Oakham School is delighted and excited to be hosting the first Sport Psychology in Schools Conference, bringing together sports professionals from different sports and Schools. As well as teachers and leaders in sport from schools across the UK we are also delighted to be joined by coaches working in pathway and academy sport, which has such an important cross over with what we do in schools.
The focus of the conference is around how School programmes can utilise the expertise and best practice to develop the mental skills, habits and behaviours of their athletes through mainly on-field coach led interventions.
Much airtime is given to the pursuit of concepts such as grit and resilience but little time is spent exploring exactly what these are and more importantly how they are developed. More often than not we simply find ourselves imploring that young athletes need more of them. Much work has been done on exploring psychosocial behaviours and skills that are present in elite level performers and indeed that are the foundation stones of psychological development in young athletes.
This conference does two things. Firstly, it explores for the first time the value and opportunities for Sport Psychology within our School environments. The conference will look at elite performance but it will certainly focus on the ways in which sport can bring about psychological development which will benefit sportsmen and women of all standards, as well as musicians students and anyone else for that matter. The use of Sport Psychology in a School setting should not be something seen as purely for higher end performers – it provides development opportunities for all participants.
Secondly, the conference brings together some of the most current work in Sport Psychology, along with academics and practitioners who are working across youth sport in a variety of sports.
Dr Áine MacNamara is a reader in Elite Coaching and performance at UCLan and is widely published in the areas of talent development. Áine is part of the team who have developed the Psychological Characteristics and Developing Excellence (PCDEs) framework which will form part of the conference.
Dr Karl Steptoe is the Sport and Performance Psychology Lead at Loughborough University and works as Lead Academy Psychologist at Leicester City Football Club. Karl is part of the team who have developed the 5Cs framework for developing psychosocial behaviours which will also for a part of the conference.
Sam Woods BSc MSc MBPsP is a Sports Psychologist specialising in talent development and youth athletes working with academy and pathway players at Leicester Tigers Rugby, Leicester City FC and Leicestershire CCC amongst others.
Iain Simpson MSc MEd has been Director of Sport at Oakham for thirteen years and seen many changes and developments within our sector. Iain is currently involved in work with Áine MacNamara and Dave Collins to develop PCDEs through on-field coaching interventions.
Conference Programme click here
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