The Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) is an international organization with members in over 55 countries that support professionals working with athletes and other performers, such as musicians and dancers, to improve their performance from a psychological standpoint. Established in 1985, the association’s headquarters are on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in Indianapolis, IN.
AASP members come from diverse disciplines such as sport science, social work, counseling, and clinical psychology. The purpose of the organization is to promote ethical practices in the development of sports psychology. One of AASP’s primary goals is to facilitate optimate involvement, performance, and enjoyment in sport, exercise and related areas that include professional tactical operations.
The Association for Applied Sport Psychology focuses on how humans perform along with their holistic well-being and social functioning. AASP promotes its mission via education, research, certification courses, and service in the following ways:
- Support and dissemination of relevant research that supports evidence-based sport psychology
- A forum for professional networking and sharing of information among association members
- Promoting services for athletes and coaches, dancer, musicians, military personnel, firefighters, police and business professionals
- Professional mentoring
- Professional standards for ethical practice
- Fostering social awareness of the sports psychology field
The organization’s values are excellence, respect, integrity, diversity, collaboration, and service.
Who Can Be a Member?
AASP membership is not limited to those who have or are pursuing a sport psychology degree. Members are also students and professionals in the fields of including kinesiology, biomechanics, sport management, sport physiology, sport nutrition, and athletic training. The general goal of members is to apply their knowledge to educate other athletic and fitness professionals as well as everyday exercises and others who perform on a regular basis about the psychological aspects of their activity or sport.
One of the biggest benefits of becoming an AASP member is the certification courses that can augment and complement a sports psychology degree and make professionals more valuable in their chosen field. The Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) certification indicates that an individual in the sports psychology field has attained the highest standards of professional practice. To obtain this certification, candidates must complete stated education and work requirements in addition to successfully passing a certification exam. They must also agree to adhere to the association’s ethical principles and standards and commit to ongoing education for professional development.
Common Skills for Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology
Individuals working in this field commonly work on the following skills when helping their own clients. These include:
- Anxiety or energy management for individuals who have too much or too little arousal, ultimately making them ineffective
- Attention and concentration control, allowing athletes to focus on certain cues to make them more effective
- Communication to help improve group cohesion and individual actions
- Goal setting to enhance motivation and focus attention on performance aspects that need the most improvement
- Visualization and mental practice to recreate an experience that will enhance a variety of skills
- Self-talk patterns to change negative actions
The Association for Applied Sport Psychology provides a valuable variety of resources that members can use to further their careers. Additional education may be obtained through webinars, an annual conference, publications and more.