PY0758 - Psychological Skills for Sport Performance

What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will explore a range of issues relating to contemporary professional practice in sport psychology. You will learn how to assess and classify an athlete, and how to design bespoke mental training programmes for athletes for the purpose of performance enhancement. You will also learn about performance dysfunction, performance impairment and performance termination issues, and when to refer athletes to other allied professionals. You will have the opportunity to try out selected mental training techniques yourself, and will learn how to teach them to athletes. You will explore and develop your own personal professional philosophy for sport psychology practice, and will develop your skills as a reflective practitioner.

How will I learn on this module?

On this module you will experience an interactive workshop style of teaching. This involves a diverse range of learning activities including brief lecture style presentations, discussion groups, DVD and real-world case studies, student led tasks and practical workshops.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

During taught sessions you will have the opportunity to practice athlete assessment, and the teaching of selected mental skills training techniques. This will take place via role-play exercises with your peers in class. Verbal feedback will be given on the role-play exercises by the tutor and your peer group,and you will also be asked to critically reflect upon your own performance. Athlete case studies will be utilised in class to enable you to practice designing appropriate intervention strategies and to gain feedback on your programme design. During semester two, when you will be working individually with anathlete, you will attend a series of think tank sessions with the tutor and your peers. These sesons will be run as athlete case conferences in which each student will present their athlete case and will receive input from their tutor and their peers, to help them to progress. Outside of formal scheduled teaching, the module tutor and staff teaching team will have office hours available for one to one and or small group appointments each week. There will also be a discussion board on the module site on the elp, which students can use to ask questions of their tutor and peers.

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:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
? 1. Critically discuss and apply a range of theories and intervention strategies to address real-world problems in sport psychology
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
? 2. Design a client centred psychological skills training programme
? 3. Implement a client centred psychological skills training programme
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
? 4. Critically reflect upon personal performance as a sport psychology practitioner and upon performance feedback provided by others
? 5. Apply appropriate ethical and professional practice frameworks in the provision of sport psychology services

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: Athlete needs assessment and mental skills training plan (30%)
This is a 'real-world' application of psychological skills training. You will assess a real athlete and produce a summary of the athlete’s key psychological strengths and weaknesses, and a bullet point plan of your intended mental skills training programme (MLO 1, 2).
Component 2: Athlete case report (70%) You will carry out your planned mental skills training programme with your athlete. You will produce a written report of your work with the athlete, including making reference to the literature to justify the decisions made in your training plan. Your report will also include your personal reflection on your experience of working with the athlete, and also feedback from the athlete on your performance as a sport psychology practitioner. (MLO, 3, 4, 5).

Formative Assessment
Component 1: You will learn about athlete assessment, programme design and reflective practice during taught sessions. You will have the opportunity to practice these skills in a supportive environment and to receive feedback from your tutor and peers.
Component 2: you will attend think tank case conference sessions during semester 2 in which you will be able to discuss any difficulties/concerns that you have about implementing your training programme, and will receive input from your peers and tutor.
Written feedback will be provided on summative work. Comments will highlight strengths and ways in which improvements/further development can be made.





Module abstract

This module is for students who want to discover how to work with athletes to enhance their sporting performance. Designed and taught by academics who are themselves experienced, sport psychology practitioners, this module explores every aspect of the work of the sport psychologist. The module guides you through the real-world process, from preparing to meet an athlete for the first time through to developing a working relationship, completing a needs analysis, designing and implementing a mental skills training programme, referring an athlete for further support, and reflecting on the whole experience. A highlight of the module is the opportunity to work, under the supervision of an experienced sport psychologist, as a ‘trainee’ sport psychologist providing mental skills training to a selected athlete. The module draws upon the current evidence base to inform good practice, and students are supported and encouraged to adopt a critical approach and to work collaboratively to identify creative solutions to real world problems.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time
1 other options available

Department Psychology

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

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

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.


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