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  • rebeccachidley

How do Personal Development and Sport Psychology go hand in hand?

This is where we will explore and find the psychological skills to help you develop and thrive in all areas (not just sport).

This is about you as a person, not just an athlete.

Your experiences and personal development

“Personal development is the conscious pursuit of personal growth by expanding self-awareness and knowledge and improving personal skills.”

Everything that you experience in life will impact how you develop as a person. We talk a lot about controlling the controllables in sport (and life), this is because when you take greater control over your experiences (and more importantly how you respond to the uncontrollables), this will allow you to guide your personal development towards what you want to become rather than leaving it to chance (or simply following the path that others want you too!)

One thing that is clear from a lot of our 1:1 work is that people are interested in setting, striving for, and meeting personal development goals not just performance and sport related goals. This focus on personal development often gives individuals better decision-making abilities, creates more positivity and helps them make the changes that they want.

The personal development approach:

Starts with self-awareness - You can start to realise who you really are (not who others want you to be) so you can fulfil your true potential.

Provides you with direction - Becoming more in tune with who you are and what you want will create a belief that you can achieve your goals and be in a better place to make decisions about your future.

Explores motivation and discipline - what are you driven by? Once you have built awareness and have a direction, personal development skills can help you stay focused, disciplined, and motivated on the path to achieving your goals.

Promotes Balance - your day-to-day life will be more balanced, and you will make choices to help you maintain that balance. This challenges the age-old belief that you are an ‘athlete’ only and that is what you have to focus 100% of your energy on if you want to succeed.

Explores success - this is a word that we see bouncing around a lot in sport. Identifying what success means to you will be really helpful, as it means something different to all of us. Success for some is qualifying for the Olympic games while for some it is winning gold at that games.

Steps away from the ‘deficit model’ - by focusing heavily on developing strengths you can build confidence and self-esteem. This isn’t about disregarding the improvement areas but ensuring that they aren’t the only thing we focus on.

Personal development also includes developing other people:

This may take place through roles such as those of a senior athlete, captain, coach, coach developer, personal trainer, or mentor. It is important that we don’t just focus on personal development for ourselves but if we are in one of these roles, we are doing it for the individuals that we work alongside and support.

Time to slow down…

We live in a fast-paced world at the moment, and we are expected to be doing something all the time and constantly striving for the next thing. The purpose of personal development or personal growth is in many ways a simple idea, it encourages us to slow down for a moment, to simply stop, think about where we are in life and work out what the best next step is for us.


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