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Leslee A. Fisher, PhD

Professor Emerita
Former Coordinator, Sport Psychology and Motor Behavior Graduate Program
322 HPER Building (main office)
865-974-3340 (main office)


KNS 231 Introduction to Sport Psychology
KNS 538 Professional Practice Issues in Sport Psychology
KNS 541 Supervision in Sport Psychology
KNS 543 Women, Sport & Culture


The overall goal of Dr. Fisher’s research is to increase athlete empowerment and coach/sport psychology professional awareness through the development of culturally sensitive and socially just projects informed by:

    • Feminist Sport Psychology
    • Cultural Sport Psychology
    • Critical Consciousness
    • Intersectional Theory
    • Poststructural Theory


PhD University of California, Berkeley Sport Psychology (Physical Education)
MEd University of Virginia Counselor Education
MSEd University of Michigan Kinesiology (Adult Fitness/Exercise Physiology)
BS University of Michigan Kinesiology (Physical Education/Teacher Certification)


The University of Tennessee, assistant, associate, and full professor
Pacific Lutheran University, assistant professor


Paulo Friere (1985) and Bell Hooks (1994) have dramatically influenced my views on the role of education in a democratic society and on my teaching philosophy. Hooks’s (1994) notion that education is the practice of freedom and Friere’s (1985) idea that education is not just a process whereby students passively accept information provided by the teacher but co-construct knowledge with the teacher has impacted the ways I include critical and feminist concepts in my courses such as: (a) education as the process of self-emancipation and the practice of freedom; (b) education as “critical literacy”, the raising of questions about “…the nature of knowledge, its justification, modes of discourse and school organization” (Pai, et al., 2006, p.140), including post-modern concepts like the breaking of traditional disciplines; (c) education as the process of learning about the conditions responsible for domination and oppression in society; (d) education as the struggle to overcome such dominant ideologies in society; (e) education as the possibility of alternative practices, ideologies, and social orders; and (f) education as this type of reflection but then moved to praxis, the incorporation of knowledge/theory into real-life action in one’s community.


  • Recipient, The 2024 Dr. Kate F. Hays Distinguished Mentor Award, The Association for Applied Sport Psychology
  • Co-Author, Most Read Article and 2nd Most Popular Article in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal, (2019-present)
  • Fellow, The Association for Applied Sport Psychology (2011–present)
  • Certified Consultant (#307), The Association for Applied Sport Psychology (2009–present)
  • Sport Psychology Registry Member, United States Olympic Committee (2012–2021)
  • National Certified Counselor (#53602), National Board for Certified Counselors (1999–present)


  • Framing the critical genealogy and political lineages of leaders in sport and exercise psychology who have attempted to promote social justice in their work


  • Diversity Committee member, Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP)
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology; Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal; Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology; Journal of Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise, & Health


Anders, A. D., DeVita, J., Fisher, L. A., Corr, C., & Myers, C. (2023). Looking back to look forward: Crenshaw’s political, structural, and representational intersectionality in sport. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies.

Quartiroli, A., Schinke, R. J., Giffin, C., Vosloo, J., & Fisher, L. A. (Nov., 2022). Cultural competence in a group of multinational sport psychology professionals. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology,

Moore, M. J.*, Fisher, L. A., Miossi, L. A.*, Smith, Z. T.*, & Jensen, J. C.* (May, 2022). From mission to competition: The experiences of 10 LDS missionary student-athletes returning to competition in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I. Journal of the Christian Society for Kinesiology, Leisure, and Sport Studies, 7, 1,

Couch, S. R.*, Fisher, L. A., McHenry, L., & Moore, M. J. (April 5, 2022). Coming to voice: Intersections of identity for African American Female Olympians. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology,

Morris, S. V.*, Fisher, L. A., Moore, M. J.*, Schools, J. A.*, & Knust, S. K.* (August, 2021). “Make someone love something and share your passion”: Perceptions of coach caring amongst elite women’s rugby sevens athletes. Sports Coaching Review.

Johnson, E. J., Fisher, L. A., Smith, Z. T., Schools, J. A., & Zakrajsek, R. A. (June 21, 2021). Exploring adversity and the potential for growth among Iron[wo]man competitors: A focus on gendered labor and (dis)empowerment. Journal of Emerging Sports Studies, 5, 1-29.

Gearity, B., Fisher, L. A., Yandt, A., Perugini, A., Knust, S. K.*, Bejar, M. P.*, Shigeno, T. C.*, Larsen, L. K.*, & Fynes, J. F.* (June 20, 2021). Deconstructing caring in the coach-athlete relationship: A gentler form of domination. Sports Coaching Review,

Quartiroli, A., Vosloo, J., Schinke, R. J., Anderson, S., Fisher, L.A., & Giffin, C. (March 25, 2021). Sport psychology professionals’ perceptions of the roadblocks to cultural sport psychology. Sport, Performance, and Exercise Psychology,

DeLisio, D.*, Lauer, E. E.*, Shigeno, T. C.*, Fisher, L. A., & Zakrajsek, R. A. (Feb. 4, 2021). “He pushed his body against mine and asked for my number”: A reflective account of sexual harassment in mental performance consulting. The Sport Psychologist. Advance online publication.

McHenry, L. K.*, Cochran, J. L., Zakrajsek, R. A., Fisher, L. A., Couch, S. R.*, & Hill, B. S. (2021). Elite figure skaters’ experiences of harm in the coach-athlete relationship: A person-centered theory perspective. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology,


Fisher, L. A. (Ed.; accepted for contract 8-7-23). Social justice through sport and exercise psychology: Expert approaches and intergenerational voices. Routledge.

Prewitt-White*, T., & Fisher, L. A. (Eds.; 2022). Examining and mitigating sexual misconduct in sport. Routledge.


Fisher, L. A., Bradshaw, V. L., Thomson, S. R., & Miller, S. N. (in press). Talking to coaches about emotional abuse.  In A. Chroni, P. Olusoga, K. Dieffenbach, and G. Kenttä (Eds.), International case studies for supporting sport coaches. Routledge.

Fisher, L. A., Compton, B., & Kraus, A. (2024). Sticking out like a sore thumb: Experiences with sexual orientation and gender in sport and physical activity (pp. 253-263). In S. Razon and M. Sachs (Eds.), Applied exercise psychology: The challenging journey from motivation to adherence (2nd edition). Routledge.

Fisher, L. A., Miller, J. F., & Keesler, J. (published 8-25-23). Mental health and psychosocial considerations of the transgender athlete. In A. West (Ed.), The transgender athlete. Elsevier.

Fisher, L. A., & Dzikus, L. (published 8-15-23). Sport-related bullying and hazing. In D. Tod, K. Hodge, and V. Krane (Eds.), Routledge handbook of applied sport psychology (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Fisher, L. A., Bradshaw, V. L., Thomson, S. R., & Miller, S. N. (under review 6-8-23). Talking to coaches about emotional abuse.  In A. Chroni, P. Olusoga, K. Dieffenbach, and G. Kenttä (Eds.), International case studies for supporting sport coaches. Routledge.

Egli, T. J.*, & Fisher, L. A. (2023). Fidget-spinning and Philippians: A faith-based sport psychology intervention aimed at helping a child athlete overcome fear (Chapter 27). In S. Castillo, C. Wooding, D. Barba, and A. Chroni (Eds.), Building consulting skills for sport and performance psychology: An international case study collection. Routledge.

Fisher, L. A., & Prewitt-White, T. (2022). Preface. In T. Prewitt-White and L. A. Fisher (Eds.), Examining and mitigating sexual misconduct in sport. Routledge.

Fisher, L. A., & Anders, A. D. (2022). Calling all sport constituents: Exploring power and bringing joy back into sport (Chapter 1). In T. Prewitt-White and L.A. Fisher (Eds.), Examining and mitigating sexual misconduct in sport. Routledge.


  • Social Justice Through Sport and Exercise Psychology

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