Are esports a sport psychologist’s domain? #PSYCHOLOGY


Cory Cottrell, Nicholas McMillen & Brandonn S. Harris (2019) Sport psychology in a virtual world: Considerations for practitioners working in eSports, Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 10:2, 73-81, DOI: 10.1080/21520704.2018.1518280


Recent technological advances have steadily led to the increased popularity of video games. With computers more readily accessible, video games have become more popular than ever (Murphy, 2009). As the player-base increases for video games, so have competitive opportunities for participants in these online-based performances, and opportunities for mental skills services in this area. Given the unique technological facets of this performance domain, this article provides sport psychology practitioners with information regarding eSports as an arena for mental skills training, challenges and benefits associated with consultation in eSports, and ethical considerations and best practice suggestions for applied work in this area

The Data



“there appears to be growing opportunities for sport psychology professionals to work within this unique performance environment”

“Psychological demands have long been regarded as relevant for most sports, and eSports are no exception”

“With its increasing popularity and organized competitive events, eSports represent a new opportunity for sport psychology”

Our Take on it

Are esports a sport psychologist’s domain? Definitely! Whilst there are likely more aspects of esports a sport psychologist can impact, the paper focuses on mental skills training as well as practical considerations in regards to ethics and running consultations. The authors highlight a real need for sport psychologists to understand the esports domain and take the time to consider the impact and practicalities of online communications versus face to face consultations. Overall a great read for anyone trying to understand the nuances of applying sport psychology to this nascent digital domain. – Robert Houghton

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