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Alumni

Tim Pitt

Career Path: Sport Psychologist, English Institute of Sport
Location:

I originally studied Psychology at undergraduate level as I knew I wanted to pursue a career in sport psychology. After finishing my masters at Northumbria I got a job at Sky doing technical support for a few months while I searched for an opportunity more relevant to what I wanted to do.

In January 2012, I started my PhD at the English Institute of Sport (EIS) looking at single session problem solving (or "nudging" as it is referred to within the EIS). Alongside this I have been completing my BPS Stage 2 qualification and over the last three years have worked with athletes from a variety of sports. My applied role at the EIS is primarily working with the GB Paralympic Table Tennis team. I work alongside the coaching and support staff team in mentally preparing the athletes for competing under pressure.

What are you doing now?Tim Pitt

I am currently working at the EIS as part of the Performance Psychology team. I work with the GB Paralympic Table Tennis team, and I am in the fourth year of my PhD.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

I chose to study at Northumbria as the course offered a wide range of topics and a well-rounded perspective on performance psychology. I had enjoyed reading some of the research conducted by the teaching staff and I knew I would have the opportunity to conduct a thesis in an area that would interest me.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

Studying at Northumbria provided a wide range of teaching styles including presentations, applied projects, group work, lectures and seminars, tuition, supervision, and a variety of essay titles. This mix provided a variety of challenges and helped me develop a range of different skills that have proven useful both academically and in an applied sense.

What impressed you most about our academic staff?

The best thing about the University staff was that they always had time to offer their support and constructive feedback. I am still in touch with Dr. Sandy Wolfson, who supervised my thesis at Northumbria University, and she has continued to offer support since I left Northumbria.

How connected was your course with industry?

The course provided me with a good theoretical foundation around some of the core principles and techniques in sport psychology - as well as a good overview of other key aspects that play an important role in elite sport (eg. principles of social psychology). I also had the opportunity to gain some experience at one of the local football academies which was a good introduction to applying theory to practice.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

Studying at Northumbria gave me the opportunity to learn about some key aspects of sport psychology however the course also provided a lot of content from other areas of psychology (eg. social, counselling) that was particular beneficial in giving me a more well-rounded perspective on the role of psychology in sport.

What was the best thing about your course?

The content of the course was exactly what we needed to know, however it was delivered with an additional focus on how to apply the knowledge to best work with athletes in a practical sense. As such, we left the course ready to being a career in a real world sport setting.

Which skills/ knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

Perhaps the most important skill I learnt from the course was the ability to think critically about theory and how this can be applied in an applied context. I also improved my writing and presentation styles which have been really useful throughout my PhD.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Developing my academic skills (eg. writing, presenting, critical thinking) and gaining a good foundation of knowledge in sport psychology.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Go for it - I had a really positive experience and as long as you are passionate about sport psychology, Northumbria is a great place to study. Newcastle is also a great city to be based as a student.

For more information about me visit:

Twitter: @timjpitt

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