Sport and Exercise Psychology Review (Journal)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity


Charlotte remarked, ‘I am sorry you have changed your residence as I shall now again lose my way in going up and down stairs, and stand in great tribulation, contemplating several doors, and not knowing which to open.’ (Juliet Barker’s The Bronte’s). Charlotte's plight seems a fitting allegory for candidates negotiating the Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (QSEP). Having graduated from their Masters, they visit a new residence (I.e., QSEP) but confront countless challenges within. The structure and refinement of the previous residence (.e., postgraduate study) only partially prepared them for their new quarters. In opening one door, candidates figuratively close all others only to retrace their steps and open a second door in another time and place. The journeys within these pages illustrate the art and science of doing sport psychology while revealing the professional avidity within QSEP. The candidates' quandaries, often taxing psychologically and emotionally, serve their contemporaries universally to debate, challenge, learn and grow. I’m accustomed to limited mental exercise (except that of jumping to conclusions) so I thoroughly embraced this issue as a whetstone to fathom the finer details of training, supervising and assessing within the Qualification of Sport and Exercise Psychology. “In my end is my beginning” T. S. Eliot wrote in Four Quartets. Reading through this special issue reminded me of this reference to circularity. Training, supervising and assessing – a tripartite collaboration to serve our profession now and always. The authors reach out through an esoteric subject to welcome readers less academically accoutered. A significant challenge confronts those offering therapy to the public especially those in sport and exercise contexts for several reasons. Fundamentally sport and exercise psychologists translate their knowledge and understanding from this subject to clients who seek their help. The chief principles of sport psychology might be lost in translation because of the action (or inaction) and motives of the psychologist, client and the sociocultural environment in which they dwell. Navigating this territory, returning to update the maps and travellers' guides alleviates the desultory image of sport psychology so often sketched within the print media. This mesh of contributions from candidates, supervisors and assessors brings transparency to this qualification in sport and exercise psychology and a rising tide to lift our standards. Martin Eubank deserves special recognition here. His perspicacity allows readers to peer over the shoulder of candidates, supervisors and assessors to grasp the breath of experience and precept in each role. These pages are not diktats; they are guide ropes for one’s journey as a sport and exercise psychologist within the Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology. In exchanges with trainees and contemporaries, I like to ask: why do you do what you do? Answers range from helping others, seeking fame and fortune, offering hope and comfort, to be part of a winning team amongst many others. The sense I draw from them is that "I'm not sure I would like others to know my true motives for being a sport psychologist unless they are acceptable...whatever that means" yet I'm sure these motives leak through thoughts, words and deeds. However palatable or unpalatable one's motives for being a sport psychologist might be, I feel the carapace of how we are 'supposed' to think, feel and act limits our effectiveness because we deny the existence of our reasons for why we do what we do. I draw a sense from reading these compositions about people and processes. I debate which assumes priority: Do people matter? Or do processes matter? Perhaps it is not an intentional binary decision but we are drawn toward concrete thinking "Is it right or wrong?" "Did it work or not work?" "Was I successful or unsuccessful?". The reflection about stray thoughts and feelings, things that do not fit, the texture of life seems excluded or sequestered in many communications in journal articles. Martin sought these reflections; reflections that flicked through the pages of one's experience as a sport and exercise psychologist to witness how the internal furniture of one's mind presents sport psychology and the sport psychologist. The loose threads inside a concatenation of events strengthen the cement that holds the bricks of our professional practice together. Thank you Martin for your excellent contribution to the field.
Period1 Sept 2016
Type of journalJournal