SPORT PSYCHOLOGY A VISION OF THE FUTURE

SPORT PSYCHOLOGY A VISION OF THE FUTURE

R.Singer
University of Florida, USA

It has been 34 years since I received my Ph.D. I guess I am old enough and have had enough experiences to be asked more frequently to speak on and write about my vision of the future of sport psychology. Should I be flattered? Or, should I realize that this is a sign of older age, and realize the consequences of the aging process!

One cannot speak of the future without reference to the past. Could there be a more significant location and occasion than this one, in Russia, to reflect on antecedents to the creation and development of sport psychology? I doubt it. Among the major contributors to the specialization were the highly respected Russian scholars, Puni and Roudik. I remember meeting Professor Puni in Moscow in 1974 at an international scientific congress. I will never forget suggesting to him ay that time how exciting it was for me to be part of the beginnings of sport psychology. He laughed and said that he invented the specialization in 1920! I realized quickly that I had a lot to learn about history!

Yet, the 1960s and 1970s were exciting years for the identity of sport psychology, in many places in the world. The science and practice of it have continued at an accelerated pace. Indeed, developments in exercise/health psychology have expandrd the roles and functions of sport psychologists and extended potential contributions to society. So, what of the future?

A special 1997 issue of Newsweek magazine was oriented to speculating about the early 21st Century, and what we might expect to happen. As the demographics, many countries will probably be more populated and people will live longer than ever. Medical breakthroughs will continue to occur rapidly, especially with regard to understanding genetic blueprints associated with health and behavior. People will desire more situations that allow for fast and furious fun, involving such things as virtual reality experiences. The internet will provide infotopia (information availability of all types and in a variety of formats) as well as maketplace for entrepreneurs. People will become more self-centered and self-serving, versus being other-centered and concerned with causes.

Where and how will sport psychology (and exercise psychology) fit in? What’ s in the future? In my presentation, I will discus this specialization in regard to (1) nature and substance, (2) scientific orientations, (3) academic preparation, (4) professional services, and (5) contributions to society. Reference will be made to the major areas identified by Newsweek as a useful framework to conjecture about sport psychology. Ultimately, greatest significance will be our potential impact on society. Ultimately, greatest significance will be our potential impact on society. Here we will consider contributions to (1) the entertainment value of sport and accomplishments of athletes, (2) the education and awareness of the public of the psychology of sport, recreation, and exercise, and (3) the motivation of everyone to participate in vigorous and fulfilling movement activities, thereby enhancing their quality of life through fitness, health, and movement.


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Singer, R. Sport psychology a vision of the future // Человек в мире спорта: Новые идеи, технологии, перспективы : Тез. докл. Междунар. конгр. - М., 1998. - Т. 1. - С. 12.