Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module JXH-4023:
Psychology of Effective Coachi

Module Facts

Run by School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Stuart Beattie

Overall aims and purpose

Despite being one of the most important relationships an athlete might have, the coach athlete relationship is often a very complex relationship. Both the coach and the athlete want to achieve success but often have opposing views about how to get there. The module will focus on psychological and cognitive processes of the coach athlete relationship. Between (i.e., viewpoints between the coach and the athlete) and within person (i.e., present self to a future self) discrepancies are highlighted as an important aspect of the dyad where opposing views are often problematic and communication is key. After theory and research findings are taught to the student, the student will identify a coach and an athlete who are not working effectively and propose a suitable theoretically driven intervention.

Course content

The module will extensively examine the coach/athlete relationship in terms of closeness (I like my coach/athlete), commitment (I am committed to the coach/athlete relationship), complementarity (I feel responsive to my coach/athlete behaviours), and co-orientated views (are both parties in agreement with what they think of each other). Addressing between and within person discrepancies will play a very large role throughout this module. Further, for your case study it is expected that you will seek out an athlete and a coach who are not working well with each other. It is important that you identify and approach such a dydad early as you will have to interview them, observe them and collect some quantitative data.

Assessment Criteria


Display good knowledge and understanding of research principles in effective coaching, showing good capacity to address and formulate applied interventions. Some evidence of knowledge of the research covered will be displayed.


Provide a deep knowledge and understanding of research in effective coaching and has an excellent capacity to address and formulate suitable theoretically driven interventions. The student will display a very good and in depth use of the triangulation of methods used in formulating their intervention.


Reasonable grasp of research principles in effective coaching and an understanding in applying theoretically driven interventions for different performers in different situations. Basic evidence and principles will be applied to the case study.

Learning outcomes

  1. Develop a critical understanding of how complex the coach/athlete relationship is.

  2. Develop a critical understanding of within person discrepancies (e.g., where am I and where would i like to be) and between person discrepancies (i.e., where am I and where would the coach like me to be [and vice versa]).

  3. Recognise through a triangulation of methods i.e. observation, structured interviews, and qualitative data threats to effective coaching.

  4. Collect, analyse and interpret data from a triangulation of methods (qualitative, quantitative, and observational) and propose an effective intervention based on your own results.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
CASE STUDY Case study intervention

The purpose of this assessment is to provide students with an experience of applied sport psychology consultancy that will help the student identify the principles of effective coaching and the problems associated with its measurement. This assessment will focus on the coach-athlete dyad. Students are required to identify a coach and an athlete who are not working effectively as they could. Initial observations and assessment will be conducted via a triangulation of methods i.e. observation of a coaching session followed by coach and athlete interview. With evidence from the observed coaching session and questionnaires, students will be required to report what the problem may be, and with particular reference to sport psychology research what interventions may be applied to the situation in order to aid effective coaching. Students may not provide feedback to the coach or the athlete unless both parties request it


Teaching and Learning Strategy


“This course will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminar, tutorials and workshops. For September 2020 we will be starting the academic year with a blended learning approach in response to Covid 19. For the most up to date information on this please look at”. A 10 credit MSc module requires about 100 hours of study. Three lectures will provide the students with a background knowledge of self and other discrepancies, coach athlete relationship issues, and quantitative assessments. This will allow the student to collect some data on a coach and an athlete of their choice and propose an intervention based on their results. Note that students only propose the intervention but do not carry one out.


You are also required to sign up for a 30 min tutorial to fully discuss your case study before submission.


Students should devote 2 hours of this module collecting data from the coach and the athlete.

Private study

Students are required to spend a substantial amount of time analysing their results, writing and formulating their report, searching relevant data bases for up to date research and reading.


Transferable skills

  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • research and assess paradigms, theories, principles, concepts and factual information, and apply such skills in explaining and solving problems
  • critically assess and evaluate data and evidence in the context of research methodologies and data sources
  • describe, synthesise, interpret, analyse and evaluate information and data relevant to a professional or vocational context
  • plan, design, execute and communicate a sustained piece of independent intellectual work, which provides evidence of critical engagement with, and interpretation of, appropriate data
  • apply knowledge to the solution of familiar and unfamiliar problems
  • develop a sustained reasoned argument, perhaps challenging previously held assumptions
  • demonstrate effective written and/or oral communication and presentation skills
  • work effectively independently and with others
  • take and demonstrate responsibility for their own learning and continuing personal and professional development
  • self-appraise and reflect on practice
  • plan and design practical activities using appropriate techniques and procedures whilst demonstrating high levels of relevant skills
  • project manage and execute practical activities using appropriate techniques and procedures whilst demonstrating high levels of relevant skills
  • recognise and respond to moral, ethical, sustainability and safety issues that directly pertain to the context of study including relevant legislation and professional codes of conduct
  • undertake fieldwork with continuous regard for safety and risk assessment.
  • demonstrate evidence of competence in the scientific methods of enquiry, and interpretation and analysis of relevant data and statistical outputs.
  • develop transferable skills of relevance to careers outside of sport, health and exercise sciences.
  • communicate succinctly at a level appropriate to different audiences.
  • develop knowledge of psychometric instruments
  • accurately interpret case study data
  • develop justifiable and/or evidence-based interventions
  • demonstrate effective robust data collection methods


Reading list

PDF's are available on Blackboard

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: