MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology student wins BASES conference award

MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology student Niall Falls in collaboration with Associate Professor of Applied Performance Psychology Dr Jamie Baker presented Nialls research investigating “Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing for Prospective Imagery in Golfers” at the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Conference (BASES) Annual Conference in December 2015, and was awarded the Sportesse Sport and Exercise Science Award for the best free communication Psychology presentation at the meeting.

Niall states that “In my role as an NHS Psychiatrist has exposed me to the sharp end of working with troubled individuals; my own involvement in sport as competitor and coach meant that applying clinical skills in the sport and performance arena seemed a logical step. The distance learning course MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology delivered by the Staffordshire University tested me intellectually, whilst clear goal setting and the quality of materials, support and supervision kept me engaged with the course throughout.”

The MSc thesis explored the use of Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing in prospective imagery in golfers. This trauma therapy has shown powerful effects in clinical use, and has the potential to be useful in sport. To test this, a single case design explored the effects and social validity of this intervention in four golfers experiencing troubling prospective imagery. All reported three EMDR sessions to be acceptable and helpful. Impact of negative imagery was reduced in three of the four, with associated benefits to cognitive and somatic anxiety in two. Niall added further that “The opportunity to present at a meeting of this calibre cannot be recommended highly enough, and for this work to be recognised through such a prestigious award was an immense honour.”

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