A perspective on education and professional development in applied sport psychology


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Abstract

Objectives and method:As the field of applied sport psychology (ASP) is witnessing a growth in interest in professional practice, it is also faced with the challenge of developing its professional status. Taking into account the lack of research on the career development of ASP practitioners, this article reviews research and information relevant to two major career phases: a) education in preparing for ASP practice, and b) initiation and development of professional ASP practice. The paper also provides an initial collation of information and research regarding ASP education, professional development, and service provision in Europe.Results and conclusions:Results revealed that the field of ASP still faces the challenge of formulating an encompassing and uniformly used definition of ASP; of gaining a better understanding of the career development of ASP professionals, with particular attention for female ASP practitioners; of gaining insight into, analysing and providing quality management in the educational pathways preparing for ASP practice; and of optimising the vocational development of the ASP professional by way of ensuring the quality of ASP service delivery and the development of competencies in ASP practitioners. In conclusion, recommendations are formulated for furthering the development of ASP in Europe, and on the possible role of the European Federation for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (FEPSAC).

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