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Thursday, 16 July 2020 17:30

ISSP Presidential Report Summer, 2020

Much has happened since our previous update to you, the ISSP membership. Three years ago, a clear path was set of how the International Society of Sport Psychology was to improve its services and value to the membership. During my 2017 Seville Presidential Elect speech, the content focused on membership return on investment. The ISSP has always been known as a globally high-profile society and as a catalyst to the creation of societies and also as a broader supporter of professional growth around the world. Despite our societal objectives, membership would always decline dramatically after each world congress, only to resume in the final twelve months before the next congress. ISSP’s value has always been in its rich history, its commitment to help grow national and continental societies, ISSP’s involvements in smaller invited meetings and of course, its World Congresses each four years.

The landscape of sport and exercise psychology continues to change. The profession of sport psychology has grown and so too have the vast number of continental and national societies that have supported our growth. The ISSP has been in the thick of our profession’s growth, but our tentacles were limited for some time to a few select, strategic offerings. During Dr. Gangyan Si’s Presidency, the ISSP strategized making forays into more recently valued aspects of our field. The ISSP needed to keep pace and even move ahead of the proverbial curve in terms of our field’s developments. The strategic plan the previous Managing Council approved listed a series of bold initiatives – a wish list of much needed offerings to attract and retain the membership. Among these offerings, many are now reality. The ISSP now has an active Ambassador Program, A Fellows Status, a new expansive website, ongoing ISSP Multi-societal Think Tanks with accompanying consensus statements, and multi-societal publications focused on accreditation (i.e., practice) and science (i.e., publishing). The aforementioned multi-societal publications were published in journals of partner societies, such as FEPSAC (Psychology of Sport and Exercise) and AASP (Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. The ISSP is a collaborative society and we have tried hard through think tanks, publishing, panels, and ongoing dialogs to work closely with our partners to advance the profession of sport psychology. There is no ownership over the field, only a unified mandate to help augment scientific and practical standards.

Most recently, our strategic execution has continued with two further, highly important developments. For both scholars and practitioners, the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology now has an impact factor. We continue to work heavily on improving the quality of our journal and promise to keep doing so in order to further improve its profile, turnover rate, quality, and numeric ratings. Practitioners can also now can apply to the ISSP Registry (ISSPR), a registry status intended to help improve practical standards and knowledge sharing among practitioners, to the benefit of they and their clients. A recent call for our first wave of established practitioners is well underway, and we have already received applicants from several key countries, as we await more applications currently in process. The closing date for the first call is August 12, as stated on the ISSP website.

Circling back to what was promised as we began the current ISSP Managing Council cycle, this society is more active and expansive than ever before, as promised. There remain openings within our organizational structure for you to join committees. The current time would be a wonderful moment to engage in our organizational structure and continue to grow with us. We value you, the membership, and our hope is that more than ever before, you feel a strong affiliation and kinship with the ISSP and its gravitational pull, especially as we navigate COVID together. We will all continue to thrive, and our ideas will continue to germinate, contributing to now research, practice, and personal growth, all adding to human betterment. One year from now, Taipei will welcome you to the 2021 ISSP Congress. Rich discussions will abound, through formal sessions and informal reacquaintances over coffees and meals. I, personally, look forward to meeting you in Taipei and in advance, welcome any emails with questions and comments, as does our entire Managing Council. We avail ourselves to you.

Warmest wishes,
Robert Schinke
President of the ISSP

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