NNEK20000U Psychology of Competitive Sports

Volume 2023/2024

Kandidatuddannelsen i humanistisk-samfundsvidenskabelig idrætsvidenskab


High-stakes contexts, such as competitive sports or corporate environments, encompass a high load of challenges and stressors for those that act in such contexts. Thus, competitive and elite athletes face many stressors, threats and challenges to their well-being in their everyday life. Self-doubt, overtraining, burnout, fears, high expectations, risk of injury, disappointment, failure, poor performance, external pressures, etc. are all factors that affect the mental health and wellbeing of competitive athletes. Furthermore, other variables such as social relationships within and outside the sport contexts, as well as community and organizational processes and dynamics, all affect the health and wellbeing of the athletes. Therefore, an understanding of such individual, group, and societal processes is essential for athletes, coaches, managers and practitioners to functionally engage and commit long-term their sport domain.

Accordingly, the course deal with such themes, specifically with: introduction to sport psychology of competitive sports, research methods and applied interventions, motivation and self-regulation, sport psychological skills training, social identity and group performance, sport injuries and career transitions, and clinical issues in competitive sports

Learning Outcome


  • Acquire a broad knowledge of key issues and current research in the area of sport psychology of competitive sports.
  • Define sport psychological terms in connection to competitive sports.
  • Describe and summarize theories and models encountered in the reading material.



  • Learn to integrate the theory of sport and psychology with research and practical applications.
  • Apply the acquired knowledge to different sport contexts and situations and to new cases.
  • Manage issues and cases related to sport psychology at the competitive level.
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different sport psychological theories and  research methods.
  • Analyze and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different theories.



  • Based on the acquired knowledge, successful candidates will be able to effectively design and manage applied interventions on selected sport psychological topics and cases, specifically within the field of competitive sports.

To be announced on Absalon

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
Lectures, group work, exercises and discussions
The course is identical to NNEK14013U Psychological Aspects of Competitive Sports.
It is not allowed to pass both courses.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 15
  • Preparation
  • 88
  • Exercises
  • 53
  • Exam
  • 50
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Continuous feedback on group-based activities at the end of each topic (mostly written).

Peer-feedback both on activities and on final assignment.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, during the course
Type of assessment details
Written assignment, during the course, in English
Students will be asked to present and discuss a sport psychological case study (max 15 pages) focusing on one of the topics covered in the course. The report should include a theoretical background, development of hypotheses, description of the method and results, and a discussion. Further details will be provided during the course. The work on the assignment will take place throughout the course and the deadline for submission will be on the scheduled exam date.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

Written assignment as described in the ordinary exam. Deadline for submission will be on Friday in the re-exam week.

Criteria for exam assesment

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