Max Stone from Trowbridge in Wiltshire graduated with first class Honours from the BSc (Hons) Sport Psychology in 2015. He has just started a EU-funded PhD in collaboration with Swim Wales and USW which looks at the psychology associated with tapering in elite swimmers and coaches.
What influenced you to pick a Sport Psychology degree?
I knew I wanted to be involved in sport in one way or another, so I went for something that combined two things that I enjoyed studying and wanted to learn more about. The course at USW stood out particularly because its broad modules were clearly defined and reflected what I wanted to learn over the three years. Importantly it was BPS accredited as well, which is one of the most important things to consider if you want to become a practicing sport psychologist.
Why is Sport Psychology a good profession to enter?
For several reasons. Firstly, sport psychology is a very broad topic, encompassing all aspects of psychology and its applications within a sporting context. Secondly, working with sport psychology means you will be interacting with a multi-disciplinary team of sport professionals, whether it’s in an applied or research setting. Finally, sport psychology is a relatively new but growing field and becoming increasingly important (and recognised) within elite level performance.
How has the qualification helped you in your career?
My undergraduate degree has given me the foundation of knowledge, experience and confidence needed to pursue postgraduate qualifications at either MSc or PhD level. Broad, transferable scientific skills were taught and promoted on the course such as critical analysis and presentation skills. Finally, as the course was BPS accredited, it has put me down the right pathway to becoming an accredited sport psychologist.
What were the most valuable aspects of the Sport Psychology course?
Despite being a real grind at times, my dissertation was without a doubt the most educational thing I did across the course. It teaches you several key scientific skills such as conducting a literature review, organising and collecting data, analysing data, and of course reporting your findings in a coherent way. The staff are also worth mentioning. The sport psychology team and psychology department as a whole are very supportive and always willing to help you out if you ask.