José Maria Cagigal: the legacy of a pioneer of sport psychology

Alberto Cei * and Sidonio Serpa **

(*) Department of Human Sciences and Promotion of the Quality of Life, San Raffaele Roma Open University, Rome, Italy
(**) University of Lisbon, Faculty of Human Kinetics Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal


Cei, A., Serpa, S. (2018). José Maria Cagigal: the legacy of a pioneer of sport psychology. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 49(3), 256-266. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2018.49.256


José Maria Cagigal (Bilbao, 1928 – Madrid, 1983) played a fundamental role in establishing, for the first time in the world, an international network in the field of sport psychology that culminated in the foundation of the International Society of Sport Psychology. In fact, it was during the 3rd Congress of the Latin Group of Sports Medicine (Barcelona, 1963) that Ferruccio Antonelli, Michel Bouet, José Ferrer Hombravella and José Maria Cagigal discussed their interest in the sport psychology field and speculated on the organization of a worldwide congress. Thanks to this vision, Ferrer Hombravella was elected General Secretary in 1965 in the first ISSP - Managing Council, but also José Cagigal organized the 3rd ISSP Congress in Madrid in 1973. This key role was clearly recognized by Antonelli during this Congress. Furthermore, under his direction, this Congress was very important because it was attended by members from European Eastern countries and from North America. At the same time, in Spain, the only existing school to prepare teachers of physical education – the National Institute of Physical Education (INEF) in Madrid – owed its foundation to his work and few scholars have added value to the history of sports and education as he did. Cagigal was the first director of the first INEF, and the AIESEP president in the period 1968-1983.

Keywords: José Maria Cagigal, ISSP, History, Legacy, Sport Psychology