Exploring sport coaching and psychology
Exploring sport coaching and psychology

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Exploring sport coaching and psychology

Session 1: Exploring sporting success

Introduction

Your starting point for this course is to look more closely at the range of factors that contribute to sporting success. By exploring the big picture, you will be able to see how coaching and psychology lie at the centre of understanding, taking part in and succeeding in sport.

First, watch the following video featuring Team GB hockey player Alex Danson.

Download this video clip.
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Transcript: Introduction to Session 1

ALEX DANSON
When I look back at my sporting career, I really realise how lucky I was at a young age to play so many different sports. Before hockey became probably my priority about age 17, I did everything from surfing to squash, climbing, cycling.
But I think the reason I became more successful at this was definitely my parents, my coaches, the club environment I came from, and also my school, and I think along with that, a real desire to learn and an ability to be able to push myself from quite a young age.
If I could go into a transfer programme to change sports, I think I’d choose heptathlon. Now, I’d probably be terrible at heptathlon, but for me, it is the ultimate challenge of power, endurance. And I think the mental capacity an athlete has to have to compete over two days and seven events is simply phenomenal.
The fact that people can now swap or do dual sports like Kadeena Cox at the Rio Paralympic Games, who won a gold medal on the track and also won a gold medal in athletics, is just testament to both the quality of coaching and how this influences an athlete’s journey.
But when learning is involved, it’s so important that you’re able to both take on feedback and not get disheartened throughout that learning process. I really hope you enjoy your first week, and you’ll hear more from me again throughout the course.
End transcript: Introduction to Session 1
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Introduction to Session 1
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In this session you will read about sporting success and see different people talking about it. You will then be guided through a visual diagram that summarises some of the factors that researchers consider to be the most important influences. You will also consider the part played by coaching and psychology using exciting video footage from two contrasting sports that bring these ideas into sharp focus.

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • consider how a range of components contribute to sporting success
  • identify how coaching and psychology link and interact with a number of these components
  • recognise how understanding mental aspects of sport contributes to coaching.

The Open University would really appreciate you taking a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations of the course. Your input will help to improve the online learning experience. If you would like to help, and if you haven’t done so already, please fill in this optional survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

The course is supported and strongly recommended by UK Coaching. Whether you’re just starting out or have been coaching for many years you will learn new skills and demonstrate that you have been proctive in your professional development.

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