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Sport Psychology Lab

Developing better athletes, and better people.

The Sport Psychology Lab investigates the psychosocial factors that influence sport performance, participation, and personal development. We aim to optimize sport programming to enhance the development of athletic talent, while using sport as a vehicle for promoting positive personal development and a healthy active lifestyle.

As one of the most popular activities undertaken by American youth, organized sport can positively influence a wide swath of children and adolescents. However, we know that the potential benefits associated with sport participation do not occur automatically. Rather, sport contexts should be intentionally structured in a way that facilitates the holistic well-being of developing youth. Our research program strives to optimize youth sport contexts by studying the influence of salient psychosocial factors such as coach-athlete and peer relationships. In pursuit of this objective, we employ a wide-range of quantitative (e.g., surveys, systematic observation) and qualitative (e.g., interviews, focus groups) methods.

The Sport Psychology Lab is actively recruiting undergraduate and graduate students for the 2018-2019 school year. Please contact Dr. Vierimaa for more information regarding specific opportunities and potential research assistantships.

Recent News

MS Student Ross Budziszewski giving presentation

April 2018 - MS Student Ross Budziszewski presented research on the birthplace effect in collegiate and professional basketball at the USU Student Research Symposium.

Dr. Vierimaa giving a presentation

April 2018 - Dr. Vierimaa shared research on coaching and positive youth development at US Ski & Snowboard's 2018 Club Excellence Conference in Park City, UT.

Presentation photo

October 2017 - Dr. Vierimaa attended the 2017 AASP Annual Conference in Orlando, FL and presented a profile of Don “Pete” Petersen, an expert grassroots youth basketball coach.