Exploring sport coaching and psychology
Exploring sport coaching and psychology

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Exploring sport coaching and psychology

1 Sporting success

Are some people born with a genetic predisposition to thrive at particular sports or types of exercise (e.g. power, strength or endurance)? This is one of the most common questions asked in sport, and we often describe someone as ‘being a natural’ at sport, which is synonymous with being born with the right genes. For example, here is an extract from the autobiography of Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal, writing about Roger Federer:

He just seems to have been born to play the game. His physique – his DNA – seems perfectly adapted to tennis … You get these blessed freaks of nature in other sports too.

(Nadal and Carlin, 2011, p. 13)

There is a tendency for some to gravitate towards ‘nature’ (i.e. fixed, born or genetic) as an explanation of champions’ successes because physical attributes are tangible. However, some people think that sporting success is more about ‘nurture’, or the way they have been developed by coaching and their environment (i.e. champions can be made). What do you think?


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus