Sports psychology is the practice of reinforcing positive athletic performance through behavioral analysis, as well as promoting healthy team-related skills, and assuring overall psychological well-being within the high-stress world of competitive sports, according to the American Psychological Association. With the popularity of both amateur and professional sports today, it’s no wonder that sports psychology is seeing rapid growth in the job market. One of the best ways to remain competitive as a sports psychologist is to join a professional organization, which will help you network with industry leaders and stay on the forefront of new techniques and practices.
Here are five of the leading sports psychology professional organizations in existence today.
The Association for Applied Sports Psychology is one of the largest and most prominent professional organizations available in the field of sports psychology. It offers online resources for students, practitioners, and athletes, as well as information on becoming certified. The AASP also features regular conferences, and multiple cutting-edge publications. Its periodicals include some of the latest techniques in applied sports psychology, which are sure to help athletes maintain a winning edge.
The International Society of Sports Psychology is more than fifty years old, and features annual conferences held around the world. By dint of its international reach, it offers a wide range of ideas and practices, enabling its members to take advantage of creative solutions to which they might not have direct access in a nationally based organization. IISP offers discounted student membership packages, allowing those who are training to enter the field of sports psychology to get a leg up on the competition.
Division 47 of the American Psychological Society is dedicated to sport, exercise, and performance psychology. The APA’s approach is more broadly defined than that of some other organizations, due in part to its being a division of an organization which encompasses every viable branch of psychology today. It applies the same principles that work for amateur and professional athletes to other areas of life where conflict and competition require healthy resolution, and contains useful resources for enabling a sports psychologist to expand the applicability of their practice.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association focuses upon the increasingly popular field of college-level sports. With the ever-growing amount of money being paid into academia by dint of college sports, the physical and psychological demands being placed upon college athletes are growing at an alarming rate. A healthy sports psychology program can help ensure optimal athletic performance, while ensuring that healthy habits allow student athletes to maintain their grades and their overall well-being. The NCAA pays close attention to the development of promising programs to give its athletes a healthy boost, and is a worthwhile association to join for a professional that works closely with colleges and universities.
The International Institute for Sport and Human Performance is another great, wide-reaching professional organization for sports psychologists. The IISHP is based out of the University of Oregon, and maintains an unrivaled specialty in the field of kinesiology, where physiological and psychological disciplines meet, and an important part of sports medicine in general. The University of Oregon’s online library has a large collection of academic works on the subject of kinesiology, going back as far as some of the earliest sports psychology studies in the late 1940s.
Related Resource: What Careers are in Sports Psychology?
More Professional Organizations for Sports Psychologists
The 5 great professional organizations for sports psychologists which have already been listed each stand out from the crowd in some noteworthy fashion, whether due to scope, accessibility, or specialized area of focus. For more information, visit the Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library for a list of professional associations relating to all aspects of sports medicine.