Study Sports Psychology - understand techniques and approaches to motivating people in sport

"State of mind" can be just as important as physical ability when playing sport. Everyone from amateurs to professionals can not only perform better, but also benefit more psychologically from participation in sport if they understand the mind better.

  • Develop your skills and understanding of psychological principles for use in sports.
  • Learn psychological traits common to successful athletes, ways to maintain and increase motivation, leadership, aggression and team dynamics.
  • A course for athletes, coaches, personal trainers, and also beneficial to amateurs wanting to improve their game.
  • Enrol on this course today and, in addition to receiving high quality learning materials and enthusiastic support from our tutors.

Our Students say:

"The course was useful for my goalkeeper coaching practices. [It} met my expectations and gave me some good insights; I liked the way the course was structured, especially the way I could work at my own pace WITHOUT any pressure. The course has specifically helped with ideas for motivating players."

Mario Rimati, Football Coach & Phys Ed Teacher, Italy - Sports Psychology

Study Sports and Exercise Psychology - understand performance and motivation

Apply psychological principles to improve performance in sports people

The human mind is affected by physical activity in more ways than you might imagine, and conversely, physical activity can be very much affected by the state of mind. Body and mind are inevitably linked, and through understanding this link, you can achieve better performance, and avid unnecessary risks to the athlete.

Sports psychology is the study of the interaction between a person’s psychology and their participation in sport. Singer (1978) defined it as “the science of psychology applied to sport”. Whilst the field of psychology is relatively young, sports psychology is even younger. The field of sports psychology has much to offer, carrying out useful research that can be made available to athletes and coaches.

In professional or competitive sport, this study is important because:

  • A person’s psychology or state of mind can have a significant effect upon their sporting performance.

  • The selection of competitors for elite sport is influenced by an assessment of their individual psychology, as well as other factors such as recent performance and fitness.

Sports psychologists provide two major types of services:

  • Counselling – in areas that affect the athlete.

  • Strategies that enhance performance.

In order to promote greater participation in sport, it is valuable to understand the psychology of the broader community; and in this way, determine those things that will motivate greater sporting participation.


Study Sports Psychology

  • Learn techniques and strategies to aid and improve in the performance of athletes.
  • Understand how different mental states affect performance and an athletes well-being.
  • Learn about team dynamics.
  • Learn about the coaches role and what makes an effective coach.
  • Course Duration: 100 hours of self-paced study. This course is available to start at any time.


Course Structure and Lesson Contents

This subject has 8 lessons as follows:

1. Introduction

  • Performance Psychology,

  • Exercise Psychology,

  • Environmental Influences,

  • Aspects of Sports Psychology,

  •  Applying Sports Psychology.

2. Psychological Traits of Successful Athletes   

  • Personality Inventory,

  • Cognitive Techniques. 

3. State of Mind

  • Anxiety & Arousal, Anxiety,

  • Physiology of Anxiety.

  • Psychology of Anxiety.

  • Arousal.

  • How to Maximise Psychological State.

  • Focusing (or Centering).

4. Motivation

  • Motivation is the internal impulse that causes increasingly energetic action in a particular direction. 

  • Basic Principles.

  • Intrinsic Motivation.

  • Extrinsic Motivation Factors Affecting Motivation.

  • Motivation for fun.

  • Slimming for fun. 

5. Aggression

  • Mental Rehearsal.

  • Error Parking.

  • Using Self Consciousness.

  • Word Association.

  • Anger.

  • Conflict.  

  • Measuring Aggression.

  • Simulated Practice.

  • e-Event Procedure.

  • Reliving Success.

  • Positive.

  • Conflict Handling Techniques.

6. Leadership & Coaching

  • A Coach’s Role.

  • Getting Attention.

  • Questioning.

  •  Punishment.

 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.

8. Special Groups

  • Stress.

  • Post Game/Season Evaluation.

  • Gender Differences.

  • Elite Female Athletes.

  • Special Considerations with Female Athletes.

  • Disabled Persons.

  • Children.

  • Readiness.

  • Dropping out.


Duration: 100 hours


Lesson Aims

  • Describe the nature and scope of Sports Psychology.

  • Identify psychological traits found in successful athletes.

  • Explain effects of state of mind on athletic performance.

  • Recommend ways of maintaining or increasing motivation in an athlete.

  • Differentiate between positive and negative application of aggressive emotions in sport.

  • Discuss the role of leadership in sports coaching.

  • Explain the impact on performance of psychological interactions within a sporting team.

  • Describe variations in the sports psychology of different demographic groups.


Sports Psychologists can work in a range of fields:

  • Arranging programmes for teams.

  •  Coaching professional and amateur athletes and coaches.

  •  Sports organizations.

  •  Youth development programmes.

  •  Student teams and coaches.

  •  Helping players to cope with injuries.

Individuals will usually specialise in either sports or exercise. It is rare to practice in both. Sports psychologists work with sports men and women across teams and individual sports, both amateur and professional. They aim to prepare athletes psychologically for competition and enable them to deal with both competition and training. They may help athletes to deal with the stressful and demanding aspects of their professional, help coaches build team cohesiveness, help athletes deal with the emotional consequences of injuries and so on. Exercise psychologists are mainly interested with the application of psychology to exercise participation and motivating the general public. This may include encouraging people to see the benefits of exercise, encouraging individuals to set goals.

Sports psychologists (usually holding a degree or much higher qualification) may provide Clinical services, or be involved in research, or may be involved in teaching. Sports and exercise psychologists will work in a range of sports and exercise sectors and work with a range of clients. Sports psychologists will generally combine consultancy work with research or psychological consultancy in other areas, e.g. Clinical psychology. Some sports psychologists may hold positions within government organizations or national governing bodies for sports. The opportunities to work full time as a sports psychologist are increasing in number.

Exercise psychologists have similar opportunities. They may work in consultancy with teaching and research careers. Much of their work may require referrals from doctors, and setting up and evaluating exercise programmes in prisons, employment and psychiatric situations. There may also be consultancy work within an office or at competition venues, clinics, recreational settings and so on. Sports and Exercise psychologists will usually require a degree and further qualifications to work in this field. Experience is also very important.


Start your path to improving performance in sports with Sports Psychology

You can start the course at any time, so why not enrol today?

If you have any questions or want to know more, we will be more than happy to help - please contact us by

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

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