Tag Archive for 'ISSP'

Happy New Year to Sport Psychology

Sport psychology has come a long way since the beginning of the 60′s, in the period 1959-1963 300 articles were published. We continue to think that it is a young discipline but it would be better to start thinking that on the contrary it is a part of psychology now well established and internally very differentiated.

Suffice it to say that next to the classic distinction between sport psychology and exercise psychology, several other areas have emerged as it was already highlighted by Robert Singer in the introductory report to the ISSP World Congress in Lisbon in 1993.

On the other hand there are at least 10 journals of sport psychology and every year dozens of books on sport psychology are published worldwide.

Sport psychology enjoys good health and now offers the same opportunities that it can be found in other areas of psychology. It is also highly regarded by athletes and coaches who understand its function.

So my dear Sports Psychology I wish you a prosperous 2021!

ISSP 15th World Congress

We are pleased to announce that the abstract submission for the ISSP 15th World Congress is now open! The congress will be held in Taipei from September 30 to October 04, 2021. Please visit https://issp2021.com/Page/Submission%20Guideline

For any questions, please email: issp2021.reg@elitepco.com.tw

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).


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.

Anniversary foundation of International Society of Sport Psychology

Good memories help! Thanks @NoceFranco. Watch the video.



Mental disease become much frequent in top sports

From The Guardian

The NBA’s commissioner, Adam Silver, said “many of the league’s players, who have an average salary of $7m a year, were “truly unhappy … The outside world sees the fame, the money, all the trappings that go with it, and they say: ‘How is it possible they even can be complaining?’ But a lot of these young men are genuinely unhappy.”

The NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas once told him that “championships are won on the bus” with the players having greater camaraderie – and fewer headphones – but times have changed. Indeed one superstar had recently told Silver that from getting off a plane to a game to showing up in the arena he sometimes did not see a single person: ‘I am going to get to my room, stay in my room, get room service and go to the game Sunday,’” Silver said. “He knew if he said it publicly people would say ‘poor baby’.

One study of 50 swimmers competing for positions in Canada’s Olympic and world championship teams, for instance, found that before competition, 68% of them “met the criteria for a major depressive episode”.

The research, published in 2013, also found that the incidence of depression doubled among the elite top 25% of athletes. The authors noted: “The findings suggest that the prevalence of depression among elite athletes is higher than what has been previously reported in the literature.”

Subsequent studies among Australian and French elite athletes have also shown that the prevalence of common mental disorders (CMDs) – such as stress, anxiety and depression– ranged from 17% to 45% of the athletes studied.

Football is no different. A 2017 study of CMDs among 384 European professional football players found that 37% had symptoms of anxiety or depression at some point over a 12-month period. According to the researchers, a professional football team typically drawn from a squad of 25 players can “expect symptoms of CMD to occur among at least three players in one season”.

Tellingly the authors of another study – among footballers in five European leagues – suggested that mental health issues might be higher compared with the rest of the population but pointedly added: “We would like to emphasise how difficult it is to gather scientific information about mental health in professional football, since such a topic remains a kind of taboo.”

Of course elite sport is brutal. Failure is common, career development uncertain. And injuries, overtraining and concussions can also affect mental health. But speaking on Friday, Silver also suggested that an additional factor these days is social media.

So what should be done? Scientists writing recently in the International Society of Sport Psychology journal stressed that the need for athlete and coach education was paramount in removing stigmatisation around the issue and “to expeditiously help when mild subclinical issues are experienced before these issues become mental illness”.

Some have gone public with their issues, including the Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, who spoke about a panic attack he experienced on court. As he put it: “Growing up, you figure out really quickly how a boy is supposed to act. You learn what it takes to ‘be a man’. It’s like a playbook: Be strong. Don’t talk about your feelings. Get through it on your own. So for 29 years, I thought about mental health as someone else’s problem.

“I know you don’t just get rid of problems by talking about them but I’ve learned that maybe you can better understand them and make them more manageable.”

It surely helps, too, that Silver is on the front foot and in his players’ corner, driving the debate on such an important issue.

Other leaders world sports would be wise to follow his lead.

The mental health of high performance athletes

Kristoffer Henriksen, Robert Schinke, Karin Moesch, Sean McCann, William D. Parham, Carsten Hvid Larsen & Peter Terry (2019). Consensus statement on improving the mental health of high performance athletes. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Published online: 31 Jan 2019.

This consensus statement is the product of an international Think Tank on the initiative of the International Society of Sport Psychology. The purpose of the Think Tank was to unify major sport psychology organizations in a discussion of the current status and future challenges of applied and research aspects of athlete mental health. The contributors present six propositions and recommendations to inspire sport organizations and researchers. The propositions are: Mental health is a core component of a culture of excellence; Mental health in a sport context should be better defined; Research on mental health in sport should broaden the scope of assessment; Athlete mental health is a major resource for the whole athletic career and life post-athletic career; The environment can nourish or malnourish athlete mental health; and Mental health is everybody’s business but should be overseen by one or a few specified members. It is recommended that researchers unite to develop a more contextualized definition of athlete mental health and more comprehensive strategies of assessment, as well as join forces with sporting organizations to investigate sustainable elite sport environments and the role of the mental health officer. Sport organizations are advised to recognize athlete mental health as a core component of a healthy elite sport system and a key indicator of their effectiveness, support research initiatives, and to promote the mental health literacy of all their staff while engaging a mental health officer with the responsibility to oversee a support system.


José Maria Cagigal: A founder of sport psychology

José Maria Cagigal (1928 – Madrid) played a fundamental role to establish for the first time in the world an international network in the field of sport psychology, culminated in the foundation of the International Society of Sport Psychology. In fact, it was during the 4th Congress of the Groupement Latin de Medecine Physique et des Sports, Barcelona, 1963, that Ferruccio Antonelli, Michel Bouet and José Maria Cagigal discussed about their interest in the sport psychological aspect and speculated upon the organization of a worldwide congress. His key role was clearly recognized by Antonelli, in 1973, during the ISSP Congress: “I want to remember that, it’s not wrong, to say that the scientific Sport psychology was born in Spain.

Cagigal was the first director of the Institutos Nacionales de Educacion Fisica (INEF), the first founded in Madrid in 1967, where it was included the field of psychology, establishing a strict connection between the pedagogy and the sport psychology. He was one of the first to distinguish between the sport-business and the sport as a free movement of all people. His legacy will be remembered in Sevilla during the next ISSP Congress

JOSÉ MARÍA CAGIGAL - OBRAS SELECTAS - VOLUMENES I, II Y III (Coleccionismo Deportivo - Libros de Deportes - Otros)

14° Sport Psychology World Congress: abstracts and vote

The 14th World Congress of Sport Psychology will be held in Seville, capital of Andalusia in Spain, between July 10th and 14th, 2017.

The central theme of the World Congress is “The integration of science and practice through multicultural bridges, gender and social equality”. International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP) has invited 10 distinguished keynote speakers, who made an outstanding contribution in Sport and Exercise Psychology during extended period of time, to present and share their academic achievements in the congress.

The deadline for abstract submission for the 14th World Congress of Sport Psychology is by 16 January 2017, and it is required to submit the abstract document via the Congress website.

In past years, in order to vote the new ISSP Managing Council was sufficient to pay the two years together directly to the Congress registration , now this rule has been changed. To vote (also by post) we must now pay the membership fee of 2016 by the end of this year and the one of 2017 in the next year. Regardless of vote preferences, which have not yet been formalized, we must commit to inform about this new rule so that the largest number of participants can vote. I ask you to encourage members and friends to join right now the ISSP or regularize their position. All those who will not do so by 2016, will in fact be excluded from voting in 2017.

The video of the International Society of Sport Psychology 50° Anniversary