Although debates are only one part of the nomination process, and some may say that voters are swayed more than they should be by them, the reality is that how a candidate performs on that night can have a considerable effect one way or another. Jonathan Collegio, communications director for the GOP group American Crossroads, states that “Campaigns have been smart to figure out that with all the increasing news coverage, a few strong debate performances are worth more than millions on early TV ads, and a weak appearance is worth more than a book of opposition research” (Balz, 2011). Clearly, the stage is set for a candidate to either make, or break, their campaign.
As an avid sports fan, an athlete, and a coach, I will be one of the most likely to gravitate toward the athletic arena when it comes to practicing and studying sport & performance psychology. However, I am exhilarated and humbled by the realization that our future impact may involve helping performers that are vying for such an important position as a leader of a nation. These candidates’ performances during one night could potentially change the course of our country, and even our world. So, a question emerges that deserves a great deal of contemplation and discussion in our field of sport & performance psychology. How do we expand to reach other meaningful performance areas without losing touch with what brought a lot of us here, the desire to help athletes and teams?
Balz, D. (2011, October 17). GOP debates become key proving ground. Retrieved from