On the Swedish Road to Becoming a Professional Practitioner in Sport and Exercise Psychology: Students’ Views, Hopes, Dreams, and Worries

in The Sport Psychologist
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $68.00

1 year subscription

USD  $90.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $129.00

2 year subscription

USD  $168.00

The field of sport and exercise psychology (SEP) has experienced a steady growth, and the professional practice and training of students has evolved over that time. Based on 2 past studies, the purpose was to describe a 2015 cohort of SEP students’ hopes, dreams, and worries about the future. The authors performed a thematic content analysis of essays from undergraduate students based on cohorts from 1995, 2005, and 2015. The results showed that the most recent students expressed more worries about the current situation in relation to perceptions about the future of their potential professional practice than the past groups. Four tendencies for the future emerged: continued development of applied sport psychology, increased interdisciplinary exchange and integration, inclusion of exercise and health as a vital part of the field, and increased acceptance of cultural variations. Implications for future professional practice and training in SEP are discussed.

The authors are with the School of Social and Health Sciences, Center of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden.

Johnson (urban.johnson@hh.se) is corresponding author.
  • Acharya, J. (2010). Professional competence of sport psychologist. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 44(Suppl. 1), 53–54. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2010.078725.179

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Andersen, M.B., Aldridge, T., Williams, J.M., & Taylor, J. (1997). Tracking the training and careers of graduates of advanced degree programs in sport psychology, 1989 to 1994. The Sport Psychologist, 11, 326–344. doi:10.1123/tsp.11.3.326

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Basevitch, I., Filho, E., Shipherd, A., Rossato, C., Gutierrez, O. (2016, September). Apply, adapt, and achieve: Tips for a successful transition from graduation to the job market. Symposium presented at the annual conference of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, Phoenix, AZ.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baxter, L.A. (1991). Content analysis. In B.M. Montgomery& S. Duck (Eds.), Studying interpersonal interactions (pp. 239–254). London, England: Guilford Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77–101. doi:10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bucknell, G. (2015). A big new world: A sport psychology placement student’s findings. Sport & Exercise Psychology Review, 11(2), 82–85 .

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Butryn, T.D., Lavoi, N.M., Keuer, K.J., Semerijan, T.Z., & Waldron, J.J. (2014). We walk the line: An analysis of the problems and possibilities of work at the sport psychology–sport sociology nexus. Sociology of Sport Journal, 31, 162–184. doi:10.1123/ssj.2012-0169

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chandler, C., Eubank, M., Nesti, M., Tod, D., & Cable, T. (2016). Personal qualities of effective sport psychologists: Coping with organisational demands in high performance sport. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 47, 297–317. doi:10.7352/IJSP2016.47.297

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • El-Ghoroury, N.H., Galper, D.I., Sawaqdeh, A., & Bufka, L.F. (2012). Stress, coping, and barriers to wellness among psychology graduate students. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 6, 122–134. doi:10.1037/a0028768

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fitzpatrick, S.J., Monda, S.J., & Wooding, C.B. (2016). Great expectations: Career planning and training experiences of graduate students in sport and exercise psychology. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 28, 14–27. doi:10.1080/10413200.2015.1052891

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fletcher, D., & Maher, J. (2013). Toward a competency-based understanding of the training and development of applied sport psychologists. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 2, 265–280. doi:10.1037/a0031976

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fletcher, D., & Wagstaff, C.R.D. (2009). Organizational psychology in elite sport: Its emergence, application and future. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10, 427–434. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2009.03.009

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gnacinski, S., Post, P., Simpson, D., & Christensen, D. (2016, September). Looking to the next generation of professionals: Student members’ needs, interests, and perceived value of AASP membership. Poster presented at the annual conference of Association for Applied Sport Psychology, Phoenix, AZ.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Graneheim, U.H., & Lundman, B. (2004). Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: Concept, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Education Today, 24(2), 105–112. PubMed ID: 14769454 doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2003.10.001

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Henriksen, K., Stambulova, N., & Roessler, K.K. (2010). Holistic approach to athletic talent development environments: A successful sailing milieu. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11, 212–222. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2009.10.005

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Johnson, U. (1995). Dagensverklighetochmorgondagensmöjligautveckling. In C. Bjurwill (Ed.), 45 idrottspsykologstuderande tycker till om ämnet idrottspsykologi (pp. 41–53). Halmstad, Sweden: Högskolan i Halmstad.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Johnson, U. (2006). Sport psychology—Past, present and future: The perceptions of Swedish sport psychology students. Athletic Insight, 8, 1–8.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Johnson, U., Andersson, K., & Fallby, J. (2011). Sport psychology consulting among Swedish Premier soccer coaches. International Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 9, 308–322. doi:10.1080/1612197X.2011.623455

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Johnson, U., Ivarsson, A, Karlsson, J., Hägglund, M., Waldén, M., & Börjesson, M. (2016). Rehabilitation after first-time anterior cruciate ligament injury and reconstruction in female football players: A study of resilience factors. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation, 8, 20. PubMed ID: 27429759. doi:10.1186/s13102-016-0046-9.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Martin, C.B. (2005). High school and college athletes’ attitudes toward sport psychology consulting. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 17, 127–139. doi:10.1080/10413200590932434

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McCullagh, P., & Wilson, G. (2007). Psychology of physical activity: What should students know? Quest, 59, 42–54. doi:10.1080/00336297.2007.10483535

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Meyers, A.W., Coleman, J.K., Whelan, J.P., & Mehlenbeck, R.S. (2001). Examining careers in sport psychology: Who is working and who is making money? Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 32, 5–11. doi:10.1037/0735-7028.32.1.5

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Napoli, M., Krech, P.R., & Holley, L.C. (2005). Mindfulness training for elementary school students. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 21, 99–125. doi:10.1300/J370v21n01_05

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ntoumanis, N., & Strauss, B. (2011). Psychology of sport and exercise: Current status and future aspirations [Editorial]. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 12, 345–346. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2011.05.002

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ogilvie, B.C. (1989). Applied sport psychology: Reflections on the future. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 1, 4–7. doi:10.1080/10413208908406398

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Owton, H., Bond, K., & Tod, D. (2014). “It’s my dream to work with Olympic athletes”: Neophyte sport psychologists’ expectations and initial experiences regarding service delivery. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 26, 241–255. doi:10.1080/10413200.2013.847509

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schinke, R.J., & Hanrahan, S.J. (Eds.). (2009). Cultural sport psychology. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

  • Schinke, R.J., McGannon, K.R., Parham, W.D., & Lane, A.M. (2012). Toward cultural praxis and cultural sensitivity: Strategies for self-reflexive sport psychology practice. Quest, 64, 34–46. doi:10.1080/00336297.2012.653264

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sebbens, J., Andersen, M.B., Hanrahan, S. (2012). Beyond performance: Training sport psychologists in Australia. InPsych, 34(6), 18–19.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Silva, J.M., III (2001). Current trends and future directions in sport psychology. In R.N. Singer, H.A. Hausenblas, & C.M. Janelle (Eds.), Handbook of sport psychology (2nd ed., pp. 823–832). New York, NY: Wiley.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tod, D. (2007). The long and winding road: Professional development in sport psychology. The Sport Psychologist, 21, 94–108. doi:10.1123/tsp.21.1.94

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tod, D., Andersen, M.B., & Marchant, D. (2009). A longitudinal examination of neophyte applied sport psychologists development. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 21(Suppl. 1), S1–S16. doi:10.1080/10413200802593604

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vealey, R.S. (2006). Smocks and jocks outside the box: The paradigmatic evolution of sport and exercise psychology. Quest, 58, 128–159. doi:10.1080/00336297.2006.10491876

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Waite, B.T., & Pettit, M.E. (1993). Work experiences of graduates from doctoral programs in sport psychology. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 5, 234–250. doi:10.1080/10413209308411317

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Williams, J.M. (2003). Tracking the training and careers of graduates of advanced degree programs in sport psychology, 1994 to 1999. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 15, 335–353. doi:10.1080/714044201

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wilson, K.A., Gilbert, J.N., & Gilbert, W.D. (2009). College athletic directors’ perceptions of sport psychology consulting. The Sport Psychologist, 23, 405–424. doi:10.1123/tsp.23.3.405

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wylleman, P., Harwood, C.G., Elbe, A.-M., Reints, A., & de Caluwé, D. (2009). A perspective on education and professional development in applied sport psychology. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10, 435–446. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2009.03.008

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wylleman, P., & Seiler, R. (2016). European perspective on sport psychology. In M. Raab, P. Wylleman, R. Seiler, A.-M. Elbe, & A. Hatzegeorgiadis (Eds.), Sport and exercise psychology research (pp. 1–25). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zakrajsek, R.A., Martin, S.B., & Zizzi, S.J. (2011). American high school football coaches’ attitudes toward sport psychology consultation and intentions to use sport psychology services. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 6, 461–478. doi:10.1260/1747-9541.6.3.461

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 123 123 11
Full Text Views 30 30 1
PDF Downloads 20 20 0