Online Psychology School - Sports Psychology

  • Learn the psychological principles of sports.

  • Curriculum for the course covers motivation and team dynamics.

  • Increase your understanding of psychological traits of successful athletes.

  • Understand that a person's psychology or state of mind can have a significant effect upon their sporting performance.

  • Learn how the selection of competitors for sport is influenced by an assessment of their individual psychology (as well as other factors such as recent performance and fitness).

  • Sports psychologists can offer strategies to the sports person to help them enhance their performance.

Study Sports Psychology - develop your understanding of psychological principles in sport

  • Learn about techniques and strategies employed by a sports psychologist to improve an athletes performance.
  • Learn how a sports psychologist will encourage teams to work together.
  • Understand anxiety and arousal and how it impacts on an athletes performance.

When you enrol on this course, you will receive high quality learning materials and enthusiastic support from our highly qualified Sports Psychology Tutors.



Sports Psychology comprises 8 lessons as follows:

Lesson 1. Introduction

  • Performance Psychology
  • Exercise Psychology
  • Environmental Influences
  • Aspects of Sports Psychology
  • Applying Sports Psychology

Lesson 2. Psychological Traits of Successful Athletes

  • Personality Inventory Determining a personality type
  • Cognitive Techniques

Lesson 3. Anxiety and Arousal

  • Understanding and Dealing with Anxiety
  • Physiology of Anxiety
  • Arousal
  • Maximising Psychological State
  • Focusing (or Centring)

Lesson 4. Motivation

  • Motivation as an internal impulse that causes increasingly energetic action in a particular direction.
  • Basic Principles of Motivation
  • Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
  • Factors Affecting Motivation
  • Motivation for fun
  • Slimming for fun

Lesson 5. Aggression

  • Mental Rehearsal
  • Error Parking
  • Using Self Consciousness
  • Using Word Association
  • Anger and Conflict
  • Measuring Aggression
  • Simulated Practice, e-Event Procedure,
  • Reliving Success, Positive,
  • Conflict Handling Techniques.

Lesson 6. Leadership and Coaching

  • Role of a Coach
  • How to Get Attention
  • Questioning
  • Punishment.

Lesson 7. Team Dynamics

  • Group cohesion
  • Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing
  • Traits of an Effective Team
  • Suitable membership
  • Appropriate Leadership
  • Commitment to the Team
  • Concern for Achieving
  • Effective Work Methods, Well Organised Team Procedures
  • Ability To Take Criticism
  • Creative Strength
  • Positive Relationships, Positive Environment.

Lesson 8. Special Groups

  • Understanding Stress
  • Post Game/Season Evaluation
  • Gender Differences, Elite Female Athletes
  • Special Considerations with Female Athletes
  • Disabled Persons. Children, Readiness
  • Dropping out.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


Duration: 100 hours


What You Will Do In This Course

  • Conduct research in the media looking at interviews with elite athletes/coaches/sports persons. Indetify what techniques they use to stay motivated, to reduce stress and tension, to remain focused, to prepare for a competition, etc.
  • How do successful athletes cope with failure, error or poor performance in a major competition? Give an example of an acute stressor because of one of the above in sport, and describe the techniques you recommend for an effective coping strategy.
  • Discuss the difference in coping with sports related stress for the athlete and the non elite sports person. Include examples of their ability to handle fatigue, pain, competitive situations, and performance failure.
  • What can a coach do to reduce or eliminate learned helplessness? Discuss the potential harm caused by this.
  • Talk to one or more athletes to find out what psyching techniques they use to help improve their performance. Have they tried other techniques? If so, why did they stop using them?
  • Think about two or three different activities (sporting, or otherwise) that you undertook recently but weren't keen to do, or that you felt would be beyond your capabilities. How were you motivated to complete the activity - was the motivation intrinsic or extrinsic? Did you use different motivating techniques to accomplish each activity? How did you feel once you had accomplished each activity? Would you use the same motivating technique(s) in the future? Also speak to someone else, and ask them the same questions.
  • Watch a range of altercations (such as a fight or collision between players) or aggressive behaviour in sporting events, such as in team sports like football or basketball, or in direct competition between two or more individual competitors such as in tennis, fencing, car racing, or distance running. What events have led up to the altercation/s or fight or aggressive behaviour? What form of behaviour did the aggression take? Who was it directed at? How many people were involved? How did it stop? What penalties, if any, where applied (e.g. fines, frees, time outs, lost points)?
  • Speak to a coach to find out what role they play in organising and training their athletes.
  • Speak to a coach who trains children. Find out how their role differs to when they are training adults. What techniques do they use for gaining attention and motivating the children?Discuss the development of a team with someone who has been a member of a sporting team (school, amateur or professional) for more than one season. Ask about their ups and downs and the reasons they think contributed to high points and low points. Delve into those reasons to see whether any situations or patterns relate to things you have learned in the course.


Conflict Handling Techniques

In many conflict situations we can choose how to behave and how to respond. It is well worth reflecting on some of the most common ways of handling conflict because this will increase our awareness of possible responses. It will also enable us to check out our usual reactions and consider whether they are appropriate for what we are trying to achieve.

There are five main styles which can be adopted to handle conflict on the sporting field: competing, soothing, avoiding, compromising and joint problem solving.

Competing is assertive, and in some cases, uncooperative. Whilst competing against others is an integral part of sports, competing to win conflict situations can be less desirable and may simply be an avenue for releasing negative aggression. It involves an individual pursuing their own concerns at another person’s expense. This is a power-oriented mode in which one uses whatever power seems appropriate to win one’s own position. Competing might mean standing up for your rights, defending a position, which you believe is correct, or simply trying to win at any cost.

Soothing is unassertive and cooperative; often tantamount to giving in. A soothing individual attempts to preserve the relationship at all costs, emphasising areas of agreement and failing to confront thorny issues.

Avoiding is unassertive and uncooperative. The individual does not immediately pursue his/her own concerns or those of the other person. He/she does not address the conflict. Avoiding might take the form of diplomatically sidestepping the issue, postponing the issue till a later/better time, or simply withdrawing from a threatening position.

Compromising is intermediate between assertiveness and cooperativeness. The objective is to find expedient, mutually acceptable solutions, which partially satisfy both parties, It falls in the middle ground between competing and accommodating. It addresses issues more directly than avoiding, but it doesn't explore it in as much depth as in joint problem solving. Compromising might mean "splitting the difference", exchanging concessions, or speaking a quick middle ground position.

Joint Problem Solving is both assertive and cooperative - the opposite of avoiding. It involves an attempt to work with the other person to find some mutually satisfying solution. It means digging into an issue to identify the underlying concerns of the two individuals and to find an alternative, which meets both sets of concerns. Joint problem solving might take the form of exploring a disagreement, in order to learn from each other’s insights.

It is important to remember that each of these ways of handling conflict can be the right one under certain circumstances.


Learn More About Sports Psychology

Sports Psychology is suitable for anyone interested in sport as an amateur or a professional. Learn more about the psychological principles underlying an athlete's performance in sport and hope to get the best performance from them.


Enrol now - receive high quality learning materials and specialist tutor support


Also receive three recommended eBooks - free when you enrol

If you have any questions about the course or want to find out more, please get in touch with us today, by:

Phone (UK) 01384 442752, or (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Email us at [email protected], or use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE