Course at a glance

Introduction to the Sports Psychology Course

This Sports Psychology Short Course will include reflective and practical activities. Sport psychology is the scientific study of people and their behaviors in sport contexts and the practical application of that knowledge.

Each module has an associated assignment which is designed to allow students to demonstrate their underpinning knowledge and show how this can be applied in various contexts.

Sports Psychology Short Course Diploma Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above to enter into our Sports Psychology Short Course Diploma (Level 3).

Short Course Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Study Hours

200 hours in total. Or 20 hours per week over 10 weeks.


Written assessment at the end of each unit of study.


Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.

Level 3 Sports Psychology Short Course Content

Sports Psychology Short Course : Unit 1: In the beginning

In this module we will look at the definition and description of sports psychology, together with examining the various components or specialities within the overall context.

There will be a brief historical overview and exploration of the scientific or theoretical, versus implementation or practical applications. So the discussions will centre on how sports psychology came into being and its evolvement over recent years; it has become a mainstay of both amateur and professional sporting performance and skills enhancement, and is used from the very basic to professional levels.

Within this module we will also look at performance preferences, and understand what is current in terms of trends and practice; so the questions we will be addressing are: how do individuals like to play their sport; what are the specific learning aids which help best; differentiation within sporting practices and how are these being used within both the amateur and professional fields at present?

Sports Psychology Short Course : Unit 2: Participation and learning

In this module we will be looking at personality and identity, and what makes us competitive; there are many theories of identity used in multiple fields such as psychology, healthcare, business and philosophy. Identity is linked with the way in which individuals take part in every aspect of life, therefore this relates very well to sporting activities.

Personality types have been explored for many years within the fields of both psychiatry and psychology, so there is a great deal of data and evidence to support emergent theories and concepts; these are relevant to how we learn and make sense of our world, and in turn how we perceive roles and our place in that world. These processes underpin approaches to information assimilation and understanding, thereby impacting the psychological ‘self’ which has a direct impact on any thought we have or activity we undertake.

There will also be exploration of motivational influences and professional practice in this area as external factors can exert influences on direct and indirect actions.

We will look at strategies for success and identifying your own role in both understanding personality and thereby your own psyche. By examination of one’s own personality, you will be better placed to identify key markers in other individuals and this will be an invaluable skill to develop whether you are in the role of a sports trainer, psychologist, coach, or just using the skills for personal performance enhancement and skills training.

Sports Psychology Short Course : Unit 3: Stress and anxiety

So these are things that will be detailed within this module in reference to anatomy, physiology and how these impact the psychological response.

From there we move onto looking at how to reduce stress, particularly prior to performance; and in addition the strategies that will help if stress occurs during performance; these are known as coping strategies.

Sports Psychology Short Course : Unit 4: The sports environment

We look at what happens during competition and examine feedback, reinforcement and the principles of rewarding behaviours, both extrinsic and intrinsic. Examples we will be looking at within this module are what are the expectations of training? How does performance from one session impact behaviour in the next? How do athletes feedback to their coaches and themselves to make use of positive and negative experiences? What are the benefits of using rewards to maintain desired behaviour? How do we behave to one another within a competitive environment?

And finally, how do we define extrinsic and intrinsic behaviours, together with explaining their relevant position and usefulness within the sports environment?

This is an integrative module and will link into the previous and subsequent modules.

Sports Psychology Short Course : Unit 5: Group dynamics

Groups and teams are very complex entities, requiring special skills and interactions. We will look at group behaviour in depth and study some of the most influential theories. Working as part of a team requires individuals to set aside their own personal desires and take on those of the whole group; within this there is room for a subsection of ‘personal goals’ but they are not considered as important as the overall team objectives – how do we cope with this?

Interacting with several people is difficult at the best of times but within a competitive environment it has sensitive issues and complexities which can affect personal performance; here we look at these in detail.

This module will specifically examine cohesion and leadership. In any team or group there has to be a leader, or ‘leaders’. This can pose problems of poor relationship building, lack of respect, hierarchical issues, and some basic clashes or resentments. In this module these elements will be discussed and some strategies presented which can be used to overcome these potentially difficult situations.

In addition communication will be thoroughly explored and we will look at some of the barriers to positive communications which may in turn affect performance. Communication skills are vital in group situations, especially when you are working towards shared objectives; these skills may have to be enhanced and some training aids will be presented. Barriers to communication will prevent effective group cohesion and so we will look at some of the common barriers and see how they can be overcome by the employment of strategies and learning aids.

Sports Psychology Short Course : Unit 6: Performance dynamics

In this module we look at improving performance through skills training, arousal regulation and imagery. There will also be discussion about self-confidence and how to address issues within this context, especially building self-confidence in order to improve training etc. Many performers, whether within sport or another discipline, may have outstanding achievements when training or practicing on their own but these elude them during competitive or public performance and so here we will look at how to cope with fear, nerves and poor confidence levels, turning these negative processes into positive strategies instead.

We will explore the concepts of goal setting and bring into these issues of cognitive behaviour – in other words how we can change behaviour in order to promote performance enhancement.

Sports Psychology Short Course : Unit 7 & 8: Health and wellbeing part 1 and 2

This module will also look at the concepts within wellbeing and how the perceptions of individuals affect physical performance, and it will also look briefly at the concept of homeostasis in relations to systemic equilibrium and how maintenance of optimum equilibrium influences health and physical performance.

Within the module we will also address athletic injuries and the role of sports psychology in injury rehabilitation. There will be discussion about burnout and excessive training, looking specifically at definitions, measurement and prevention of these incidents

Sports Psychology Short Course : Unit 9: Children and sports psychology

Children require special considerations in sports training and performance. They are still growing physically and developing mentally, being particularly susceptible to role model influence and adult coercion. The module will look briefly at the key stages of child development. Also in this module we look at all these areas in relation to psychology, and how to apply professional knowledge to practice when working with children in the sporting context.

There will also be some direct discussion regarding working with children, appropriate approaches and how best to utilize specific training and learning techniques in a positive and effective way.

Sports Psychology Short Course : Unit 10: Psychology, growth and development

This module looks at issues of aggression and anger in sport, how this can affect performance and how to channel this into something positive. In addition we will explore the negative side of aggressive behaviour in relation to sporting performance and how this can be detrimental to both the individual and group.

It also looks at character building and how to ‘behave’ within the performance environment. It is said that you grow with your sport, so here we want to examine this concept and look at some research which underpins the supporting theories.

Progression from the Level 3 Sports Psychology Short Course

This Sports Psychology Short Course Diploma course can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.

You can find further information on our Level 4 Diplomas here: