Sport Psychology: from Evidence to Application


Course Objective

The student is able to:
- give an overview of several psychological factors that play a role in
sport, the assumed working mechanisms as well as ways of influencing
these factors with mental training;
- give an overview of group dynamic processes in sport, theories on
leadership and different coaching models.
- critically assess (recent) research literature in sport psychology on
its thesis, content, empirical rigor and applicability;
- critically discuss (recent) research literature in sport psychology in
a paper, culminating in the evaluation of the literature and a
discussion of implications for sport (psychology) practice;
- critically assess and discuss papers of fellow students on contents,
structure, writing and originality.
- link applied research to its theoretical background;
- discuss research on applied sport psychology;
- formulate advice in specific areas of applied sport psychology.
Furthermore, students will gain initial experience with applying mental
training techniques and communication skills.

Course Content

This course provides insight into research on (applied aspects) of sport
psychology, particularly the areas of performance and social psychology.
Performance Psychology focuses on research, theory, and practice
intended to improve performance in sport. Social Psychology focuses on
individual and group processes in sport settings. This area applies
social psychological principles in examining factors related to the
athletes, coaches and teams. Some of the topics that will be discussed
are: performing under pressure, attentional control, motivation, as well
as the broad topic of ‘coaching’ in sport, particularly group dynamics,
leadership and coaching behaviours. In addition to the lectures, a
practical is organized, to experience and apply a selection of
'performance profiling', 'mental imagery', coaching models and
communication skills.
After the practical students have to prepare and submit a practical
report (in groups). Finally, the content is for a large part determined
individually as each student writes a paper on a key topic in sport

Teaching Methods

lectures: 10 times 2 hours
practical: 1 time 3 hours
discussion meeting: 1 meeting 4 hours
There are several lectures on topics in sport psychology and a
practical. Students will produce an individual paper on a topic in
sport psychology, write a practical report in small groups, and
(individual) reviews of the papers of their fellow students. The papers
will be discussed in discussion meetings at the end of the course.
Participation in the practical and one discussion meeting is
compulsory for students.

Method of Assessment

Students produce a paper (60% of the final grade), a practical report
(25% of the final grade) and reviews about papers of other
students (15% of the final grade). The paper, the practical report as
well as the reviews must at least be of sufficient quality to pass the

Entry Requirements

Students should have basic knowledge and understanding of sport
psychology as is available in textbooks such as Cox, R.H. (2007). Sport
Psychology: Concepts and Applications, 6th edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill,
or Bakker, F.C. & Oudejans, R.R.D. (2012). Sportpsychologie. Nieuwegein:
Arko Sports Media.


- Course manual (Available on Canvas);
- Jones, G. (1993). The role of performance profiling in cognitive
behavioral interventions in sport. The Sport Psychologist, 7, 160-172.
(Available on Canvas);
- Murphy, S.M. & Martin, K.A. (2002). The use of imagery in sport. In:
T. Horn (ed.) 2nd edition. Advances in sport psychology. Human Kinetics.
p. 410-412; 416-417 and 431. (Available on Canvas);
- Recent articles and book chapters on psychological factors in sport
and sport psychology.

Background literature:
- Cox, R.H., Sport Psychology: Concepts and Applications, 6th edition.
Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2007.
- Bakker, F.C. & Oudejans, R.R.D. (2012). Sportpsychologie. Nieuwegein:
Arko Sports Media.

General Information

Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Fac. of Behavioural and Movement Science
Course Coordinator dr. R.R.D. Oudejans
Examiner dr. R.R.D. Oudejans
Teaching Staff dr. R.R.D. Oudejans
dr. R.I. Hutter

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture, Practical, Meeting