Tag Archive for 'IJSP'

1970 i the foundation year of the first journal of sport psychology

This year is the 51st year since the International Journal of Sport Psychology (IJSP) was founded in 1970. We will publish two special issues, the first has a look back at the history of sport psychology and second look at the future perspective. Guest editors: Sidonio Serpa, Fabio Lucidi and Alberto Cei.

This journal was the very first dedicated specifically to sport psychology, and it was created almost 10 years before the Journal of Sport Psychology that was published for the first time only in 1979. I have heard many criticisms of the Journal, as it was called by Antonelli, being the editor together with John Salmela from 1988 to 1995. However, few people remember the many difficulties involved in its founding and development, how no publisher was willing to accept the burden of publishing a scientific journal for world-wide diffusion. Only when the Journal finally became well-known and become successful did some of the main publishing firms show interest in purchasing it. Initially the IJSP was supposed to be published in Norway, directed by Alfred Morgan Olsen – Norwegian School of Sport (1969-1992) and  ISSP vice-president – but problems arose with the publisher. In fact, Antonelli in the first issue wrote:

“The Managing Council appointed an Editorial Board (led by Olsen), and I, too, signed a contract with a Norwegian publisher. . .and I received a good number of subscriptions. Because of the problems that Dr Olsen refers to, I have found myself obliged to take on the position of Chief Editor and to find another publisher at all costs and without delay in order to start the journal. A journal that would inform all members … had become a necessity, a duty” (Antonelli, 1970, p. 3–4).

Antonelli found the person who would accept this challenge in his friend, the publisher Luigi Pozzi. Pozzi himself told me that when Antonelli proposed this enterprise just a few words were necessary to persuade him to accept. One can only agree with Salmela (1999), when he states that this was truly a heroic challenge, achieved only thanks to Antonelli’s solitary determination, without financial coverage:

“For $10 a year I am able to offer only two small, unassuming, issues, so there is another matter which I must reveal. When registration to the ISSP was free of charge, I received 1500 applications. When I asked for 10 dollars, not for the ISSP, that sustains no expenses and thus requires no money, but for the subscription, only 10% paid this fee. I have found a very understanding publisher, who has agreed to give up all his profit, and for this I publicly thank him from the bottom of my heart; but printing and mailing expenses are enormous. I will be able to print and send out the first issue with what I have received to date. And I will send it to all 1500 members. If necessary, I will then go ahead at my own expense … this is not an exhibition of crazy heroism … I am sure that when they receive this first issue, many members will pay the subscription fee for the second issue of 1970″ (Antonelli, 1970, p. 4–5).


51° anniversary of the International Journal of Sport Psychology

This year is the 51st year since the International Journal of Sport Psychology (IJSP) was founded in 1970. We will publish two special issues, the first has a look back at the history of sport psychology. This orientation has been chosen to keep alive the memory of how we have come to the present development and which were the most prominent players in this path. Today we have more than 10 journals dedicated to this discipline, which are also associated with the many other sports science journals that regularly host contributions of a psychological nature. Throughout the 1970s the only magazine available was IJSP, at least until the publication in 1979 of the Journal of Sport Psychology founded by Rainer Martens. The second issue is dedicated more to the future, identifying not only some trends in development but also how research on some classic themes is reorienting itself according to the changes in our society.

IJSP has celebrated itself once again in all these years. Ferruccio Antonelli made his debut in this regard:

“This special issue celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Journal and the fifteenth anniversary of the Society. It will readers its readers while European Section of ISSP – the FEPSAC – is holding its fifth Congress (September 1979) in Varna, Bulgaria, and celebrating its tenth anniversary” (p.149).

The authors of this special issue have been invited to provide a contribute on one of the seven topics proposed:

  • Psychological management of top-athletes (J. Salmela)
  • Coaches and sport psychology (B.S. Rushall)
  • Female sport today: psychological consideration (D. Harris)
  • Psychology of children in sport (F.L. Smoll and L.M. Levebvre)
  • Critical issues in the application of clinical psychology in the sport setting (B.C. Ogilvie)
  • Sport psychology foe handicapped (H. Rieder)
  • Research in sport psychology (R.N. Singer and J.E. Kane)

The publication of this special issue was a success. It’s well documented by the congratulation letters the authors sen to Ferruccio Antonelli and that I have.

  • “My congratulation to the special issue. It is really very good one” (Miroslav Vanek, ISSP President).“Congratulations on the Tenth Anniversary Special Issue of the International Journal of Sport Psychology. I hope that you have had good reactions and reviews for your efforts” (Dorothy Harris)
  • “Thank you for sending a copy of the anniversary issue of IJSP. You are to be commended for initiating such an ambitious project and congratulated for the quality of the final product” (Frank L. Smoll).
  • “Each issue of the International Journal of Sport Psychology seems to get better and better” (Robert N. Singer).

Certainly also IJSP will have to renew itself as it is happening in the world of research to face the new challenges of the next decade. In any case, we are now proud that an Italian publisher, Luigi Pozzi publisher, has kept its commitment to lead the magazine to the point of being spread in all continents and to have an Editorial Board reflecting this spread in the world.

I would like to thank Sidonio Serpa and Fabio Lucidi for leading with me the production of these special issues, and I hope it will receive the same positive reception that Ferruccio Antonelli had in 1970.

Good memories from the past working for the 50th IJSP anniversary

Yesterday I wrote to Glyn Roberts in relation to the special issue of the International Journal of Psychology that we will publish this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this journal, born in 1970. These various events brought back memories to me when I first met Glyn and the other members of the International Society of Sport’s managing council. It was in Varna, Bulgaria, in 1987, I was 32 years old and at that time it was quite incredible for me to attend a meeting of the managing council, in place of Ferruccio Antonelli, who had not wanted to attend, to talk about the future of the Journal and above all to get some of them, Robert Singer, John Salmela, Lars Unestahl, Miroslav Vanek or Glyn Roberts to take over the its scientific responsibility. They were very friendly with me, as North Americans usually are, perhaps also for the reason they expected an old and formal person, a bit in Antonelli’s style. And so they were surprised when they met me. There was a lot of free time, spent playing tennis, running and walking. I had read the book by John Silva III and Robert Weinberg entitled “Psychological Foundations of Sport” and, therefore, I knew the chapters by John Salmela and Glyn Roberts to whom I never stopped asking questions about motivation rather than the origins of sports psychology and its role in North America.

Certainly very kind but nobody wanted to take responsibility for the Journal. They knew Antonelli and that it would be difficult to collaborate with him, given his history in the ISSP and also because it was his habit to publish all the articles that were sent to the Journal, without applying any form of review. I said that I was aware of this way of managing the journal but that alone I could never change this kind of approach and that, moreover, I did not have the competence to manage a scientific journal.

At the end of the discussion, John Salmela raised his hand, basically saying: “Okay, I’m willing to help the Journal, because in any case it represents the International Society of Sport Psychology”. His terms were that he and I would be the new co-editors, that Antonelli would withdraw and on this basis we would build the system to improve the scientific quality of the Journal. Things didn’t exactly go exactly that way, because Antonelli remained for some time in the role of editor-in-chief, he didn’t play any function but wanted to maintain the leadership in the eyes of the world. However, the system we put together worked and, in those years, the Journal grew in scientific quality. We worked a lot with John, spending a lot of time together in Canada, first in Montreal and then in Ottawa and in Italy, in Rome. We became friends and we saw each other every year for more than twenty years. Another meeting with the managing council was in Ottawa in 1992 (as in the picture below).

From left Pierre Trudel, Alberto Cei, Jurgen Nitsch, Gerd Konzag,  John Salmela, Robert Singer, Denis Glencross, Gershon Tenenbaum, Marit Sorensen, Glyn Roberts, Atsushi Fujita, Semen Slobunov, Sidonio Serpa, Richard Magill, Carlos Moraes and Terry Orlick.

Sport psychology in China

Autismo and sport: a relation not well known

Sport for young people with intellectual disabilities, children and adolescents, especially with autism spectrum syndrome is a difficult wall to break down. There are too many dogmatic thoughts blocking the opportunity for the development in this age group, which is critical for the approach that can to provide at their life not only in these years but also for the future as adults.

Sedentary and overweight are the most common outcomes faced by these young people and their families. In Italian school system the young with disabilities are 216,013, equal to 2.4% of the entire population (close to 9 million students).

Of these, 68% are young people with intellectual disabilities.

How many of them practice sports or physical activity continuously? Unfortunately we do not know and this is already a rather serious fact that highlights the limited interest in sport. How many sports organizations are carrying out programs for these young people? Even on this point, information is very scarce and families have not places where to ask about this.

We could continue with many other questions, which at the moment did not find an answer.

Finally, the scientific data, not only in Italy, even internationally are reduced. Rather, it’s better to follow the motto: “sport is good, do it”. Little is known about the training programs carried out, about the characteristics of the professionals involved, there are no longitudinal studies.

In Italy, Even the recent book on “Good practices in autism” published by the Psychologist Register certainly interesting for the aspects related to diagnosis and relationships between School, Families and Services, ignores sports as a system of empowerment of young people with ASD. It is a pity that they did not inquire about this issue, because sport is instead an essential piece for the development of young people with ASD.

International Journal of Sport Psychology has dedicated a special issue on the subject and anyone interested can request it from the publisher Luigi Pozzi.

Looking for an old article of International J. of Sport Psychology

International Journal of Sport Psychology


Looking for out-of-print #IJSP articles? Feel free to approach us. A small cost of 5 euro (for the years 1970-2007) and 10 euro (since 2008) is chargeable. Write to the publisher: edizioni_pozzi@tin.it


The culture of mental toughness

The development of mental toughness has often been regarded as a strictly individual factor and we have few information to understand how the sport organizations show and build their culture of toughness and how this promotes the athletes’ toughness .

The article by Eubanks, Nesti e Littlewood (2017), A culturally informed approach to mental toughness development in high performance sport, IJSP, 48, 206-222, revived some new insights about this topic.

The purpose is to explore the importance of culture in the development of Mental Toughness (MT). This is done by means of a critical review of the current literature that exists in relation to the conceptualisation, definition and development of the concept. We argue that despite recent advances in our understanding, most research into MT has focused on the characteristics of mentally tough individuals. Although important and useful, the role of the environment, culture and context, and how these impact MT and its development has been given somewhat less attention and is perhaps not well integrated into practice.

The notion of Mental Toughness (MT) being broadly represented by “the ability to achieve personal goals in the face of pressure from a wide range of different stressors” (Hardy et al., 2014).

One of the criticisms frequently levelled at psychology as an academic discipline is that it often focuses on the individual, and forgets, or ignores the environment within which the individual exists.

Culture may be best seen as the hidden yet influential force, involving core values, beliefs, and traditions that operates as a type of soft power, which shape the working practices, ideas, strategies and philosophies of groups and individuals.

Weinberg et al. (2011) focused on the views of ten National Collegiate Athletic Association head coaches, who reported that a tough physical practice environment, a positive men-tal environment and an environment that provided mental toughness awareness and learning opportunities were fundamental to MT development.

The authors said that is clear that the optimum environments to build MT are those that are imbued with a challenging and stimulating culture, where personal responsibility is emphasised in all things.


IJSP contents 2/2017

IJSP contents 1/2017

International Journal of Sport Psychology, 47 (1), 2016