Lessons from the field

March 5, 2012

By Steven Johnson ’13

Dr. Brent Walker ’94 recently returned to campus to speak about the field of sport psychology to Dr. Dawn Roberts’ class. Walker recently was elected scientific program division head for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. He has been an associate professor in the kinesiology and sports studies department at Eastern Illinois University since 2005.

“I think sport psychology is a great field for students wanting to stay involved with athletics and help others achieve success,” Walker said. “For me personally, I feel truly lucky to stay in athletics all these years through sport psychology.”

Dr. Roberts said her students benefited from learning about sports psychology from an experienced practitioner.

“He offered several issues experienced by athletes he has seen through his consulting practice, and students saw how the concepts they're learning in class are applied directly to real-world situations,” Roberts said. “He also sprinkled his talk with valuable advice for every student, such as the importance of networking, how to set goals appropriately, and what to do when one has a setback.”

Dr. Derek Montgomery, chair of the psychology department, echoed Roberts.

“Brent offered very useful career advice and insights about the field,” Montgomery said. “The information he offered came from his experience and success, and Brent has a great national reputation in the field of sport psychology. It's gratifying to know he got his start here at Bradley.”

While attending Bradley, Walker played basketball and baseball. He served as the mental training consultant for the U.S. Soccer Paralympic soccer team prior to the Beijing Paralympic Games. Walker holds a doctorate degree in kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree in exercise science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 “It was great to visit the Hilltop again,” Walker said. “All of the progress that has taken place since I was a student is truly amazing.”