Virtual Conference

AASP's 2017 Virtual Conference

In Order to Thrive, the Field of Sport Psychology Must…

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

1:00 - 4:00 pm Eastern
12:00 - 3:00 pm Central
11:00 am - 2:00 pm Mountain
10:00 am - 1:00 pm Pacific
18:00 - 21:00 UTC

Wendy Borlabi, PsyD, CC-AASP, Chicago Bulls
Mike Chu, New Zealand Rugby
Alex Cohen, PhD, CC-AASP, United States Olympic Committee
Jonathan Fader, PhD, CC-AASP, SportStrata
Laura Finch, PhD, CC-AASP, St. Cloud State University
Eric Wedge, Toronto Blue Jays


When a group of professionals come together, there are bound to be conversations about strengths and weaknesses of their field. Certainly, sport psychology is no exception to this statement. Indeed, as we have watched similar professions such as athletic training and strength and conditioning thrive, many in sport psychology have wondered, “Why not us?”

The 2017 AASP Virtual Conference is designed to share perspectives and stimulate conversations about what sport psychology should do to prosper. For this purpose, we have assembled six highly successful speakers who have participated in sport psychology in a variety of ways: practitioners, scholars, consumers, and hirers. They will each share their answer to the prompt, “In order to thrive, the field of sport psychology must…”


In order to thrive, the field of sport psychology must...

Embrace Change
Wendy Borlabi, PsyD, CC-AASP, Chicago Bulls
The field of sport psychology must embrace change and make room for the ideas, presence, and influence of others. From my perspective, we have not addressed and solved some of the problems that were present when I entered the field 2 decades ago.  We continue to talk about who can call themselves a sport psychology consultant and there continues to be a lack of cultural and gender diversity amongst AASP members and applied professionals. We must adapt to the direction the world is working towards, and debunk this overall sense that we are not representing the populations we are working with.

Find the Key Maker  
Mike Chu, New Zealand Rugby
In this presentation I want to provide some personal insights into working with elite athletes as a Sport Psychology educator and practitioner, as a Coach Development Manager, and as a General Manager responsible for hiring Sport Psychologists.  For many practitioners in the field, they have the skills to make a difference to athletes and teams…if only they can get through the door!

Be Effective  
Alex Cohen, PhD, CC-AASP, United States Olympic Committee
In order to thrive, the field of sport psychology must become consistently effective. We must define who we are as a profession to provide value to performance stakeholders. Advancements in basic research are needed to provide a solid theoretical foundation for evidence-based practice (i.e., knowing what works and for whom). Competency-based professional development must include training in validated theories of performance excellence, core counseling skills, and organizational consultation for effective practice within systems. Effective application of these core competencies is developed through quality supervision of experiential activities, coupled with reflective practice. Accredited programs will be recognized for their ability to train scientist-practitioners to provide effective sport psychology services.

Get Better at Helping People Understand its Value
Jonathan Fader, PhD, CC-AASP, SportStrata
While mental skills training has been shown to be highly effective in boosting athlete performance, many athletes, coaches and administrators remain ambivalent about whether or not to utilize sport psychology consultants. This may be due to stigma or misunderstanding around the mental conditioning process. This talk will address these issues in the context of work with professional sports teams and discuss Motivational Interviewing (MI) which is a technique that has demonstrated efficacy for responding successfully when confronted with resistance

Translate to the Diamond  
Eric Wedge, Toronto Blue Jays
Often practitioners assume what's said in conversation translates, when in fact the coach and/or player doesn’t fully understand. Ultimately, the efforts are translation from theory to practice. When done well, there's consistency of teamwork between staff, player and follow through on a day-to-day basis. Not just handoff, but teamwork with the player working fluidly with incremental progress, feedback and follow through.

CE Credit
This program is under review for 3.0 hours of CE to partially meet the 6-hour CE re-certification requirement for Certified Consultants (CC-AASP).

The last day to register is Monday, April 10.

Students - $49
AASP Members - $75
Non-Members - $99

Program Format
You can attend an AASP virtual conference from your home or office. All you need is an internet connection. You can see the presentation slides on your computer or mobile device; and listen to the audio through your device, or call in with a phone. Registrants will be provided with login information the day prior to the session. The webinar will also be archived for those who wish to watch it at a later date.

Conference Speakers

Dr. Wendy Borlabi is currently working with the Chicago Bulls and is founder of Borlabi Consulting, a performance psychology firm. Also, she is an independent consultant with the National Basketball Association. She worked for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) at their training center in San Diego for six years (two Winter Olympic and one Summer Olympic Games).  She co-founded Acumen Performance Group (APG) along with six current and ex-Navy SEALs. They developed a program that integrated the SEALs real-world experience and applied it in both the development and application of the high-performance concepts of seamless teamwork, mental toughness, and unwavering confidence. At James Madison University (JMU) she worked for five years as the liaison between athletics and the Counseling and Student Development Center (CSDC). In those five years, she began the sport psychology services for the student-athletes, coaches and athletic department. In addition, she facilitated the development of the sport psychology department as a division of the JMU athletic department. She received a B.S. in Psychology from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, a M.S. in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sport Psychology from Georgia Southern University, and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Sport Psychology and Exercise Psychology at Argosy University/Phoenix.

Mike Chu is the New Zealand Rugby Union National Coach Development Manager. Prior to his current position, he was the Rugby Canada GM of Rugby Performance and Operations, and New Zealand Rugby Union High Performance Coach and Player Development Manager. Mike trained at Massey University, NZ, first in business studies, then in sport coaching and sport psychology, and also spent a year studying and teaching at the University of Victoria, BC, Canada. Mike has a mental skills training background having lectured sport psychology and coaching at Massey University for nine years prior to his role at NZRU.  In addition to working with coaches, he was also responsible for leading the mental skills and player leadership development programmes at NZRU. Mike has worked with numerous team and individual sports from provincial through to international level, including cricket, hockey, rugby league, sailing, athletics and multi-sports.  He has published a number of articles in coaching and has also presented both nationally and internationally at numerous workshops and conferences. Mike represented NZ at age grade level in field hockey and senior level in indoor hockey.

Dr. Alexander Cohen was appointed Senior Sport Psychologist at the U.S. Olympic Committee in 2011. Working primarily with winter sports, Dr. Cohen provides sport psychology consultation and counseling for national teams, athletes and coaches at the Olympic Training Centers, at various National Governing Body training sites and at national and international competitions. As a licensed psychologist and certified sport psychology consultant, Dr. Cohen assists coaches in creating mastery performance environments that promote psychological and physical skill acquisition and execution. He works directly with athletes to maximize performance readiness through consistent preparation, enhanced resilience, and mindful self-regulation, helping athletes to focus on the right things, at the right time, every time.

Dr. Jonathan Fader is a licensed performance psychologist. He is the Director of Mental Conditioning for the New York Football Giants and also served at  team psychologist for the New York Mets for nine seasons. He is part of The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) Mental Performance Initiative. Also a licensed clinical psychologist and certified consultant of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, Fader founded SportStrata a mental performance coaching firm in New York City.


Dr. Laura Finch is professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.




Eric Wedge is player development advisor for the Toronto Blue Jays. As a player, Wedge attended Northrop High School in Fort Wayne and played on the school's state champion baseball team in 1983. He went on to attend Wichita State University, and played on the Shockers team that won the 1989 College World Series. From 1989–1997 he played in the minor league systems of the Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, and Philadelphia Phillies, and played in 39 major league games with the Red Sox and Rockies between 1991 and 1994. Wedge went on to manage in the Cleveland Indians minor league system from 1998–2002 before being named manager of the Indians for the 2003 season. He led the Indians to a postseason berth in 2007, and won the American League Manager of the Year Award that year. He managed the Indians through the 2009 season. He then managed the Seattle Mariners from 2011 to 2013.

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