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Posted in: Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Free online sports psychology course

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  • Blake

    The Open University have just released a free open access online course for coaches, which has been recommended by UK Coaching (formerly Sports Coach UK).

    Exploring Sport Coaching and Psychology features Olympic hockey gold medallist Alex Danson as the main presenter and is aimed at Level 1-3 coaches keen to learn beyond their sport.

    ConnectedCoaches member Ben Oakley is a Senior Lecturer at The Open University and explained that the course is brought to life with BBC/Channel 4 clips and supported with appropriate evidence.

    The course investigates how scientific and management ideas contribute to success, and considers how the mind, the body and environment and training techniques all contribute to optimal success. 

    You can view the course trailer here:


    If you enrol on the course, we would be interested in hearing your thoughts after completion.

  • Thanks for posting the link Blake, this looks really interesting! Enrolling tonight :)

  • mintoi

    I am a level 2 volunteer rugby coach working with U18 boys and have recently done this course. It is a good balance of video, audio and written content. It took me much less the advertised 24 hours with each of the 8 sections taking roughly 1 hour. A lot of the material was new to me and very applicable to my coaching. The way that it is set up means that you can dip into the sections that you are most interested in even if you do not complete the whole course. I would recommend this course.

  • EllyNetball

    I have my 'badge' for completing this online OU course !!!

    Topics include why children take part in sport and why 'sampling' is likely to produce better athletes [as opposed to early specialisation]; what the 'complete' coach looks like (according to Cahill); the Relative Age Effect; who is likely to be an inspirational role model; mindset and mental toughness; nine psychological characteristics for developing excellence (Collins); Bailey's five coaching commandments (based on the science of learning & teaching); technological innovation; et al.

    It was interesting, engaging and well worth the afternoon it took to complete.

  • Rugby101

    Hey good stuff Blake. I'll let you know if I choose to try it out which Im seriously considering. Might end up on here loking for help lol. Thanks for the link.

  • Beno

    Hey Ellie, I love your summary of what you got out of the course: it sounds accurate as I was closely involved with putting the learning together.

    I'm pleased that it only took 'an afternoon to complete' since The Open University framework says '24 hours' of learning which we felt is a huge over estimation for anyone who is used to reading and digesting material online. The use of Alex Danson (Hockey: Gold medallist) and Michael Johnson (Athletics: multiple Golds) videos to help present ideas hopefully made it more interesting. A lot of people have signed up so far - 1000 people in 3 weeks.

    We are aiming to get this free badge approved by any NGBs interested in using it for their coaches development, often known as CPD (Continuing Professional Development). If your Netball NGB, or any others, are interested please ask them to contact me for a conversation and we should be able to mention the Netball coaching pathway in the opening blurb to the course .

    If anyone else has any questions - do ask them and I'll reply .... With best wishes

  • EbMaj7

    Thanks for sharing that - course completed and I enjoyed it!

  • andrewb62

    I have just completed the online course (and have my badge!).

    It covers topics that never came up in my level 1 or 2 coaching courses, nor in any post-level 2 CPD, so very valuable.

    It has helped me to think about my own coaching beyond a plan for the next session with the U6s on Saturday morning!
  • chrisu

    Recently completed this course and found it stimulating and informative. The video clips and other articles referred to were fascinating. It needn't take 24 hours as stated, so don't let that put you off, dip into it as and when you have the time - and you get a "badge" as a kind of accreditation - what's not to like!

  • StoolballCoach

    This looks excellent, thanks very much! I shall be signing up right now :)

  • mikecross

    Hi Ben

    AFC Alsager - we are just about to launch our "youth coaches pathway" for our young football coaches

    Be great if we could use/pilot this as module for them ?

    Best regards


  • Beno

    Hi Mike

    Yes of course you can use this as a module for your AFC Alsager developing coaches. All you need to do is to ask them to enroll individually and suggest a date by which time they should have obtained their badge - of course it is all free. I think the best learning would be if you have a discussion every week with them about 'how is it going?' and to raise any topics that they want to pursue further. I can perhaps help direct you to further online materials for any topics of interest. 

    It would be difficult to put your logo on the course since their are thousands of clubs out there who might want the same thing but if you get your County FA involved, that would open the door to a wider national dialogue. 

    If you would like to chat further email fels-sports@open.ac.uk and we can then talk by phone ...

    best wishes

    Ben Oakley, The Open University

  • IanJMitchell84

    This looks great and I’ve signed up today - I can’t wait to get started on it! 

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