The gold medal profile for sport psychology (GMP-SP): A Canadian framework to guide practice and research


The Gold Medal Profile for Sport Psychology (GMP-SP) is a comprehensive evidence-informed framework integrating mental performance competencies underpinning the athletic performances of Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes aiming to reach the podium. As an Own The Podium initiative, the GMP-SP was established to guide practitioners and leaders in their design, delivery, tracking, and evaluation of mental skills programs in the Canadian high performance sport system. A Participatory Action Research approach involving a 2-year cyclical process of planning, action, reflection, and evaluation informed the collaborative work of six experienced Canadian Mental Performance Consultants (four men, two women). The group, whose lived experience was integral to the relevance and impact of the inquiry collectively had over 125 years of experience conducting research and consulting in high performance sport. A review of the scientific literature combined with the experts' professional practice led to the creation of the GMP SP, which includes 11 mental performance competencies grouped under three broad categories: (a) fundamental competencies (motivation, confidence, resilience), (b) self-regulation competencies (self-awareness, stress management, emotion, and arousal regulation, attentional control), and (c) interpersonal competencies (athlete-coach relationship, leadership, teamwork, communication). Mental health was also included as an overarching construct influencing the achievement of mental and athletic performance. The GMP-SP fulfills an important gap given the current lack of models to guide the operationalization, implementation, and study of mental performance systems in high performance sport that include both intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies, as well as mental health.

Acknowledgments: Own the Podium