FEPSAC's role and position in the past and in the future of sport psychology in Europe


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Abstract

Objectives:On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the European Federation of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC), this article aims to give an overview of the development of sport psychology in Europe and the role FEPSAC played in this period, and draw some conclusions for the future challenges facing FEPSAC.Method:Hermeneutical interpretation of historical documents available from FEPSAC and other sources.Results and conclusion:It is argued that sport psychology in Europe developed independently from the discipline in America, but also with great variety, due to different cultural, linguistic, and psychological traditions. The separation of Europe in two socio-economical and political blocks after World War II even strengthened these differences. When sport psychology started to recover after the damages of the war, a continental organisation was established as a logical consequence of the historically related differences. The strategic orientation of FEPSAC in the period of the two blocks is characterised by a diplomatic balance and high respect of the language and cultural differences, necessary requirements to allow maintaining the mutual exchange in areas of common interest. After the fall of the Berlin wall, the major strategic goals of FEPSAC revolved around: keeping contact with the Eastern European sport psychologists despite the economic difficulties in these countries; finding a common European understanding and giving this a voice in the world; and the support of the young generation and the development of sport psychology as a professional field. Unification and diversification are identified as the future challenges FEPSAC will be facing when attempting to remain the leading sport psychology organisation in Europe.

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