced my love for helping those in crisis.
About Me: I am a Kentuckian through and through, so the chance to pursue an advanced degree at UK is overwhelmingly exciting. I played soccer for 12 years recreationally, on travel select teams, and with school. I tore my ACL, LCL, and meniscus, alongside a bone fracture, in a soccer collision when I was 17. Throughout my college experience, while being an Honors Program student, completing undergraduate research and practicum, and being socially involved, I genuinely missed being in the sports world and interacting with athletes. After taking a Sport Psychology course as an undergrad, I realized I could combine my love for psychology and mental health with the athlete inside me.
I am interested in multiple areas of study. I would like to study the psychology of injury rehabilitation, confidence building, and suicide prevention/awareness among athletes. My career dream is to become a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) upon the completion of this degree with the hopes of working with high school, collegiate, or professional athletes.Connor Gavigan
My academic goals while at Kentucky are to pursue my research interest in coaching, coaching psychology, and optimizing the youth sport experience. I am also simultaneously completing internship hours with Morehead State University Athletics, a Division 1 program near Lexington, in pursuit of my CMPC credential. Long-term, I intend to further my educational development in a PhD program and contribute to the field as a faculty member and applied practitioner. Sports have always been a huge passion of mine and I am certainly excited to continue to pursue that passion here at Kentucky!Graysen Jennings
Due to being an athlete for 19 years of my life, sports have always been a passion of mine. Throughout my time as an athlete, I was faced with a multitude of various mental obstacles. This affected me inside of the gym and outside of the gym. I want to be able to help athletes who struggle as I struggled. I hope to help them overcome these obstacles that sport and life throws at us. I feel that through my experiences I can offer a perspective that athletes can relate to and feel comfortable with.
Growing up, I was involved in different recreational sports leagues, then eventually stuck to playing soccer. I played competitive soccer for 10 years and recreationally for another 4 years at Bellarmine. I made a mental health decision to quit playing competitively at the end of my senior year of high school. This decision, along with the help of my academic advisor, led me to develop an interest in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Once I am finished with the program I want to receive my CMPC and work with collegiate and professional athletes.Steven Strobis
Upon completion of this program, I plan to obtain my Certified Mental Performance Consultant certification, to have the experience and expertise to better enhance the physical and mental performance of my student athletes, as well as grow the awareness and benefits of sport psychology in college athletics. Outside of the classroom I enjoy watching my teams dominate on the court, mat or track, managing and creating social media content for UK Olympic Strength (@uk_oly_strength), Strength Training, spending plenty of hours gaming, exploring local hikes, and enjoying way too much coffee along the way.Affiliated MembersAffiliated members are those that are involved in research meetings and internship meetings, but may not be enrolled in the SEP program 59ce067264