Swim England North West to benefit from sports psychology at Lancaster University

Swim England North West is to partner with Lancaster University to foster the use of sports psychology among athletes, parents and coaches.

By Michelle Blade
Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 3:45 pm
Dr Jenny Meggs, sports psychologist from Lancaster Medical School, diving into the water.
Dr Jenny Meggs, sports psychologist from Lancaster Medical School, diving into the water.

The partnership is aimed at aquatics athletes in order to optimise their performance and improve their mental health.

Dr Jenny Meggs, sports psychologist from Lancaster Medical School, said managing emotions is vital if swimmers are going to not just compete but continue with the sport.

She said: “This is not just for pre-elite athletes but for all aquatics athletes, so that they have the foundational psychological skills and capabilities to sustain their sport involvement, long term.

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“Aquatics sport success requires a significant commitment and in times of change or challenge it can test the resilience of athletes, parents and coaches.”

Dr Meggs was herself a National Youth GB finalist in distance freestyle events at the age of 12 so she understands the pressures faced by youth athletes.

“I struggled with performance pressures and found it difficult to rebound from poor races and so I know how important it is to focus on athlete resilience.”

The partnership will include online workshops for coaches, parents and athletes on the following topics:

Basic Psychological Skills Training

Mindfulness, Resilience and Thriving during Adversity

Psychological Control and Anxiety

Coach training: Creating Positive and Resilient Cultures and Holistic Athlete Development

Swim England North West is one of eight regions that forms Swim England, the National Governing Body for Swimming, Open Water, Masters, Para-Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Artistic Swimming in England.

David Burgham, Swim England North West Regional Chair, said: “We are delighted to have this partnership with Lancaster University. It provides opportunities for athletes, parents and coaches in the North West Region to develop skills and techniques that may not otherwise be possible. This training can help to develop all concerned. This opportunity also provides vital practical experience for students who may one day become Sports Psychologists within our aquatics community.”

The partnership will also enable Lancaster Medical School Sport and Exercise Science students to benefit from placements, helping to deliver workshops with Dr Meggs and work with athletes and coaches.

To register for the Lancaster University workshop, individuals are required to have a Swim England Membership and be a member of a Swim England North West affiliated club.