From 1950 to 1980, the field of sport psychology made significant strides. The developments were so rapid and so profound that this period can be called the “formative” years of the field. There was a tremendous expansion of the sport psychology literature, some of which constituted sustained contributions on a single research topic. Several textbooks and specialty books were published during this time period. Sport psychology journal articles expanded so much that journals devoted entirely to sport psychology research were created. The first graduate programs and research societies that focused more directly on sport psychology were also established. Applied sport psychology techniques, such as relaxation, imagery, and concentration training, were developed and made available to athletes. In addition to providing a description of the above-mentioned developments, some insights into dominant research methodology trends will be presented for the time periods of 1950 to 1965 and from 1966 to 1980.
Daniel M. Landers is with the Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287.