Bolton One hosts country's first sport psychology forum
BOLTON One hosted the country’s first sport psychology forum.
Sports psychologists from across the region visited the £31 million health, leisure and research complex for the first North West Sports Psychologists’ Forum, which has been spearheaded by University of Bolton academic Paul Russell.
Mr Russell, a renowned sports psychologist, who has worked with Premier League footballers and Olympic medal winners, has set up the forum to focus on key areas of the discipline, such as research and best practice.
The event has won the backing of sport psychology’s professional body, the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).
Key goals of the forum include nurturing student and recently qualified sports psychologists.
Mr Russell said: “I think networking events like this are far more appealing to young professionals than what is currently offered, so hopefully I have started something that will grow.”
The use of psychology within mainstream sport has become the norm in recent years to improve their elite athletes’ mental strength alongside physical conditioning. Mr Russell added: “Sports Psychology is now recognised as a legitimate and useful practice for athletes. Whether you’re dealing with footballers on multi-million pound contracts, with egos to match, or training elite track and field athletes for the Olympics, it is becoming more and more important to make sure they are prepared mentally as well as physically.”
Neil Higgins from Hope University, Liverpool, said: “Where the current field of psychology falls down is the lack of willingness among practitioners to share information. The openness and enthusiasm to share experiences and advice was at this forum was refreshing and I’m already looking forward to the next meeting.”
BASES-accredited sport scientist and psychologist, Dave Harrison, added: “This was a really good workshop that allowed us to network and discuss real life issues which affect our professional practice.”
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