Frank L. Smoll, Ph.D.

Department of Psychology University of Washington

Frank L. Smoll, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
University of Washington

Frank Smoll is Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Ripon College (Wisconsin) and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. As an undergraduate, he played on championship basketball and baseball teams, and he is a member of Ripon’s Athletic Hall of Fame. As a University of Washington faculty member, Dr. Smoll teaches courses in sport psychology, and he has served as Graduate Program Coordinator, Human Subjects Coordinator, and Co-Director of the Sport Psychology graduate training program. From 1993-1999, he co-directed (with Ronald Smith) a psychological skills training program for UW athletes (Husky Sport Psychology Services).

Dr. Smoll’s research focuses on coaching behaviors in youth sports and on the psychological effects of competition on children and adolescents. He has published more than 130 scientific articles and book chapters, and he is co-author of 22 books and manuals, including Mastery Approach to Coaching (2009), Sport Psychology for Youth Coaches (2012), and Parenting Young Atheletes (2012). Professor Smoll has made over 150 presentations at scientific/professional conferences and invited colloquia.

Dr. Smoll’s professional honors include election to fellow status in the following organizations: American Psychological Association, American Academy of Kinesiology, Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). In 2002, he was the recipient of AASP’s Distinguished Professional Practice Award, which was bestowed for “demonstrating exceptional quality and innovation in delivering sport psychology services to the public.” Dr. Smoll was also named a Sports Ethics Fellow for 2008 by the Institute for International Sports, which honored him as a “pioneer in researching ways to improve youth sports.”

With respect to professional services, Dr. Smoll has been an officer for several associations, and he has organized and participated in many sport psychology symposia. He is an AASP Certified Consultant and has been actively involved with local and national youth sport organizations.

In collaboration with Ronald Smith, Professor Smoll was the recipient of research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the William T. Grant Foundation. A major goal was to develop, test, and disseminate an educational program for youth sport coaches. This program, which is known as the Mastery Approach to Coaching, is the only scientifically validated coaching-education workshop that has been shown to have desirable effects on youngsters’ personal, social, and athletic development. The research was honored as one of the top 100 science-technology contributions in the history of the University of Washington. More than 26,000 coaches have participated in some 500 workshops in the United States and Canada. Workshops have been presented to volunteer coaches in a variety of sport-specific organizations (e.g., Little League Baseball, Washington Youth Soccer, Minnesota Hockey) and multi-sport organizations (e.g., Catholic Youth Organization, Boys and Girls Clubs, community recreation departments). The program has also been offered as in-service training for PE teachers and coaches in public school districts.