It’s Friday, the 13th ENYSSP Conference, full moon over the Danube river in Bratislava. Spooky, unlucky, dangerous coincidence some would say.
A big bunch of young sport psychologists are passionately discussing their topics of interest around the designated tables at the “Knowledge Café”. There is no fear of the supernatural here, just exchange of knowledge, sharing of evidence based practice experiences, learning, supporting and lifting each other up. They favour internal attribution – they forge their own path. The only manifestation of “luck” is your name being drawn from a hat at the closing ceremony to win a sponsor’s book. Or wait, maybe it’s just a good old probability?
This was my 7th ENYSSP Conference and needless to say the event does not cease to amaze me. Excellent organisation of the Slovak team made the flow of the conference smooth, kept the level of caffeine in the bloodstream and cake in the belly optimal, balanced the level of the scientific and the applied, the serious and the social so well, that three days passed in a snap of the fingers and no one knew what hit them.
ENYSSP offered three keynote speeches this year with a former president Caroline Jannes, Dr. Anne-Marie-Elbe and Prof. Mark Andersen. Five parallel workshop sessions took place, with the total of 15 workshops to choose from. I was particularly pleased to see growing attention to mindfulness-based approaches and was lucky to attend the two workshops on Acceptance Commitment Therapy that just happened to snatch the 1st and 2nd places at the best workshop awards.
Another one of the traditional events was a poster session with some high-quality studies, while a relatively new session with short oral presentations kept the audience on the edge of their seats and the speakers on the tips of their toes with time pressure, swift changes of topics and humour. Furthermore, a new format – the “Knowledge Café” – was successful at bringing the participants with similar interests together and facilitating valuable discussions.
ENYSSP is many things, but at the end of the day it’s about people – people coming together with open minds and open hearts to share, learn and support each other in pursuit of excellence. And the best part is that we won’t need to wait a whole year to meet again because the next ENYSSP Conference is in spring 2018 in Zagreb, Croatia! See you there.
— Rita, Country Rep for Lithuania