Sport and Exercise Psychology Around the World

Sport and Exercise Psychology Around the World


Simultaneous to the development of sport psychology in North America, is its development around the world; which will be highlighted here for several highly industrialist countries. In Japan, for example, sport psychology began to progress in the 1960s. Research activities in the field were promoted by the Japanese Society for Physical Education (JSPE) (Fujita & Ichimura, 1993). Research in sport psychology developed through physical education departments in colleges and universities. Most institutions offered the psychology of physical education or sport psychology as compulsory subjects. Additionally, researchers suggested that institutions published research bulletins, which were important sources of information in sport psychology. After the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, research in sport psychology developed as a science independent of physical education. The formation of the Japan Society of Sport Psychology (JSSP) in 1973 was established to oversee the direction and promotion of sport psychology. Interests for research focused on areas such as developmental studies, achievement motivation, perceptual motor behavior, biofeedback for motor control, anxiety and anxiety control. The main problems reported in Japan were the training of counselors to bridge the gap in the application of physical knowledge in elite competition and the recreation setting, since most of the research in Japan still focuses on top-level sports. The lack in social-psychology research is evident.


In China, research in sport psychology emerged from the needs determined in physical education and sport. Research programs were established in consideration of sport practice and development of specialties (Qiu & Qiu, 1993). Since 1978, nationwide projects were completed in the areas of psychological selection of athletes and the investigation of personality characteristics and psychological traits of elite athletes. Other areas of research include the formulation of a psychomotor ability test for youngsters, psychological diagnosis and selection of athletes, and psychological counseling and training of Chinese fencing athletes. Generally, the main focus of sport psychology in China remains on the issues related to top-level performance while the exercise and fitness realms are not of concern.
Sport psychology in France had a modest beginning until the early research in the 1980s. Research was initiated by the Institut National du Sport et de l’Education Physique of Paris (INSEP). At the INSEP, upper graduate level programs created specialization in Science and Technique in Physical and Sport Activities (STPSA), which included sport psychology research. Traditionally, sport psychology has focused on the use of applied psychology in order to provide assistance to athletes and coaches. Sport federations were concerned with the detection of talent and training of young people in sport specialized schools. Other interest areas for psychological skills training (PST) in France included experimental and clinical interventions. Research development evolved from the study of surface, overt aspects of behavior to more in-depth psychology factors involved in performance. Assessment of psychological factors affecting athletic performances was conducted with elite athletes and children. However, recent studies have also included issues on personality and motivation, psychological evaluation and intervention, as well as motor learning and its application to the fields of pedagogy and cognitive neuroscience.
In Germany, sport psychologists unified in 1990 to form the German Association of Sport Psychology (ASP) (Hackfort, 1993). The diversification of interests by its members has led to a variety of research investigations, which include methodological and theoretical approaches. The first published journal, Sport Psychologie, reported on basic problems and applied contributions in the field. Today, the main interests of sport psychologists are identified as basic research and application to sport performance in areas such as holistic orientation, assessment with elaboration of action theory, focusing on integration of psychobiological, and psychosocial factors. Other areas include cognition, emotional, and kinesthetic factors essential in analyzing psychomotor or sensorimotor processes and the functional meaning of cognitive emotional motivation. Applied research was designated for elite sport, top-level sports for children, career counseling, and participation of the elderly in high level sports.


Today, investigations span from conceptual and methodological development to the meaning of sport-specific instruments, such as the measuring of flow experiences, as well as a focus on exercise, fitness and recreational engagements through the lifespan.
The sport psychology research in Australia has been maintained by various universities’ departments of Psychology, Human Movement Studies, and Sport Science (Glencross, 1993). Glencross found that the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), and to a lesser extent, individuals working with sport bodies, made invaluable contributions to the body of research. In recent years, the impetus and encouragement for research development has been made by funding agencies. Research represents a broad spectrum of pure and applied interests. However, limited research monies from universities and the federal government typically support areas such as motor control and motor learning. The major role of the AIS has been the assessment and profiling of elite, sport psychology protocols and procedure, stress management, and relaxation and flotation (Glencross, 1993). In recent years, the focus of Australian sport psychology research has also included topics of recreational pursuits, as well as health and healthy aging.
Sport and Exercise Psychology Around the World Sport and Exercise Psychology Around the World Reviewed by mabelinter on avril 15, 2020 Rating: 5

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