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Welcome to Sports Performance: The Mind, Body and Coaching

Women on the starting blocks of a running track

Welcome to this ExpertTrack, Sports Performance: The Mind, Body and Coaching.

This ExpertTrack is brought to you by The Open University, and in the three courses, you’ll explore principles and current approaches in athlete training, mental preparation and coaching to support sports performance.

For the best learning experience, we suggest you follow the courses in the following order.

  • Sports Performance: Exploring sport psychology
  • Sports Performance: Training the body for sport
  • Sports Performance: Different approaches to sports coaching

This course is designed for anyone interested in sports performance. It will help you guide others or better understand your own sporting experiences by seeing sport psychology applied to coaching, individual athlete, and competition examples. You’ll learn from experts at The Open University, and athletes themselves.

How to use FutureLearn

Don’t worry, the platform is designed to be easy to navigate. If you are new to FutureLearn or need help, there is guidance (follow link in ‘See also’ from FutureLearn) that shows you how to find your way around the platform.

Don’t forget, while robust debate is encouraged, it’s important to follow the FutureLearn code of conduct and be respectful of your co-learners.

Getting the most out of your course

To get the most out of your course, we encourage you to write comments and contribute to discussions on FutureLearn. This will help you to consolidate your thinking and generate ideas as to how you can use your learning practically in your own context.

When you post, think about how you can:

  • share your own experiences
  • support others
  • expand the discussion by responding to the contributions of your co-learners
  • ask questions about comments that interest you.


You’ll find that quizzes are used throughout the course. Each course contains at least one quiz but this does not count towards your Certificate of Achievement. The purpose of the quizzes is to provide you with feedback to support your learning.

At the end of each course, there is also a test. If you want to receive a Certificate of Achievement for the course, you need to attempt all test questions and achieve an overall course score of at least 70%. You can retake a test if you score less than 70%. You also need to mark at least 90% of steps on the course as complete.

Your journal

Throughout this course, in addition to taking part in online discussions with your co-learners, we encourage you to keep a personal journal. The aim of the journal is to support your current and future learning by enabling you to record your thoughts about your experiences, and capture ideas along the way. Look out for the signposts within ‘Your tasks’ that prompt you to use your journal.

How you complete your journal is 100% up to you. You’ll find lots of freely available tools online that can be used for this purpose, see a link in See also below, plus mobile apps you could use on your smartphone. If you prefer to keep a paper-based journal, then that works too – a notebook and pen is all you’ll need.

Help and support

Our ExpertTracks are unfacilitated, which means that we won’t be able to join in the discussions or respond to individual comments. However, you are encouraged to support other learners, share your own experience and knowledge, and listen to new perspectives. We hope that you’ll enjoy interacting with and learning from each other in this way.

If you find yourself affected by any of the content or discussions within this course, you can find a link to the page of the UK mental health charity, Mind, in the ‘See also’ area below.

In the next step, you’ll find out about what’s coming up next.

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Sports Performance: Exploring Sport Psychology

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