FEPSAC 40th Anniversary

FEPSAC, founded in 1969 in Vittel, celebrated its 40th birthday during the SFPS International Congress. It will took place at the National Institute for Sport and Physical Education (INSEP) on July 2nd, 2009.

Below you can find the abstracts of the keynote speakers invited to FEPSAC’s 40th anniversary:
Roland Seiler, Jürgen Nitsch and Caroline Jannes.


The cultural heritage of European sport psychology – a source of inspiration for the future?
Roland Seiler
University of Berne, Switzerland

Sport psychology in Europe has a long tradition and developed on the basis of various philosophical roots and psychological schools and traditions predominant in different countries, cultures, and linguistic areas. The methodological and empirical approaches to psychological themes pertinent to sport are dependent on the underlying psychological theories. In this presentation the consequences of different theories for some exemplary themes will be shown, and their potential for the future development of sport psychology is outlined.
In contrast to the beginning years of FEPSAC congresses, today’s conference language in sport psychology is English only. Also all international sport psychology journals are published in English. This restriction linguistically biases the theoretical approaches published and referred to. The chances to be published for authors from some countries and for those working outside the mainstream theories are thus reduced.
The presentation will conclude with recommendations for FEPSAC and European sport psychologists on how the cultural diversity might be better used for the further development of sport psychology.


Sport and Exercise Psychology Re-evaluated: Blind Spots and New Challenges
Jürgen R. Nitsch
Institute of Psychology
German Sport University Cologne

On the occasion of an anniversary it may be useful to review the present situation in the perspective of future demands. Acknowledging the impressive advances in sport and exercise psychology in the last 40 years, however, it does not make much sense to simply put some additional topics on the agendas of our everyday research and application projects. Instead, the leading idea is that much more profit will be gained when focusing on the metapsychological fundamentals of our psychological activity in a systematic, critical and constructive manner. Thus, that what is primarily intended is to call particular attention to this issue and to offer some ideas which may be helpful and stimulating to the further scientific consolidation of our discipline. Referring to the constitutive components of the science field, some of the most relevant background problems and deficits are briefly characterized in a first step. In a second step, the focus is on a basic problem which is mostly underestimated and therefore too much neglected: the impact of implicit assumptions on theoretical conceptions, methodological approaches and intervention programs. Starting with the question “How to build sportpsychological theories?”, the third and final step preceding a short conclusion provides some essentials of a metapsychology of sport which is probably one of the most important challenges in the future at all.

Download the presentation here.


Caroline Jannes
Centre for Sports Medicine, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
The European Network for Young Specialists in Sport Psychology

More and more individuals in Europe are attracted to the field of sport and exercise psychology (SEP). As Tod (2007) stated, the road to professional development in SEP seems long and winding. Specifically, the Rønnestad and Skovholt theory (2003) of professional development in counselling psychologists discussing the possible demands and problems arising at different phases of the professional development can be used as a framework The different phases are (1) lay helpers, (2) beginning students, (3) advanced students, which we can consider as the “Learning Phase”, and (4) novice professionals, (5) experienced professionals and (6) senior professionals which we can consider as the “Doing Phase” . The “Learning Phase” consists of understanding characteristics of beginning and advanced students (Tod, 2007), assuming different possibilities of studying SEP in Europe (e.g. European Masters Program in Exercise and Sport Psycholoy, VSPN ®), and considering career opportunities (e.g. Williams & Scherzer, 2003; Elbe, 2009). The Doing Phase consists of characteristics of novice professionals (Tod, 2007) and possible ways to manage the early career in applied SEP (e.g. BASES, 2008), and the characteristics of experienced / senior professionals who are able to guide and supervise their younger colleagues (e.g. BASES, 2004; Morgan & Sprenkle, 2007). Needs and recommendations for researchers, students, professionals and supervisors will be discussed. It can be concluded that there are several pathways to becoming proficient in applied SEP, and that both students and professionals show a wish to start “doing” as early as possible and a desire for continuous “learning”.

You can download the program here.