About the Sport Psychology Program

Group of Four Students Smiling

Sport Psychology has strong roots at SJSU, dating back to the 1940s when Dorthy Hazeltine Yates started a class for aviators and athletes called "Psychology of Adjustment" in 1942. Interestingly, particularly for that time period, she also worked with high-level boxers on relaxation techniques and other forms of basic psychological skills training! Sport Psychology continued to be a major presence at San Jose State through the influencial work of the late Dr. Bruce Ogilvie, often referred to as the grandfather of North American Sport Psychology, and Dr. Tom Tutko, who began working with athletes in the 1960s. They later authored the classic text entitled, "Problem athletes and how to handle them," and their research laid the groundwork for future researchers and practitioners.


Currently, the Sport Psychology program maintains a strong interdisciplinary focus, so that students have the freedom to draw from various disciplines both within and outside of Kinesiology. For example, graduate students have drawn from the areas of Sport Sociology, Cultural Studies, Women's Studies, Exercise Physiology, Cognitive Psychology and Coaching/Pedagogy. Our diverse group of students come from a variety of cultural and academic backgrounds, and past masters degree recipients have gone on to sucessfully pursue doctoral degrees, as well as work in teaching, coaching and private business. Finally, graduate students now have the opportunity to conduct research in the newly created Department of Kinesiology Qualitative Research Lab, which is equipped with a variety of data collection and analysis materials.


In short, the nationally recognized faculty in the Sport Psychology program share a passion for both research and teaching, and look forward to helping both undergraduate and graduate students achieve their personal and academic goals, whatever they may be.