AMANDA Johnson of the Sports Company of TT (SporTT) will be one of the facilitators when the inaugural Applied Sport Psychology Conference of the Caribbean is held at the Mona Visitors Lodge and Conference Centre in Kingston, Jamaica, tomorrow.
As part of the drive to develop the research and practice of sport psychology in the region, Johnson is one of the speakers at the one-day conference. The conference is led by fellow practitioner Olivia Rose Esperance of Jamaica, the first sport psychologist at the University of the West Indies, Mona, whose passion for the discipline helped plant a seed among the cadre of sport psychologists to join forces and establish a platform for the growth of the sector.
The event spans the region’s community of sport psychologists, which includes representatives from Cayman Islands, Barbados and St Lucia, and also incorporates the efforts of Caribbean volunteers, who have been integral to the event’s planning and execution.
Johnson, a sport performance and psychology officer attached to the Elite Development and Performance Unit (EDPU) of SporTT, believes education is the key to transforming the perceptions of her work, which is still crawling when compared to other regions in the world.
Apart from her presentation, which will focus on optimal training environments and athlete motivation, Johnson also contributed the theme for the conference – Breaking Barriers, Unlocking Potential – which she says is meant to destigmatize the field as it seeks to become a force for improved sporting achievement in a region already blessed with enormous success and the potential for much more in the future. Johnson will also touch on how coaches and athletes define success and how this definition can hinder or advance training and performance. Johnson’s presentation will be largely based on her experience and observations over the past six years working with national teams and athletes in TT.
The conference targets coaches, athletes and administrators as well as the wider public who may be involved in sport at development and grassroots levels. Bringing a high level of authenticity and relevance to the Caribbean context is also integral to the conference’s success.
Johnson says, “Although the education and training many of us have received in Britain or America have been valuable, it does not capture the cultural variations that we experience here. As a result, the conference has been tailored to include an entirely indigenous panel to discuss the issues that we in the Caribbean face in the unique contexts of our everyday lives.”
Details of the conference can be found at www.aspcaribbean.com.