Keynote Sessions

2017 Keynote Speakers

Wednesday, October 18

From Fantasy to Action
Gabriele Oettingen, New York University

“Think positive!” quotes are found everywhere, but contrary to popular belief merely thinking positively about the future hurts effort and success. So, how can we avoid the perils of positive thinking? By juxtaposing our dreams with personal obstacles, we pursue desired futures that can be realized and let go from those that cannot. Gabriele will talk about this self-regulation strategy, mental contrasting, its non-conscious mechanisms, and how people can use it autonomously as a cost- and time-effective tool to fulfill their wishes and solve their concerns. Combining mental contrasting with if-then plans has proven to be particularly effective for changing behavior. Mental contrasting with if-then plans or WOOP – Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan (WOOP), can be used as an effective self-regulation tool to improve one’s productivity and well-being inside and outside the sports context.

Gabriele Oettingen is a Professor of Psychology at New York University and the University of Hamburg, Germany. She is the author of more than 150 articles and book chapters on the societal and psychological origins of thinking about the future as well as on its consequences for the control of cognition, emotion, and behavior. Her work is published in social and personality psychology, developmental and educational psychology, health and clinical psychology, organizational and consumer psychology, as well as in neuropsychological and medical journals. Her findings contribute to the burgeoning literature on behavior and life style change, and businesses and institutions have increasingly become interested in the application of her research. Her first trade book, Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation, was published in 2014.

Thursday, October 19

Dante Had Virgil, Athletes Have You 
David Epstein, Author of The Sports Gene

David will discuss the emergence of a "winner take all" market in sports, and how that has magnified the importance of previously almost-imperceptible advantages. A quick trip through sports history will show that increasing participation and globalization have not only changed sports, but also the athletes themselves. More than ever before -- and in no small part due to biology -- self-knowledge has become a critical competitive advantage for athletes. David will explain why he thinks this means that sport psychology professionals can and often do occupy a uniquely important role, and why he thinks they are critical to countering certain troubling trends in athlete development. 

David Epstein is a science writer and investigative reporter and author of the New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene. He was previously a reporter at the investigative outfit ProPublica and before that a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, where he wrote or co-wrote many of the magazine's most high profile stories, like the 2009 revelation that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez had used steroids. His work has been featured in outlets from This American Life to National Geographic. He has a Master's degree in environmental science, and knew in grad school that he wanted to be a scientist. You can see how that worked out. 

Friday, October 20

Interview with Annika Sorenstam, World Golf and LPGA Hall of Famer
AASP's 2017 Performance Excellence Award Winner

The recipient of AASP’s 2017 Performance Excellence Award, Annika will share insights about her professional career and how she and other players utilized sport psychology on tour. She will discuss how the “mental game” is approached differently by today’s players and address her use of mental conditioning to facilitate peak performance at both her Florida academy and as captain of the European Team at the 2017 Solheim Cup.  

Annika Sorenstam is the greatest female golfer of our generation, and often regarded as the best of all-time. During her 15 year, Hall-of-Fame career, she rewrote the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books, won countless awards, and changed the way women’s golf was played, viewed and covered. She amassed 89 worldwide victories, including 72 on the LPGA and 10 Major Championships. Annika holds a record number of Rolex Player of the Year awards (eight) and Vare Trophies for the lowest scoring average in a season (six). As the only female to break 60 in an official event, she has been nicknamed “Ms. 59.”  Perhaps most notably, Annika received worldwide media attention when she became the first woman to play in a PGA TOUR event since 1945, joining the men at the 2003 Colonial Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas.

 

Coleman Griffith Lecture
Coleman Griffith the Consultant: Why Lessons Learned with the '38 Cubs Remain Valuable for Consultants of Today
Sean McCann, United States Olympic Committee​

In 1938, Coleman Griffith was hired by PK Wrigley to be the first known sport psychology consultant for a professional sports team. The challenges Dr. Griffith faced, the mistakes he made, and the successful ground he broke are still relevant today. Exploring this fascinating consulting opportunity will show us how much the sport psychology consulting field has changed through today and how much more we still have to do to succeed as a profession.

Sean McCann is a Senior Sport Psychologist for the U.S. Olympic Committee. He has worked for the US Olympic Committee as a Sport Psychologist for 25 years. He has traveled with the last 12 Olympic Teams as a sport psychologist during the Games. In his work for the USOC, he works directly with teams and coaches, from mental skills seminars and workshops about Olympic pressure, to individual sessions with athletes. Sean earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from Brown University, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Hawaii, and an internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington. He is a licensed psychologist in Colorado. 

Saturday, October 21

Keynote Panel
Beyond the Hardwood: The Challenges of Life after Professional Basketball​
Nick Anderson, Former NBA Player, Orlando Magic
Johnny Davis, Former NBA Player & Head Coach
Kelly Schumacher, Former WNBA Player, Indiana Fever & Detroit Shock

            

Retirement is inevitable for all professional athletes but the impact of their transition out of sport is often overlooked. Athletes can struggle to cope with their emotional attachment to the game and change in their identity. In addition, those retiring “young” can face challenges of starting a second career or managing changing family roles and responsibilities. Some experience mental health issues as a result.

This panel will feature former NBA and WNBA players and coaches who will provide their perspectives on how they handled their respective transitions out of professional basketball. Based on a model that AASP has established with the National Retired Basketball Players Association (NRBPA), ideas of how sport psychology professionals can be best positioned to assist transitioning athletes will be highlighted as well. 

Nick Anderson spent 13 years playing in the NBA, mostly with the Orlando Magic. After his junior year at the University of Illinois, he left school and entered the NBA Draft in 1989, where he was selected with the 11th pick of the first round by the Orlando Magic. As the Magic were an expansion team that season, Anderson was the first draft pick in franchise history. He is now retired from basketball, but works with the Magic in the team's community relations department. 

Johnny Davis has spent nearly four decades with the NBA as a player, front office executive, assistant coach, and head coach. Drafted after his junior year of college, he played for the Portland Trailblazers, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, and Cleveland Cavaliers. Following his retirement as a player, Davis worked in the Atlanta Hawks front office for three years before returning to the hardwood as a coach. Davis earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public and Environmental Affairs from Georgia State University and a Master of Arts from Union Institute and University, where he studied Sports Psychology.

Kelly Schumacher is currently the Team Development Coach for the WNBA Chicago Sky. After playing for the University of Connecticut, she was a first round draft pick for the Indiana Fever in 2001. She continued to play for the WNBA through 2009, including two WNBA championship wins in 2007 and 2008. She has also played professional beach volleyball.

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