Toward the Professionalization of Sport Psychology

in The Sport Psychologist

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John M. Silva IIIUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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The application and professionalization of sport psychology has attracted increased attention from various sources including colleagues in the field, sport science and psychology departments, collegiate, Olympic, and professional sport organizations, and the media. Unfortunately, the attention generated has not resulted in significant organizational progress on issues crucial to the integrity of a developing specialization such as sport psychology. These crucial professional issues include the orderly growth of the field, requirements for the establishment of a recognized profession in sport psychology, the training of future sport psychologists, and the process and procedures required to develop and implement the certification of sport psychologists. The present paper was written to address these critical issues, identify progressive steps currently being taken, and recommend subsequent actions that can advance the field toward the professionalization of sport psychology without compromising the integrity of the academic subdiscipline.

John M. Silva is with the Department of Physical Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.

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