What you will study
The module comprises six study topics:
Introduction to athletic development – This study topic will introduce you to the module and an explanatory framework for understanding athletic development and the development of expertise in sport.
Family influences on athletic development – The family can have a significant impact on a young athlete’s potential to develop within a sport. From a psychosocial perspective, you’ll examine research that investigates family influences on the development of young performers.
The coach-athlete relationship – The relationship between a coach and athlete is fundamental to an individual’s athletic development. You will analyse research examining some of the factors that facilitate and hinder the development of a successful coach-athlete relationship.
Coach behaviour – The coach has arguably the most significant role to play in developing the athlete. The coach will usually act in a leadership role in the coach-athlete relationship and this demands that the coach behaves in certain ways. In this study topic you’ll examine the range of leadership behaviours of the coach and their impact on the athlete or team.
Transitions through sport – As an athlete progresses through their sporting career they will make several transitions. You will examine some of the psychological influences and responses to transitions within sport (e.g. the move from junior to senior level) and out of sport (retirement).
Topical issues in athletic development – In this study topic you choose which options you wish to study. The options include investigating depression among sports performers; the issue of morality in sport in terms of an athlete’s behaviour; and the effects of other performers and an audience on performance.
The module content will be delivered through an online study guide, a text book, a reader, and a wide range of audio and video material. This will be underpinned by tuition that will include regular group tutorials and an online forum.
The interpretation of research evidence will build increased awareness and knowledge of psychological issues in sport that should influence the approach of those working in the sector. This may enhance the more intuitive approaches and solutions adopted by sports coaches and exercise instructors towards athletic development pathways they encounter.