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Sport and Exercise Psychology

Course Code: SPSC 2231
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Sport Science
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Tutorial
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course provides an introduction to the field of applied sport and exercise psychology. Students will demonstrate their knowledge by applying mental skills and strategies to real world sport and exercise settings. They will also use their developing knowledge of mental skills and strategies from the course to inform reflections and decisions about their mental strengths and areas to work on. Students will devise a mental skills plan for their personal growth and enhanced performance in a sport and/or exercise setting.

Course Content

  1. Awareness in Sport and Exercise Psychology
  2. The Environment and Sport and Exercise Psychology
    • Positive Reinforcement and Feedback
      • Theoretical aspects
      • Research on reinforcement and feedback in sport and exercise
      • Implications for best practices
    • Expectations and Self Fulfilling Prophecy
      • Theoretical aspects
      • Research on impact of expectations by leaders in sport and exercise
      • Implications for best practices
    • Communication in Sport and Exercise
      • Theoretical aspects
      • Research on communication in sport and exercise
      • Implications for best practices
    • Team Cohesion and Team Building
      • Theoretical aspects
      • Research on team cohesion in sport and exercise
      • Implications for best practices in team building
    • Parents in sport
      • Theoretical aspects
      • Research on parents in sport
      • Implications for best practices related to parents in sport
    • Motivation
      • Theoretical aspects of motivation and motivational environments
      • Research on motivation and motivational environments
      • Implications for best practices related to creating optimal motivational environments
  3. Psychological Characteristics of Peak Performance
    • Theoretical aspects
    • Research on peak performance in sport
    • Assessment of peak performance
  4. Psychological Skills, Interventions and Strategies
    • Goal Setting
      • Theoretical aspects
      • Research on goal setting in sport and exercise
      • Implications for best practices related to goal setting in sport and exercise
    • Arousal, Emotion, Performance Relationship
      • Theoretical aspects
      • Research on arousal in sport and exercise
      • Interventions and strategies for arousal and emotional self-regulation
    • Imagery
      • Theoretical aspects
      • Research on imagery in sport and exercise
      • Interventions and strategies for imagery skill development and usage
    • Cognitive strategies for building confidence
      • Theoretical aspects
      • Research on cognitive strategies in sport and exercise
      • Interventions and strategies for development and enhancement of cognitive self-regulation
    • Concentration and Attentional Control
      • Theoretical aspects
      • Research on concentration and attentional control in sport and exercise
      • Interventions and strategies for attentional control and self-regulation
  5. Implementing Psychological Skills Training (PST) Programs
    • Theoretical aspects
    • Research on PST program effectiveness
    • Season planning for PST
  6. Additional Topics in Sport and Exercise Psychology
    • Clinical Issues in sport and exercise psychology
    • Psychology of injury and rehabilitation 
    • Overtraining and Burnout in sport
    • Career transitions in sport
    • Gender and cultural considerations in sport and exercise psychology

Methods of Instruction

  1. Lecture
  2. Discussion groups
  3. Practical applications
  4. Video observation
  5. Self-study via print or online materials
  6. Reading assignments
  7. Online discussion groups
  8. Instructor tutoring

Means of Assessment

The selection of evaluation tools for this course is based upon:

  1. Adherence to college evaluation policy regarding number and weighing of evaluations, for example a course of three credits or more should have at least three separate evaluations.
  2. A developmental approach to evaluation that is sequenced and progressive.
  3. Evaluation is used as a teaching tool for both students and instructors.
  4. Commitment to student participation in evaluation through such processes as self and peer evaluation, and program/ instructor evaluation.

The following is presented as an example assessment format for this course: 

Exam 1 15%
Exam 2 15%
Self Quizzes 20%
Student Teaching Project 20%
Journals 20%
Participation 10%
Total 100%

Learning Outcomes

  1. To identify and describe the mental skills required for optimal performance
  2. To develop mental skills by applying these skills in personal and hypothetical situations guided by constructive feedback
  3. To demonstrate theoretical, conceptual and practical expertise with regard to mental skills in sport and exercise psychology
  4. To interpret, analyze, and evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses and areas for improvement within the area of mental skills and develop a personal mental training plan from this evaluation

course prerequisites

SPSC 1164 recommended


SPSC 1164 recommended

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.