Nowadays, competent sports psychologists must understand the principles of working with athletes and coaches from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Multiculturalism must exist outside of eurocentrism, which means a tendency to everything in relation to European foundations and values. A psychologist’s lack of understanding, education, and work experience in a diverse environment can lead to decreased motivation, psychological stability, and concentration in athletes.
Diversity in Sports Psychology
In the field of sports, the values of multicultural psychology have been neglected for a long time. The direction is developing but it was not previously allocated enough time and effort. At the same time, competent psychology could help athletes who became disillusioned with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP).
Sports psychology has its own characteristics and an integrated approach to psychologists, athletes, and coaches is important. It is unconventional psychology because athletes spend a lot of time together compared to the interaction of people in everyday life. In addition, for team sports, team spirit and support are very important, taking into account the multicultural environment, individual values, and national cultural characteristics.
The goal of a professional psychologist is not only to regulate existing sports conflicts but also to convey the values and characteristics of different cultures to coaches and athletes. Otherwise, people of one culture and race, such as the Caucasian one, can offend another without willing or planning to do so, as the article demonstrates (Flowers, 2011). Players from different republics, different skin colors are necessary for sports teams in the modern world to achieve results.
APA and AASP Requirements
Global psychological certifications and licenses such as the American Psychological Association licensure and AASP certification require adaptation to modern realities. There are many athletes these days who come from completely different backgrounds. To work with them, psychologists must have a range of knowledge and skills at once. The first of such needs, with which such knowledge of psychologists helps, is helping the team maintain the desire and spirit to win, regardless of whether the athletes are present on the territory or in the team of their country or play for someone else’s, but at the same time feel at home.
The next important aspect of why such knowledge is necessary for licensed or certified psychologists is that psychologists themselves now often come from cultures other than the country in which they work (Flowers, 2011). Therefore, in order to correctly represent their own culture and work with athletes from other cultures, psychologists must be able to find an approach, assess the situation, and convey the correct model of behavior to athletes in a form that they understand.
The study of such a relatively new direction by psychologists will allow psychology to reach a new level due to the growth and development of the skills of the participants in the process. One of the goals of psychologists is continuous learning and growth, and the direction of multicultural acceptance is creating a new generation of sports psychologists (Flowers, 2011). Such psychologists can prove to be significantly more effective.
In conclusion, it is difficult to underestimate the role of sports psychologists. However, the role of a psychologist requires constant development and adaptation to relatively new trends and changing world. At the moment, there is a tendency for the presence of players from completely different cultural backgrounds in teams. Psychologists need to know how to deal with multiculturalism issues in order to maximize the effectiveness of team results.
Flowers, R. (2011). Do we really want to address culture in sport psychology?. Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology Newsletter, 1-6. Web.