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. You will attend a series of think tank sessions with the tutor and your peers. These sessions 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’s Blackboard site, 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?


Athlete case report (100%) You complete an athlete needs assessment on an athlete of your choice. You will then design a mental skills training intervention training programme for the athlete. 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 feedback from the athlete on your performance as a sport psychology practitioner. (MLO, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Formative Assessment
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.
You will attend think tank case conference sessions 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 2 years part-time
1 other options available

Department Psychology

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. 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.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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