Samuda calls for sport psychologists, sociologistsWednesday, October 20, 2021
At a recent virtual seminar hosted by the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work of The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Christopher Samuda made a call for sport psychologists and sociologists in sport.
Addressing the topic 'What of Olympic Coaches?', Samuda said that as sport evolves it “should compel a vision of the future that is not only built on a foundation of technical coaching competencies but also on emotional intelligence, social psychology and inter-personal skills.”
He further stated that institutions such as the department should “not only provide formal textbook instruction but a greater understanding of the social and economic environment that impacts personally and professionally those who are socio-psychology coaches and others who are sport coaches and who aspire to be designated as Olympic coaches”.
In making the call and in response to the growing global concern regarding the mental condition and health of athletes, Samuda advised practitioners that “part of your business in sport and other endeavours as social physicians and entrepreneurs is to realign thoughts with actions and to harmonise actions with expectations and then ultimately to give realism to expectations without compromising, as I assert to my para athletes and coaches, the will and spirit to be and become, to make possible the impossible, and to make credible the incredible”.
In addressing specifically the role of the sport professionals in the life of Olympic coaches, Samuda said that “sociologists, psychologists and social workers should construct a framework of behavioural science — attitude and aptitude — in enabling the continual birth of Olympic coaches in a dispensation where only the mentally tough and socially adjusted survive”.
In expressing final thoughts on the topic to the audience, Samuda posited that “the psychology of sport demands a sociological solution and the sociology of sport demands psychological analyses and applications and it is in this context that we must develop tools of trade that will provide a construct for the cultural validation and self-determination of the Olympic coach”.
He concluded, “Too often in sport, emotional intelligence and social re-engineering as part of the DNA of success are ignored. They provided the rationale for our introduction, at the Jamaica Olympic Association, of the policy that sport psychologists must be a part of our professional management of teams to games. They play an integral role in characterising, for coaches and athletes, the profile and meaning of self-actualisation and success in a personal microcosmic context and in the macro environment where social, economic and even political factors contend and are impacting.”