SP6005 - Psychological Skills Training

What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will learn about and get to experience what a sport psychologist does when working with athletes. You will explore the different ways in which a sport psychologist can work with athletes, and will begin to create your own personal approach to sport psychology practice. You will be exposed to the range of different issues that a sport psychologist might encounter from performance enhancement through performance dysfunction, performance impairment and performance termination, and will learn about how a sport psychologist deals with these issues. You will find out what athletes really think of sport psychology, and how sport psychologists can use this information to make their work with athletes more effective. You will get to try out and critique a range of psychological techniques for performance enhancement including goal-setting, imagery, self-talk and progressive muscular relaxation. You will learn how to design mental training programmes for individuals and groups, and how to convince a National Governing body, Sport institute or professional sports club of the value of sports psychology services for their athletes.

How will I learn on this module?

This module is taught by staff who are experienced sport psychology practitioners. We bring an applied, real world focus to the module and will present you with information, situations and challenges that we have faced in our own work with athletes. This module is taught using a blended learning approach, which means that it involves a mixture of lectures, small group seminars, on line activities and practical tasks. You will be an active learner so you will learn by doing practical tasks, applying your knowledge from the module to real-world problems and completing activities that require you to make evidence-based, informed decisions. You will be presented with key information in lectures, directed reading and online activities, and will use that information to complete tasks in seminars and as directed learning. You will also complete some practical mental skills training in which you get the opportunity to try out some of the mental training techniques yourself and to teach them to a classmate.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Each week will build on what you have achieved the previous week so that your knowledge, skills and confidence develop as the module progresses. At the start of each session we will recap the key take home messages from the previous week and provide the opportunity for you to ask questions to aid your understanding. During taught sessions we will give you the opportunity to think about, and apply, key knowledge from the literature to real-world situations. You will work in small groups to complete a variety of problem-solving tasks and to receive feedback from your tutor and peers. You will complete practice case studies that allow you to develop your mental training programme design skills, in a safe and supportive environment, and will try out different ways of approaching tasks and solving problems. You will have the opportunity to practice and receive feedback on each of the elements of the summative assessment during seminar sessions. By the time you reach the summative assessment point you should feel confident in your skills and abilities and will have been learned different ways of tackling the challenge.
Outside of formal scheduled teaching, each tutor will have office hours available for small group or individual tutorial sessions on any aspect of the module. We will also use an on line discussion board that students can access to ask questions of their tutors and their peers. There will also be additional information and activities on the eLP relating to key topics from the module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

1. apply knowledge of the existing evidence base to make informed decisions about sport psychology practice

2. apply a creative approach to solve a real-world problem in sport psychology

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

1. work as a team to communicate effectively in a manner appropriate to a specified audience
2. apply emotional intelligence and an appropriate professional philosophy when completing a psychological needs analysis of an athlete

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

1. operate within professional guidelines to assess and make justifiable recommendations for psychological support for an athlete

How will I be assessed?


Athlete management plan
You will be provided with athlete case study data. Using the case study data, you will work individually to produce an athlete management plan for that athlete. The plan is to be written for a multidisciplinary athlete case conference. Your athlete management plan should detail the athlete’s psychological issues, how you as a sport psychologist would intervene to address the issues and how you would work with other sport science professionals to manage the athlete’s psychological plan. . (KU1,2 IPSA 1,2, PVA 1).

Formative assessment:

During taught sessions you will practice completing a needs analysis of an athlete and will use recognised case formulation and diagnostic classification systems to understand and classify your athlete. You will have the opportunity to practice designing one-to-one mental training programmes and will receive peer and tutor feedback and support. You will learn about how a sport psychologist works as part of a multidisciplinary team to ensure effective athlete management.


SP0471 Fundamentals of Psychology
SP5006 Psychological determinants in sport, exercise and health



Module abstract

This module is for students who are interested in how the mind affects sporting performance. The module is designed and taught by experienced sport psychology practitioners who use their own experiences in the field to introduce you to the reality of working with elite athletes. Using the existing evidence base you will explore how to manage athlete expectations, and how to classify and deal with a variety of athlete issues ranging from performing under pressure when it really matters, to coping with injury and career termination. You will try out a variety of performance enhancement techniques commonly used by sport psychologists with top athletes, and will learn how to design mental training programmes for individuals and groups. You will experience the real world of sport psychology and will develop some key skills necessary for working in the elite sport environment such as emotional intelligence, creative problem solving and decision making.

Course info

UCAS Code C600

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with study abroad

Department Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2021 or September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of online and face to face teaching due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Students will be required to attend campus as far as restrictions allow. Contact time will increase as restrictions ease, or decrease, potentially to a full online offer, should restrictions increase.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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