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Help - career change?!?


this is a bit of an odd first - and bloody long! - post but bear with me and if you have any advice, please help!

i am a 30yo project manager in the public sector (MoD), doing pretty well for my age but not really fulfilled if you get my drift... i fell into project management by accident having completed a sociology degree at UWE (Bristol) and then stayed in city, applied for a few jobs and joined the MoD. i then did a masters in a defence related subject and really enjoyed my dissertation which was studying training effectiveness.... although i enjoy my job, i cant bear to think of myself as staying there for another 35 years until i retire and although i had some plans to emmigrate with Mrs HBM, they have been put on hold for a while..... so what do i want to do....

well, last year i started running competitvely - as in, entering races, not being competitive in them! ;-) - but over the last year or so my interest in multi-sport races has really taken off and i have entered a few. my running has also improved a fair bit. i am not going to win any events without some serious changes to my diet and training but thats probably where i lose interest in the events and they go form being something fun at the weekend to something where i will be frustrated if i dont do as well as expected....

i am now looking at a sports psychology Msc or something similar (part time or distance learning) primarily for fun but also as a second career option. I have the limited knowledge of psychology from my degree but i really dont know where a sports psychology MSc could take me and what sort of career could blossom from it. Am i right to assume that that to make money from something like that i would need some credible results behind me, and then someone i work with to also achieve a credible set of results? how do i find this "someone"? and is a lack of personal results going to hold me back?

I guess I would like to know who uses a sports psychologist, what triggers the decision to consult one, and what do they expect from such a consultation? i think i have good communication skills and i enjoy working with people. is a sports psychology Msc the correct approach or is there another qualification that would be better suited, do i need a background in physiotherapy first (i thought i could always meet up with a physio and "join forces" so to speak, getting recommendations etc if it ever took off?), do i need a straight psychology degree? do i even need anything at all?....

thank you very much for reading all this!...


  • anyone?!....
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    Sorry, not needed to use a sports psychologist (yet!)
  • A bit of a generalisation here but I'm guessing, most folk on here do Tri for the fun of it, not to win anything in particular. As such our motivation is high (we do it because we enjoy it) and we would expect investment in training / coaching / bling to give us a better return than using a sports psychologist.

    You would be aiming at a different market to the majority of us on here. I'm not saying sports psychology does or doesn't work, but in a very expensive sport it may come well down the pecking order of fund allocation for the majority.

    Good luck.
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    It's a cost benefit thing.

    Most of his here are more at the fun end of a spectrum.

    We're just trying to finish, get a PB, get in the top half or whatever. As such, our money is best spent on, say, a nice fast bike, some swim coaching, entry fees, and the mortgage. Not necessarily in that order.

    But, for an elite or professional, who just needs to go a split second faster, or, more importantly, crack _AFTER_ the guy they're racing, a sports psychologist might be just the thing that makes that crucial difference.

    So, you're probably asking the wrong group here.

    Google around for other sports psychologists, see if you can find out how they got into things, and see if that makes sense (they probably started out as more generalists in the training area, then focussed on the psychology bit; or started out as generalists in the psychology area, before focussing on the sport bit).

    I doubt that helps.

    But aren't you a bit young yet for a mid life crisis?
  • yeah, probably too young for a midlife crisis but i cant afford the sportscar!!

    thanks for the advice. i didnt really think about the limited market for my potential new found skills!....its not a problem really as the subject matter is still of interest and i will try to pursue the course of study anyway! its too much to expect an elite/pro to come knocking on the door of a novice coach hoping to gain a few vital seconds here or there and obviously the majority are amateurs just competing for the fun of it and would rahter spend the cash on something tangible like new wheels rather than the intangible.

    originally i looked at decision making analysis in motorsport (as thats my first real sporting "love") but its very hard to ask drivers why they did "x" at a certain point and as its such a fast paced sport, i really wanted to find out what sort of decision making skills they used to, for example, overtake at a particular point. however, having spoken to a few drivers it was a case of "go for it, wherever, whenever....." which in terms of analysis is pretty much useless

    anyway, thanks for the advice, see you on the startline!....
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