Sidonio Serpa

Lusofona University, Portugal

Sidónio Serpa is currently in charge of the Sport Psychology Center at the Lusofona University, in Lisbon, after having retired as Full Professor from the Faculty of Human Kinetics of the University of Lisbon where he worked for about 45 years. He is a former President of the International Society of Sport Psychology, and member of the European “Forum of Applied Sport Psychologists in Topsport-FAST” since the very beginning. Dr. Serpa has a degree in Physical Education and another one in Psychology.

He got his PhD with a thesis on Sport Psychology at the Faculty of Human Kinetics of the Technical University of Lisbon (currently, University of Lisbon) where he became Chair of Sport Psychology and coordinator of the Laboratory of Sport Psychology. Dr. Serpa has published at National and International level, and presented lectures in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. Additionally he has been Invited Professor in several universities in Europe and Macau, China.

Sidónio Serpa is a former gymnast and gymnastics coach, and has worked as a psychologist of top level athletes, medalists in World and European championships, as well as in Olympic Games. As a sport psychologist he was a member of the staff of the Portuguese Sailing Team in the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics. In 2009, he received from the Association of Applied Sport Psychology-AASP (USA) the “AASP Distinguished International Scholar Award” and from the Technical University of Lisbon the “Academic Merit Diploma”. FEPSAC honored him with the Ema Geron Award in 2019. In 2012 Dr. Serpa became Invited-Member of the Iberian-American Society of Sport Psychology. The Sports Secretary of the Portuguese Government nominated him as Ambassador for the Sports Ethics.


Sport peak performance: is mental health a real concern?

Sidonio Serpa

Lusofona University, Lisbon, Portugal

Sports is traditionally considered as promoting physical, psychological, social and moral benefits to sports people. However, overcoming human limits became the central challenge of top sports leading to the exploration of social expectations by the media, as well as to an explicit purpose of sports state and private organizations. Therefore, athletes have become producers of sports results that have outstanding economic and political impact. On the other hand, managers, coaches and other sports professionals, including psychologists, benefit from their results. Athletes’ personal physical and psychological resources are pushed at their limits and sometimes over them. Sophisticated training methods, technological means, pharmaceutic products, and often doping, cheating and corruption came into top sports context that risks to become an unsustainable activity according to the sustainable development goals established in 2015 by the UN General Assembly, including good health and well-being. The “Mental health in elite athletes: International Olympic Committee consensus statement” (2019) refers that mental health symptoms and disorders are common among elite athletes, which is connected to physical health and is associated to various aspects, such as injuries. The lecture will discuss mental health of top athletes in the context in a sports environment mainly aiming at producing top performers.