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Transferring science to practice through research results in international recognition

The Association for Applied Sport Psychology has recognized CPASS SEP faculty member Johannes Raabe for his efforts in the field of sport psychology. Raabe, assistant professor of sport and exercise psychology, received the Dorothy V. Harris Memorial Award in honor of his contributions to AASP as well as the academic discipline in general.

Jack Watson, dean and professor, says that the college is proud of Raabe and his accomplishments. “His work exemplifies the strenuous requirements for this prestigious award. He more than meets the expectations that were established by Dr. Harris,” Watson said. “Johannes has made a significant contribution to the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. He has developed a convincing record of scholarship and practice that helps to progress the profession and, in doing so, is establishing a strong international reputation. Johannes has set the stage for a long and productive career.”

Through his research and applied work, Raabe says he considers AASP his professional home. “I have been a continuous member of the organization since the second year of my master’s program and have presented at the annual conference every year since. Similarly, while I have published in a variety of different professional journals, AASP’s publications continue to be among my primary outlets”, he said. “Additionally, I have had research focused on cross-contextual motivation in collegiate sport funded by an AASP grant. Since 2019, I have served on AASP’s Doctoral Dissertation Award review committee.”

Two additional CPASS faculty members have received the Dorothy V. Harris Memorial Award. Dana Voelker, SEP associate professor, in 2018, and Damien Clement, SEP professor, in 2014.

As an early-career professional, Raabe has established a line of research that he is passionate about, primarily focused on the antecedents, mediators and consequences of motivation across different domains and settings. “Whether it was holding a prestigious research fellowship throughout my doctoral studies, completing my postdoctoral work at one of the 11 leading research institutions in Germany, or now as a faculty at a Carnegie I Research Institution, I have always been held to high expectations in my research,” Raabe said.

Raabe maintains an active research agenda through his publications along with regular presentations at national and international conferences. “To have a meaningful impact on the field of sport and performance psychology, I have placed an emphasis in areas that have only received limited consideration in previous research, such as considering coaches’ motivation as performers in their own respect,” he said. Last year, Raabe received the Young Investigator Award by the National Strength and Conditioning Association Foundation for his research exploring the challenges and coping mechanisms of female NCAA Division I strength and conditioning coaches.

As a strong believer in the scientist-practitioner approach, Raabe has focused his research on helping those in the applied setting, such as coaches or mental performance consultants. Raabe has been part of multiple externally funded research projects that allowed for a direct knowledge transfer from science to practice. “In all these projects, my collaborators and I have used empirical evidence directly derived from the respective research, as well as our previous scholarship, to inform practitioners’ daily work,” he said.

Most recently, Raabe has collaborated with two gymnastics federations in Germany. “I used data collected during practice observations, along with the evidence from previous research, to develop, implement and evaluate an educational program on motivational coaching,” Raabe said.

Like Dr. Harris, Raabe considers himself a scientist-practitioner. “As a Certified Mental Performance Consultant, I have provided mental performance services, both domestically and abroad, for athletes and coaches from a variety of sports and competitive levels,” Raabe said. “Plus, I have worked with performers from other high-performance domains, such as the military.”

On a more theoretical level, Raabe points to his work with two of his mentors, Craig Wrisberg and Mark Hector. “We have conceptualized a consulting framework, labeled ‘phenomenological consulting,’ that we believe allows practitioners to emphasize the value of performers’ voices during the consulting process and encourages them to develop self-awareness, control and ownership of mental training,” he explained.

Raabe values opportunities to mentor undergraduate and graduate students. “The prospect of working with incredibly talented individuals in the CPASS Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology doctoral program was a driving force in coming to WVU and something I have valued greatly in my time here,” he said. “As a mentor, I have developed extremely productive collaborations with students which have led to several publications and presentations at international conferences.”