I help Olympic athletes perform under competition pressure

Dr David Shearer

Dr David Shearer is a BPS Chartered and HPC registered Sport Psychologist and regularly consults with Olympic and Paralympic athletes. He teaches Sport Psychology at USW.

Describe what you do in one sentence
Help elite athletes develop mental skills to allow for peak performance under competition pressure.

How did you get into it?
As a young aspiring rugby player I always struggled with pre-game anxiety and looked to find ways I could deal with the pressure better. The more I read about sport psychology the more I became interested in a career.

Why did you want to work in this area?
Sport is my passion  - combining your passion with work seemed to make perfect sense to me.

What is the best part of your job?
Learning new things. The more I practice and research sport psychology the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I can guide athletes towards developing their peak performance

Proudest achievement?
Being the Sport Psychologist for GB Wheelchair Basketball and attending two Paralympic Games in Sydney and Athens.

Why is it a good job or industry to work in?
It is an exciting time in sport. New technology is allowing us to research and understand the human athletes mental processes to a much greater extent than previously.

Current topic that interests you?
Psychological monitoring of fatigue and recovery.

Best book for sport psychology students
The one that makes you think the most about how YOU achieve YOUR success. It will be different for everyone – and it may not even be psychology at all.

Advice to people considering studying Sport Psychology
Ensure that you study a BPS-accredited psychology degree that gives you Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) as the title 'Sport and Exercise Psychologist' is now protected by the HCPC. GBC makes you eligible to move onto stage 1 and 2 training with the British Psychological Society.

You can find out more about Dr Shearer's research on the Psychology Research website and more about becoming a Sport Psychologist on the BPS website.