The Psychology of Optimal Experience from the Perspective of Sport

  • Tuesday, August 23, 2011
  • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • University Center, 225 S. Pleasantburg, Greenville, SC 29607


  • Those attendees who have been invited to attend at no charge. Must have approval from Chapter President.
  • Special price for members
  • Any college student currently enrolled with 12 hours of classes.

Registration is closed

Sam SmithymanOur August 23 chapter meeting will focus on the ASTD Core Competency -- Improving Human Performance with Dr. Sam Smithyman. He will present a discussion of Flow, its history and application in psychology, its history and presence in sport, its relationship to peak performance, its difficulties in achieving in the general world of work and business.

After Dr. Smithyman's presentation, participants will recognize the Flow state and the ancient history from which the concept is derived; discuss the relevance of Flow for sport; understand why sports is a great laboratory for the study of Flow and Optimal Performance; recognize why the achievement of Flow and Optimal Performance is so difficult in the work environment.

About Dr. Sam Smithyman:

Originally from Spartanburg, SC, Dr. Smithyman graduated from Clemson University and then from Rice University in Houston, TX, with his bachelor's and master's in English Literature. Upon receiving a commission in the US Air Force (USAF) through the ROTC program at Clemson, Dr. Smithyman discovered that his real interests were in the field of psychology. 

Having gone on active duty in the USAF for four years, he was sent to the Space and Missile Systems Organization in Los Angeles where he began his part-time studies in psychology at UCLA. When he was transferred to the Air Force Satellite Test Center in Sunnyvale, CA, he entered the master's program in psychology at California State University at San Jose. Shortly after receiving an Honorable Discharge as a Captain in the USAF, he completed his master's degree and enrolled in a doctoral program in psychology at the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA.

After completing his doctorate, Dr. Smithyman worked for about 18 months at the Kedren Community Mental Health Center in South Central Los Angeles. He then worked for the Human Sciences Center, a psychology clinic in Beverly Hills, CA, for three years before establishing private practice in Beverly Hills. 

Dr. Smithyman's work as a clinical psychologist has included individual and group psychotherapy, couples and relationship counseling, family therapy and forensic evaluations. He earned a distinction in the State of California as a Qualified Medical Evaluator, conducting medical-legal evaluations on behalf of the California Workers Compensation Appeals Board. In addition, he developed and became the CEO of a Corporate Fitness and Wellness Company.

In 2006, after approximately 35 years in California, Dr. Smithyman and his wife returned to his home state of South Carolina where he has his private practice. He also is an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina – Upstate, where he teaches courses in Psychopathology, Life Adjustment and Sports Psychology. He is licensed to practice clinical psychology in South Carolina and California. 

To learn more about Dr. Smithyman, go to


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