Year

2021

Credit points

10

Prerequisites

Nil

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit description and aim

In prescribing and delivering sport performance programs, effective practice requires the use of evidence-based behavioural strategies that align with the unique needs of those in performance settings. This is consistent with the professional standards for many accreditations, including those for Exercise Science. This unit aims to provide students with an understanding of the psychological influences on performance and well-being in sport settings. Students will explore evidence-based psychological, interpersonal, and leadership skills for use in performance settings, as well as the role of psychology in contemporary sport issues.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Critique athletes’ use of psychological skills and how they affect performance and well-being (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8) 

LO2 - Evaluate interpersonal skills and leadership practices in relation to performance and well-being (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8)  

LO3 - Examine contemporary issues in sport from a psychological perspective including that of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9) 

LO4 - Understand theories and evidence underlying the psychological influences on performance and wellbeing in sport settings (GA5, GA7) 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

Content

Topics will include

  • Mental skills for performance enhancement and well-being in sport settings 
  • Interpersonal skills development  
  • Models of leadership in sport 
  • Contemporary issues in sport 
  • Multicultural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in sport

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning and teaching strategies of this unit are designed to allow students to meet the aims, learning outcomes of the unit, graduate attributes of the University and professional accreditation standards. They are intended to reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to engage actively with unit content and learning activities. 

The unit contains three distinct modules that complement the learning outcomes. The first module considers the psychological skills athletes can employ to enhance their own performance and well-being. The second module focuses on the leadership styles and practices coaches can use to influence the performance and well-being of athletes. The third module takes a contextual perspective and considers contemporary issues and challenges that professionals in high performance settings might face and how to react to them. Learning is scaffolded within and across activities with the intention of combining knowledge and promoting deep and critical thought. Strong emphasis is placed on scientific enquiry and the links between theory, evidence, and practice. To support this emphasis, learning activities engage students in independent thought, collaborative discussions, and applied practice.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable students to achieve unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with the University assessment requirements. The first assessment task requires students to critique athletes’ use of psychological skills and how they affect performance and well-being. The second task has students evaluate interpersonal skills and leadership practices in relation to performance and well-being. The third assessment task asks students to examine contemporary issues in sport from a psychological perspective. In addition to these summative assessment tasks, students will have the opportunity to engage in the dynamic world of exercise and sport science by participating in or observing applied work.    

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Athlete Performance Task  

Enables students to critique athletes’ use of psychological skills and how they affect performance and well-being  

25% 

LO1, LO4 

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8 

Leadership Task 

Enables students to evaluate interpersonal skills and leadership practices in relation to performance and well-being. 

35% 

LO2, LO4 

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8 

Case Study Task 

Enables students to examine contemporary issues in sport from a psychological perspective. 

40% 

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Cheon, S.H., Reeve, J., Lee, J., & Lee, Y. (2015). Giving and receiving autonomy support in a high-stakes sport context: A field-based experiment during the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Psychology of Sport & Exercise 19, 59-69. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2015.02.007  

Gucciardi, D.F., & Dimmock, J.A. (2008). Coking under pressure in sensorimotor skills: Conscious processing or depleted attentional resources? Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 9, 45-59. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2006.10.007  

Mesagno, C., & Mullane-Grant, T. (2010). A comparison of different pre-performance routines as possible choking interventions. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 22(3), 343-360. doi: 10.1080/10413200.2010.491780 

Morris, R.L., & Kavussanu, M. (2009). The role of approach-avoidance versus task and ego goals in enjoyment and cognitive anxiety in youth sport. International Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology7(2), 185-202. doi: 10.1080/1612197X.2009.9671899 

Smith, D., Wright, C., Allsopp, A., & Westhead, H. (2007). It's all in the mind: PETTLEP-based imagery and sports performance. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 19(1), 80-92. doi: 10.1080/10413200600944132 

Vella, S. A., Oades, L. G., & Crowe, T. P. (2013). A pilot test of transformational leadership training for sports coaches: Impact on the developmental experiences of adolescent athletes. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 8(3), 513-530. doi: 10.1260/1747-9541.8.3.513 

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