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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.

Recent News

student presenting poster

December 2017 - Undergraduate student Marcus Myers presented an ongoing study on moral disengagement among athletic trainers at the USU Fall Student Research Symposium.

presentation slide

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.

talking about sports

September 2017 – Dr. Vierimaa attended the 2017 Aspen Institute Project Play Summit in Washington, DC. This event brought together key experts and stakeholders to discuss how to build stronger youth sport communities by making organized sport more accessible and inclusive.