Contemporary and innovative practice: CPD in Sport and Exercise Psychology

Across the world a significant time and effort is invested within the profession of sport, exercise, and performance (SEP) psychology in qualification, accreditation, and recognition schemes. Understandably this is very important, we need to ensure everyone who operates under the banner of sport and exercise psychology is appropriately qualified and fit for practice. However, this intense focus on qualification does appear to often be at the expense of continuing to develop t

What should we be teaching trainee sport, exercise and performance psychologists?

As we approach the start of a new academic year in many UK University’s and the running of many Masters degrees in sport and exercise psychology, it is a perfect time to ask the question ‘what should we be teaching trainees’? The first and most obvious answer is psychology. The majority of Masters courses in the United Kingdom (UK) are accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). In order to gain BPS accreditation you need to demonstrate that you cover a range of sp

Why qualified is best!

One of the challenges facing the field of sport and exercise psychology is the lack of clarity regarding why you should employ a qualified practitioner (other than the suggestion you really should). We spend a lot of time talking about qualification systems, but not enough time telling the public what a qualified practitioner gives you that other practitioners might not. Illustration depicting a sign with a qualification concept. The first (and potentially most important) rea

Collaboration the key to good PR

Having left another meeting with potential clients lamenting the fact that I had to again explain what being ‘qualified’ as a sport psychologist actually means, I think it is time for action. There is still much undermining of the profession that is taking place due to poor communication and dare I say it marketing. In the UK, as in other countries the dilution of the key messages that occurs through too many different organisations having a stake is constraining the professi

Applied sport psychology and social media

The world that faces the sport psychology consultant has evolved significantly over the last 20 years. Twenty years ago consultancy happened face to face, or at a push over the phone. Electronic communication was limited to email, and long conversations on mobile phones came with health warnings as the phones often ended up burning yours ears if switched on for too long. So, the consultant sport psychologist had reasonable control over when and how they communicated with thei

5 reasons to pursue a career in sport psychology

Recently I have attended a number of psychology careers events for students looking to apply for University courses. Every time at these events I get asked the same two questions without fail ‘are there any jobs in sport psychology?’ and ‘what is it like to be a sport psychologist?’. Regarding the first question my answer is always the same, yes if you are willing to work hard. I firmly believe that any individual who is driven and motivated, and is willing to put in extra ef

What is the best CPD for sport psychologists?

We all know that we need to engage in continued professional development as qualified/ registered practitioners, but what is sometimes slightly less well articulated is exactly what this CPD should be. Should we be looking to develop our skills, or knowledge or both? Conferences, for example, can be a great way to network and keep up-to-date with research and applied practice in the sector. However, it is always important to remember that a conference is only as good as it’s

How do you find a sport psychologist?

I always think this is an interesting question. If I was a member of the public and I wanted to find a consultant where would I go? For medical conditions the process is relatively straightforward. You go and see you doctor (GP in the UK) and if you then need specialist support they refer you on to the relevant expert consultant. The process is relatively similar for mental health issues. The doctor will refer you on to a service or to individual practitioners who have been v

Everyone’s a psychologist – so what should the psychologist do?

Watching the Abu Dhabi grand prix yesterday, there was an interesting discussion in which the commentators suggested that the engineers also need to be psychologists as well working with the drivers in the race. I thought this was a very interesting and relevant point, and it then started me thinking about what a sport psychologist should actually be doing when working with teams and individuals. In the UK now the coach education process is very comprehensive, coaches are wel

What the client thinks: capturing the essence of the conversation

For the consultant sport psychologist, it is impossible to process or remember all the important information that a client might disclose in a session. As a result, the sport psychologist, like other practitioner psychologists, needs effective techniques to record important information whilst also listening, probing, empathising and challenging as an active participant in the consultancy session. So how can you be completely engaged whilst producing an accurate picture of the