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 be an evidence-based practitioner. You will understand how to apply appropriate ethical principles and guidelines to sport psychology practice and will be introduced to the theory behind current intervention techniques and professional decisions. 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?

This module is taught via an experiential learning approach (you will learn by doing). The module is taught via an interactive workshop style of teaching. This involves a diverse range of learning activities including brief lecture style presentations, discussion groups, flip classroom sessions,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 will experience yourself and get to try out 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 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 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 ideas about the selected athlete case and will receive input from their tutor and their peers, to help them to progress their design skills. The focus will be on understanding the benefits of having diverse approaches as well as collaborative working. 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

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
? 3. Critically reflect upon your personal programme design decision-making process and professional judgment and decision making.
? 4. Apply appropriate ethical and professional practice frameworks in the design of sport psychology services.

How will I be assessed?


Athlete case report (100%) You will design a mental skills training intervention programme for a selected athlete case study, and will reflect on the design process. . (MLO, 1, 2, 3, 4).

Formative Assessment

You will learn about athlete assessment, case formulation, 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 further practice designing intervention programmes and can discuss any difficulties/concerns that you have about designing your intervention training programme.
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 many aspects of the work of the sport psychologist. The module guides you through the theory and practice of 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 some of the ethical issues and professional decisions encountered by sport psychologists. A highlight of the module is the opportunity to design a psychological skills training intervention for a case study athlete (based on a real-world 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

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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