The Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology promotes the professional interests of sport and exercise psychologists in the UK and aims to support the development of psychology both as a profession and as a body of knowledge and skills.
On this page you'll find news, updates, and blog articles specifically relevant to the work and interests of the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology.
Stage 2 and comparisons to others - Louise ByrneShow content
I began my QSEP Stage 2 in March 2019 and aim to finish in early 2021.
And while I have gained a lot experience (particularly evident reading back over early first year reflections) I still find it extremely difficult not to compare my own success to the levels others have achieved.
However, when I reviewed my first portfolio and the completed work piled up in one Zip file, I saw how much time and effort had gone into it.
I won’t list out my achievements for two reasons, firstly, because I think deep down I still find it difficult to accept them as successes, even writing the word ‘achievement’ makes me feel uncomfortable, and secondly, because I do not want others to see them as something to compare themselves to either.
During my Key Role 3 research, which involved an investigation into Covid-19 and the impact it has had on psychological support provided and received by Sport and Exercise Psychologists and elite athletes, I was privileged enough to have frank and honest discussions with many practitioners who had much more experience than myself.
And it was during these conversations I noticed that self-doubt was still, at times, an element that needed to be addressed and managed.
I gained two things from these conversations; comfort and hope. Comfort knowing that regardless of experience, questioning one’s ability was a natural challenge that arose, and it was not a direct reflection of my abilities when I was doubtful, and hope that even though practitioners may feel insecure of their value and what purpose they serve it is still possible to have a successful career.
Upon reflection I realise of course a certain amount of doubt is normal.
However ,when I began to notice it impeding my progression I knew that was the time to make a conscious effort to focus on my own accomplishments and upcoming goals.
This overwhelming self-doubt occurred in month 8 of Year 1 when I began to feel paralysed as I assessed what task or Key Role to tackle next. I found I was faced with so many options I could not choose anything without highlighting the expertise I lacked to effectively execute the work required.
I looked around at fellow Trainees and all the contacts they were making and work they were acquiring and felt inferior in just about every area of QSEP.
9 months on from that time there have definitely been some changes in how I review my work.
Firstly, setting a timer on social media on my phone of a half hour each day has helped tremendously.
It may seem small and counterproductive when trying to self-promote but now I have an allotted time which, being so short, prevents me from dwelling so much on others.
Secondly, I broke down my Key Roles into sections each month. For example, writing one good quality reflection for each meant I gradually created my next submission.
I also set writing targets for the case study meaning I could review them at a later stage through more experienced eyes.
Thirdly, I re-assessed whether this was something I truly wanted to do, putting aside the financial commitment, did I actually want to do this knowing the challenges associated? I did; however, this was not a light decision and was now made without the naivety I began QSEP with.
This is not an article of strategic advice but rather a very honest account that sometimes needs to be read by others to highlight the variety and range of insecurities felt by the majority at some point in their career regardless of wealth or scope of experience.
We will each experience training routes differently, and it is paramount we only compare to where we started, rather than another’s perceived successes.
Learn more about the Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology.
About the author
Louise Byrne is an aspiring Sport and Exercise Psychologist currently nearing the end of her qualification with the BPS.
Having grown up immersed in sport and all types of exercise Louise applied her passion to becoming a Sport and Exercise Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, aiming to help others help themselves.
She is now nearing the end of this qualification with only a few months to go.
Her experience within a high performing investments firm allowed her to understand what it takes to become a high achiever and follow through on goals that may seem a little out of reach.
Louise’s clients range from recreational exercisers to elite athletes including those that want to achieve something they have not done yet. Her past work has involved sessions with triathletes and novice marathon runners from the very beginning of their journey.
Being an avid runner herself she knows the perseverance and strength it often takes to go beyond and accomplish what seems impossible.
Being involved in sporting and business organisations gives her the opportunity to apply transferable knowledge across both environments. Her aim for those involved is to foster a new progressive perspective enabling positive change in results.
Her driving force behind her practice is evident throughout her work; providing people the opportunity to learn how to help themselves, with an open and direct practitioner supporting their progress.
Fulfilling one's abilities and maintaining momentum for change is the core of her work, aiming to enable positive growth and development.
Information and updates
Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology AGM 2020Show content
The Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology AGM 2020 will be held on Wednesday 16 December 2020 at 3.30pm, Via Zoom.
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If you have any queries regarding the AGM, nominations or resolutions please email Member Network Services
Chairs Message - October 2019Show content
Well I can’t believe this is my last DSEP Chair’s blog post of my tenure as Chair. The conference in December will mark the end of my two-year period as Chair and the transition to a new Chair of the Division.
The increasingly dark nights of autumn signal the count down to the 2019 DSEP Annual Conference taking place this year at the voco St John’s hotel in Solihull, West Midlands. The conference taking place on 2nd and 3rd December already looks like it is going to be a great success based upon registrations to date. The conference has many highlights in the programme including eminent keynote speakers such as Prof Diane Crone, Prof Chris Harwood and Dr Allan Johnston. The theme for the conference is ‘New horizons in sport, physical activity and performance psychology’ and the programme will offer expert insight into many contemporary issues and challenges facing practitioners, researchers, educators, and trainees alike. To book a place at the conference visit the BPS conference page:
The CPD team within the Division continue to develop plans for delivery in 2020. At the time of writing we are in discussions with BASES about running a joint CPD event in 2020, as well as running free-to-member and free-to-Stage 2 trainee events, plus delivering the first DSEP webinars. As I write this in mid-October we are also running the first free-to-Stage 2 trainees event run by the Division focused on ‘Contemporary Practitioner Skills in Sport and Exercise Psychology’. If you are interested in running or organising a BPS Learning Centre workshop please get in touch.
I am sure you have noticed the increased presence of the Division across a range of different social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and the Division’s blog post page as well. Emily Pattinson has been working hard to provide regular posts and updates focused on sharing information, starting conversations, inviting comment, and advertising events relevant to our membership. We are also looking to launch a new annual Division members survey at this year’s annual conference to provide a further voice to the Division’s membership to influence and shape the future direction and focus of the Division in a rapidly changing British Psychological Society.
It is great to see the Division’s Applied Hubs continuing to grow both in terms of numbers and activity. It is also wonderful to see a session at the Annual Conference focused on the work of the Applied Hubs. The DSEP committee are currently exploring a number of ways we can seek to further support the Hubs and the reach of their activities.
Finally, you have hopefully seen the calls for nominations for DSEP committee members across the different communication channels. Membership of the committee is open to all DSEP members, regardless of age or experience. Anyone who is keen to continue the great work undertaken by committee members past and present is encouraged to put themselves forward for one of the roles. Being on the committee represents the opportunity to make a difference, to contribute to the profession in the UK, and to make new friends.
As ever, if you have any comments or suggestions, or would like to get involved please get in touch. You can email the DSEP chair at: [email protected]