Paul Wylleman

Professional background

Paul is professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels University Alliance, BUA) where he teaches Sport psychology, Mental support services, and HRM at the faculties of PE/Physiotherapy and Psychology/Educational Sciences. He is head of the department “Topsport and Study” and research unit “Sport psychology and Mental support”. His research focuses on elite athletes’ career and life style management, quality of applied sport psychology services, mental skills development in talented athletes, relationships in competitive sport. Paul has published extensively including peer-reviewed journal articles, chapters, books and his given more than 230 (inter)national keynote/invited lectures and congress presentations. He is also associate-editor of Journal of Sport Psychology in Action and on the editorial board of Psychology of Sport and Exercise and International Journal of Exercise and Sport Psychology. Finally, Paul has been President of the European Federation of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC) since 2007.

Applied experience

During the past two decades Paul has worked extensively with talented, elite and Olympic athletes in archery, cycling, 3-day eventing, fencing, figure ice skating, judo, sailing, swimming, tennis, track and field, as well as with national teams in archery, basketball (national seniors), soccer (national U15 and U17) and tennis (Davis Cup).
Paul has also provided sport psychology support in the Flemish topsport schools in golf, judo, tennis, track and field, and swimming and to elite student-athletes at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
He has acted as sport psychology expert in multidisciplinary support teams in judo, tennis and swimming in Flanders and as sport psychology consultant to the Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee (BOIC), the Belgian Royal Football Association (KBVB) and the Sport Psychology Advisory Board of the English FA.
During the past 10 years, Paul has also provided on-site sport psychology support at international competitions and tournaments including:
–    Winter Olympic Games
–    Universiade
–    World Championships Swimming, Open water swimming, Figure Skating, Athletics, Archery Outdoor & Indoor
–    European Championships Figure Skating, Swimming, Fencing, Archery
–    Wimbledon Grandslam Tennis
–    Davis Cup team tennis
–    as well as other competitions (e.g., CCI**** Eventing, Coupe du Monde d’Escrime, 10/12 Tournoi Tennis, Tournoi de Paris Judo).
Finally, Paul initiated in 2004 the Forum of Applied Sport psychologists in Topsport (FAST) bringing together applied sport psychology support providers in elite sport from around Europe. In Belgium, he initiated and coordinated the projects Sport psychology support for topsport schools and elite sport federations and Career support services for elite sport federations.

Sport background

After a short career in athletics (shot put and discus), Paul competed in judo as first Dan black belt. Paul is an avid downhill skier and swimmer and enjoys playing badminton.

Selected list of presentations

– Wylleman, P. (2003). A psychological perspective on the career development of elite players. During the Psychology for Football Conference “The Different perspectives”. Leicester: The English Football Association – Leicester City FC, 06.11.03.
– Wylleman, P. (2004). Athletic career development and the relevance of lifestyle management to elite athletes. During the “European Forum on Lifestyle Management for Elite Athletes”. London: UK Sport, 27-28.04.04.
– Wylleman, P. (2006). Conflict management. During the VII EOC Technical Seminar“The road to Beijing – challenges and opportunities for the European NOCs”. Istanbul, Turkey: European Olympic Committees, 10-12.11.
– Wylleman, P., & Waser, J. (2007). Services to athletes. During the IOC Athletes’ Commission meeting. Lausanne, Switzerland: IOC, 06.02.
– Wylleman, P. (2008). Transitions and career assistance in elite sports. During the 2nd Sports Science Congress. Doha, Qatar: Aspire, 12.01.
– Wylleman, P. (2008). Psychological support to Olympic swimmers prior, during and after the 2008 Olympic Games. During the 2008 Congress of the Hellenic Sport Psychology Society. Athens, Greece: Hellenic Sport Psychology Society, 13.12.
– Wylleman, P. (2009). From talented to elite to retired athlete. A holistic perspective on career development and transitions. During the Performance Lifestyle Symposium. Leeds, UK: UKSport, 25.02
– Wylleman, P. (2009). Managing career transitions. During the Conference Crisis intervention in elite sports. Munich, Germany: Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Sportpsychologie – Lehrstuhl für Sportpsychologie Technische Universität München, 08.05.
– Wylleman, P. (2011). Applied sport psychology in Europe: Challenges and perspectives. During the 12th European Congress of Psychology. Istanbul, Turkey: EFPA, 04-08.07.

Selected list of publications

– Lavallee, D., & Wylleman, P. (Eds.) (2000). Career transitions in sport: International perspectives. Morgantown, WV: FIT.
– Wylleman, P., & Liukonnen, J. (2003). Sport psychology as a profession. Case studies from around Europe. In E. Apitzsch & G. Schilling (Eds.), Sport psychology in Europe. FEPSAC – An organisational platform and a scientific meeting point (pp. 50-63). Biel, Switzerland: FEPSAC.
– Wylleman, P., & Lavallee, D. (2004). A developmental perspective on transitions faced by athletes. In M. Weiss (Ed.), Developmental sport and exercise psychology: A lifespan perspective (pp. 507-527). Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology.
– Wylleman, P., Lavallee, D., & Theeboom, M. (2004). Successful athletic careers. In C. Spielberger (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology (pp. 511-518). San Diego, CA: Elsevier Ltd.
– Wylleman, P., De Knop, P., & Reints, A. (2011). Transitions in competitive sports. In N. L. Holt & M. Talbot (Eds.), Lifelong Engagement in Sport and Physical Activity (pp. 63-76). New York, NY: Routledge.
– Wylleman, P. & Reints, A. (in publication). Career transitions in elite sport: Cope with change in order to progress. In D. Alcock & P. Johnson (Eds.), Delivering applied clinical sport psychology. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
– Wylleman, P., De Knop, P., Vanden Auweele, Y., & Delhoux, J. (1999). A survey of Sport Psychology in Flanders: History, Current Status and Future Issues. The Sport Psychologist, 13, 99-106.
– Wylleman, P. (2000). Interpersonal relationships in sport: Uncharted territory, International Journal of Sport Psychology, 31, 1-18.
– Wylleman, P., Alfermann, D., & Lavallee, D. (2004). Career transitions in perspective. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 5, 7-20.
– Wylleman, P., Verdet, M-C., Leveque, M., De Knop, P., & Huts, K. (2004). Athlètes de haut niveau, transitions scolaires et rôle des parents, STAPS, 64, 71-87.
– Wylleman, P., Harwood, C., Elbe, A-M., Reints, A., & de Caluwé, D. (2009). A perspective on education and professional development in applied sport psychology. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10, 435–446.
– Wylleman, P., & Reints, A. (2010). A lifespan perspective on the career development of talented and elite athletes: Perspectives on high-intensity sports. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 20 (Suppl. 2), 101–107.