Game(s). Set. Match
Coach an athlete to Olympic or Paralympic success in our Medal Quest game, or discover your perfect sport in our Olympisize Me interactive.
Can you help a talented child athlete make it all the way to the Olympic finals based on the choices you make for them at key stages in their development? Try our game and find out.Take part nowMedal Quest: Can you guide a promising young athlete to championship success?
Level: 1 Introductory
Have you ever wondered which sport you're most suited to? Play this interactive game to find out if you’ve got what it takes physically, psychologically and socially to make it to the podium at the Olympics and Paralympics.Take part nowOlympisize Me
Level: 1 Introductory
Insights from the experts
How does a 'good athlete' train to become the best in their sport and take to the podium time and time again? These 'serial champions' outline their determination and mindset in our videos.
Chris Hoy discusses his mind-set to Olympic success and how seeking sports psychology can allow athletes to be as prepared as possible when going for gold.Watch now ❯Chris Hoy’s experiences of using sport psychology
Is it better for children to focus on one sport or a range of sports? Michael Johnson hears experts’ and athletes’ views on childhood specialisation.Watch now ❯Michael Johnson on early childhood specialisation
Steve Peters, sports psychiatrist, talks about his approach when it comes to understanding an elite athlete’s mind and how to get them to function more optimally.Watch now ❯Steve Peters on managing athletes’ emotions
Alex Sanderson, forwards coach, Tom Sherriff, sports scientist and Joe Collins, head of medical, outline the technological resources available to injured players at Saracens RFC.Watch now ❯Injury rehab in rugby: keeping it personal with devices and data
Your ability to train is only as good as your ability to recover from it. Experts in sport science show the recovery strategies, technologies and science used in sports.Watch now ❯Recovery: the next frontier in sporting progress?
Michael Johnson hears from sporting professionals on what they think the future of sport is, especially in an age when technology is advancing rapidly.Watch now ❯What sporting future? Risks and rewards
Discover the ancient Olympics
What are the similarities and differences between our modern Games and the Ancient Olympics? These rescources explore...
This free course, The Ancient Olympics: Bridging past and present, highlights the similarities and differences between our modern Games and the Ancient Olympics and explores why today, as we prepare for future Olympics, we still look back at the Classical world for meaning and inspiration.Learn more ❯The Ancient Olympics: Bridging past and present
Gender: A level playing field?
What if Eliod Kipchoge was a woman? How are sportswomen portrayed in the media? What about motherhood, what are the challenges in returning to sport or starting up a new sport? Find out with the content below.
Ever thought about sports and wondered, but what about for a woman? These articles cover specific topics concerning women in sport, considering questions such as, what if Eliod Kipchoge was a woman? Are women leaders the key to growing women’s sport? What about motherhood, what are the challenges in returning to sport or starting up a new sport?Read now ❯Women in sport
The mass media (e.g. radio, TV, internet) has become one of the most powerful institutional influences in society. This free course, Sporting women in the media, explores whether gendered inequalities exist in sport by evaluating the media coverage. The media can be highly influential in shaping perceptions about gender in sport and headlines indicative of differences in how male and female athletes are regarded in the media. In the course you’ll examine messages that the media send us about gender in sport, their potential impact and how gender ideologies can be challenged.Learn more ❯Sporting women in the media
Jessica Pinchbeck, a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Fitness at The Open University, reflects on her sporting heroes and charts the success of female sportswomen.Read now ❯Past and present: A 50-year celebration of British Sportswomen
Game-changing FREE courses
We've put together 12 of our top FREE courses - perfect if you're a budding athlete, a coach or mentor, psychologist, or if you just want to find out more about sport and fitness
This free course, Exploring sport coaching and psychology, investigates how scientific and management ideas contribute to success while also taking you on a journey through unique sporting case studies and insights that will change how you view and study sport. You will consider how the mind, the body, the environment and training techniques all contribute to optimum fitness.Learn more ❯Exploring sport coaching and psychology
Are you responsible for supporting sport and physical activity coaches to become inspirational and excellent in their practice? This course is designed for coach developers, educators, mentors and tutors who support coaches to improve. You will explore how people learn, what are the skills and qualities of an effective coach of coaches, as well appreciate how to ask powerful questions and listen actively. You will consider the processes associated with resolving difficult situations where differences of opinion arise, how to measure success and provide constructive feedback. By the end of this course you should feel more confident in your ability to support colleagues and help them to become even better at what they do.Learn more ❯Coaching others to coach
This free course, Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness, explores the personal skills that underpin so much work in sport and gyms. We often hear employers refer to the importance of these interpersonal relationships or ‘soft skills’ in sport and fitness, and in this unique course you’ll build valuable insights into understanding workplace communication, motivation and self-awareness and how this can increase your effectiveness and enhance how you work with others. All this is made possible by some unique film footage of coaches, trainers and instructors at work combined with engaging learning activities that accompany these case studies to benefit both your career and those you work with.Learn more ❯Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness
Each year thousands of pounds are spent on medications to treat conditions such as anxiety and depression. These medications often have negative side effects. Exercise is an alternative treatment that is low cost and has few side effects. In this free course, Exercise and mental health, we will look at the links between exercise and improved mental health and psychological well-being. This will include consideration of the role of exercise in combating stress, anxiety and depression, and in enhancing mood.Learn more ❯Exercise and mental health
This free course, The science behind wheeled sports, focuses on cycling and wheelchair racing: what we might collectively call wheeled sports. The Scientific concepts such as force, acceleration and speed are also useful for understanding these sports. However, cycling and wheelchair racing differ from other sports in that technology more obviously plays an important role.Learn more ❯The science behind wheeled sports
Have you ever experienced a sport injury? Have you ever thought there could be a psychological dimension to sport injuries, as well as a physical one? Sport injury is relatively common among sport and exercise participants, and while the physical impact of injury is often easy to recognise, the psychological impact is less obvious. In this free course, Exploring the psychological aspects of sport injury, you will examine the relationship between injury and psychological factors. You will look at the link between injury and psychology at two distinct points – before an injury has occurred and then following an injury. First, you will consider the psychological factors that may increase the likelihood of sustaining a sport injury (pre-injury), and then you will consider psychological reactions to the incidence of a sport injury (post-injury). The course will also allow you to examine how sport and exercise psychology can be used both to help minimise the risk of injury and to help people cope better with sport injury rehabilitation. The video below featuring OU student and Olympic Gold Medallist Helen Richardson-Walsh explains more.Learn more ❯Exploring the psychological aspects of sport injury
What should we eat before and after exercise? This free course, Eating to win: activity, diet and weight control, examines the importance of nutrition in physical activity, sport and weight management. The role that physical activity has alongside nutrition in controlling body weight will be discussed, as will considerations for pre-exercise and post-exercise nutrition and hydration.Learn more ❯Eating to win: activity, diet and weight control
Aerobic fitness is integral to successful sports performance and to maintaining good health. But what sort of exercise should you be doing to develop your aerobic fitness? This free course, Improving aerobic fitness, will help you to answer this question by introducing you to principles of aerobic exercise prescription.Learn more ❯Improving aerobic fitness
This free course, A question of ethics: right or wrong?, discusses ethical and professional principles in sport and fitness environments. Working closely with individuals and developing relationships is an inherent and often satisfying part of the work of a sports coach or exercise instructor. However, it can bring about ethical and professional challenges and can sometimes place practitioners in a difficult or uncomfortable position, e.g. a confidence shared and/or personal dilemmas. The course considers good practice and certain ethical issues, in particular the relationship between the coach/instructor and individuals with a specific focus on power relationships. We also explore the responsibility of the practitioner to help develop character.Learn more ❯A question of ethics: right or wrong?
The ability to recover quickly from an intensive training session or match can be extremely advantageous to sports performers. Sport and fitness participants are increasingly using strategies such as ice baths and compression clothing to enhance their recovery from intensive exercise, but how effective are these strategies? Do they really speed up the recovery process? To answer questions such as these this free course ‘Recovery strategies in sport and exercise’ investigates the science behind recovery exploring the physiological processes involved in training and recovery and the potential role of recovery strategies.Learn more ❯Recovery strategies in sport and exercise
This free course, Physical activity: a family affair, aims to explore the effects that the family has on the amount and nature of physical activity a child participates in. The beliefs and behaviours of the family environment are the key psycho-social factors we investigate here.Learn more ❯Physical activity: a family affair
Please note: As part of a review of content, this course will be deleted from OpenLearn on 26th May 2021.The media plays a huge part in sport; we find out what's happening and how our team is doing, and it creates great sporting moments and sports celebrities and stars. This free course, Sport media and culture: Who's calling the shots?, looks at the role played by the media in sport and how this has changed with the development of internet and satellite TV. Who calls the shots: athletes, teams or the media moguls? How do social scientists explain this relationship between sport and the media?Learn more ❯Sport media and culture: Who's calling the shots?