ISSP President’s Report: Summer 2021

It is with pleasure I wish to update you on the activities within the International Society of Sport Psychology. The past four years have been what we have referred to as a period of strategic execution. This society previously developed a strategic plan under the leadership of Dr. Gangyan Si. The document that was conceptualized prior to my current term as ISSP President offered many trajectories through which the society’s growth could be undertaken. As we near the end of the current Managing Council’s mandate, I first wish to thank my colleagues, each of whom contributed uniquely to the greater sum of the ISSP as it presently is.

Over the course of the past four years, I have attempted to update you on the society’s progress quarterly. There were many historic strengths to the organization and a vast history I am often reminded of when speaking with members of the Past President’s group. From 2017-2021 has been a follow through on the tremendous pride and energy devoted to growing sport and exercise psychology throughout this vast world, at a very interesting time. Though what I identify as developments might be reinforcing of past messages, what we must take particular pride in is the membership benefits the ISSP now offers you. The ISSP now has our own unique registry, termed the ISSP-R, graciously led by Dr. Chris Harwood, with tremendous support from the ISSP-R Committee. Members are applying in growing numbers, and those already conferred the title of ISSP-R represent Asia, Australia, Africa, North America, South America, and Europe. The ISSP-R is not meant to be in competition with forms of accreditation offered by partner societies. Rather, people can hold multiple confirming accreditations, as many of those conferred do. There is now also an ISSP Supervisory status, denoted as the ISSP-S. We have put in place a stringent, though achievable supervisory status to ensure high quality mentorship for aspiring professionals. Through the ISSP-R and ISSP-S, the intention is to help augment standards of practical support to benefit prospective clients worldwide in the areas of sport and exercise.

Before I became President, my recollections are of a discussion over a beer held with a few members of the previous Managing Council. I recall sitting with Dr. Ernest Hung and Dr. YoungHo Kim, among further treasured friends and leaders in this field. We spoke about the importance of intellectual and practical exchanges in the form of international think tanks. When Dr. Kristoffer Henriksen joined the current Managing Council, he graciously agreed to lead the ISSP Think Tank project. The culmination was our inaugural meeting in Odense, Denmark, supported by the University of Southern Denmark and Team Denmark in partnership. The following year, Dr. Sean McCann graciously agreed to continue our tradition with support from the United Stated Olympic and Paralympic Committee, held in Colorado Springs, United States. Then Covid became our reality. The enterprise was put on hold, though with committed ventures solidified, awaiting when we once more return to travel with our new normal. From the initial think tanks, two consensus statements were written, and the authors represented a growing number of allied societies spanning our field’s continents.

A new Ambassador’s Program was also launched, with its first two ventures integrating managing council members in meetings held in Ghana and Uruguay. The ISSP is predicated on giving back to professionals from emerging countries, and we will continue on this mission each year in the coming four-year term. Should you peruse the ISSP’s organizational chart, you will find an ad hoc committee now devoted to growth in emerging countries, and the generation of further collaborations on our horizon. You will also find a designated section editor assigned to the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology assigned to emerging countries’ submissions.

I recall when running for the office of President identifying the lack of an impact factor for the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. As Co-Editor with my friend and close colleague Dr. Athanasios Papaioannou, we have worked closely with a growing number of world- renowned section editors and editorial board members on furthering the journal’s standards and popularity. During 2020, we were awarded with the journal’s first impact factor score, which was 2.07, having previously held a moderate ESCI rating. This past few weeks, the new journal scores have been released by Clarvariate, and we are pleased to say the IJSEP has moved from Q3 status to a solid Q2 status across three categories, including social psychology, applied psychology, and sport sciences, with an SJR of 0.853, an h-index of 32, and an impact factor of 2.92. and an increase in its rating by 41% When reading the scoring carefully, you will find the journal is trending positively and is anticipated to improve on this year’s scores in 2022. There is still much work to be done with the IJSEP, but we are committed to a much higher status in the coming four-year term and a breadth of submissions from the global community.

Finally, there has been an organizational shift in the ISSP. The ISSP Congress is growing, though for 2021, it will be offered in Taipei as a hybrid version with in-person and virtual options available to suit the membership. The presentations will be made available on our YouTube site, as will the invited keynotes and speeches from this year’s award recipients. However, where we have truly continued to re-envision ISSP, is through membership access. Members are, and will always be, encouraged to join our society and engage in committee work. There are many committees to choose from. Some of the people who began on committees this past term are seeking office in the coming term. The importance of organic growth within the ISSP cannot be understated. We welcome you with open arms into the ISSP, while you are members of your respective continent’s and nation’s societies. Multicultural exchanges are at the center of the ISSP, as only through inclusiveness can a profession such as ours be valued and comprehensive. Colleagues, on behalf of the Managing Council, I wish to thank you for your continued support of the ISSP.

Now to the present moment, there is an open call at our website for Managing Council members, led by our Election Committee Chair Dr. Gangyan Si and our Secretary General, Dr. Artur Poczwardowski. Please consider whether now is the right time for you to embark on a position in office or onto an ISSP committee. We welcome you and look forward to further engagement in the coming term. Nominations for the President, Vice President, Secretary General, Treasurer, and all other members at large must be received in writing the Past President Dr. Gangyan Si at or by the Secretary General not later than by August 1st. All nominations must be proposed and seconded by members in good standing, not including the nominee. Nominees are expected to agree in writing to stand for election and submit a typed statement presenting their case. Statements must be a maximum of 250 words in length. A short CV of the nominee is also invited as part of the nomination process.

For now, continued health and best of luck to colleagues supporting Olympic and Paralympic excellence in Tokyo.