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PSY FPX 6840 Assessment 4 An Informational Interview with Dr. John Lesaine


Capella University

PSY FPX 6840 Current Issues in Sport Psychology

Prof. Name


Sport Psychology and Social Identity

Sport psychology traditionally aims to enhance athletes’ physical abilities to improve their on-field performance. However, it often overlooks the numerous stressors that individuals face even before reaching competitive levels. During adolescence, the need for social belonging becomes crucial as youths navigate shifts in their self-concept while transitioning from the sheltered home environment to the social milieu of peers (Chamberlain et al., 2021). Interactions with friends and society significantly impact their self-perception and performance.

State of the Field

Dr. John Lesaine, a notable figure in the Department of Sport Professions at Newberry College, brings extensive experience as a sport psychology consultant working directly with athletes. His educational background, including a B.S. in Sport Management from Newberry College, an M.S. in Sport Psychology from Capella University, and an Ed.D. in Sport Management from the United States Sports Academy, underscores his expertise (Chamberlain et al., 2021). During an informative discussion, Dr. Lesaine explored the intersection of sport psychology and social identity, focusing on both youth and professional athletes. According to Chamberlain et al. (2021), social identity forms a crucial part of an individual’s self-concept, shaped by their membership in social groups and the emotional significance attached to it.

Applications and Interventions

Dr. Lesaine promotes the technique of “probing” in his interactions with student athletes and professionals. Through a series of targeted questions, he creates a comfortable environment to uncover underlying issues affecting athletes, distinguishing between sport-related and off-field challenges (Karamitrou et al., 2017). The primary goal is to establish a foundation for positive self-talk, a critical element in enhancing athletic performance (Lefebvre et al., 2022).

Additionally, Dr. Lesaine highlights the importance of social identity in athletes’ career transitions post-retirement. The end of an elite sports career often results in a significant loss of identity, necessitating support during this potentially isolating phase (Edwards, 2021). Utilizing technology, such as apps and social media, offers innovative ways for athletes to explore and reinforce their identities, though ethical considerations regarding confidentiality remain essential (Association for Applied Sport Psychology, 2021).

Developmental Plans and Goals

As an African American male, I recognize the emotional toll of racial injustices and aim to leverage my experiences to foster empathy and support for athletes regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Acknowledging the harmful effects of rigid masculine norms on men’s mental health, I strive to create an environment where athletes can express themselves authentically (O’Neil, 2008).

To pursue a successful career in sport psychology, I plan to engage in continuous learning and self-assessment, aligning with the recommendations from APA Division 47 for competency-based development (Fletcher & Maher, 2013). Dr. Lesaine’s advice to connect theory with practice resonates deeply, emphasizing the importance of holistic approaches to addressing athletes’ needs.


The nexus between social identity crises and sport psychology necessitates concerted efforts to bridge gaps and provide comprehensive support for athletes. By equipping myself with the necessary tools and empathy, I aim to empower athletes to navigate their identities confidently, fostering a culture of acceptance and authenticity in sports.


Association for Applied Sport Psychology. (2021). ETHICS CODE: AASP Ethical Principles and Standards. Retrieved from

PSY FPX 6840 Assessment 4 An Informational Interview with Dr. John Lesaine

Chamberlain, J. J., Hall, C. R., & Benson, A. J. (2021). How team socialization processes relate to youth ice hockey players’ social identity strength and cohesion. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 10(4), 475–488.

Cheema, S. E., & Velez, J. A. (2021). Internalizing external goals: The relationship between causality orientations and digital badges. Journal of Media Psychology: Theories, Methods, and Applications, 33(2), 94–101.

Edwards, A. (2021). A parallel journey: The varied roles of coaching in an elite athlete’s transition to a second career. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, Spec Iss 15, 154–170.

Fletcher, D., & Maher, J. (2013). Toward a competency-based understanding of the training and development of applied sport psychologists. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 2(4), 265–280.

Karamitrou, A., Comoutos, N., Hatzigeorgiadis, A., & Theodorakis, Y. (2017). A self-determination approach to understanding of athletes’ automatic self-talk. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 6(4), 340–354.

Kennedy, K. W., Steinfeldt, J. A., Eppich, A., Halterman, A. W., Kinne, A., & Zakrajsek, R. A. (2021). Football players’ beliefs about masculinity, affection between men, and gay teammates. Psychology of Men & Masculinities, 22(1), 16–25.

Lefebvre, J. P., Sadler, P., Hall, A., & Woody, E. (2022). The interpersonal nature of self-talk: Variations across individuals and occasions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

PSY FPX 6840 Assessment 4 An Informational Interview with Dr. John Lesaine

O’Neil, J. M. (2008). Summarizing 25 years of research on men’s gender role conflict using the Gender Role Conflict Scale: New research paradigms and clinical implications. The Counseling Psychologist, 36, 358–445.

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