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Celebrating Successes of Our Sport Psychology Graduates

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Celebrating Successes of Our Sport Psychology Graduates

Everyone in Poland, and tennis fans everywhere, are excited about Iga Świątek’s victory in the French Open tournament in Paris, where in the finale Iga defeated Sofia Kenin from the United States. The success of a young tennis player in the Grand Slam tournament was a surprise not only for the sports community, but also for Iga herself, who was ranked 54 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), prior to the event.

After her big win on the courts of Roland Garros, Iga talked about the significance of her mental attitude and preparedness during the tournament. She emphasized the role of her sport psychologist Daria Abramowicz, who holds a degree in Clinical Psychology and completed post-graduate studies in Sport Psychology at SWPS University.

What does a sport psychologist do?

“Sport psychologists focus on the mental state of sportsmen and sportswomen. They work together with athletes to optimize and improve the skills that the athletes already have. Together they work on concentration, emotion regulation, strategies for coping with stress, internal dialogue and building self-confidence. These competencies, acquired with the help of a sport psychologists, undoubtedly helped Iga to win the Grand Slam,” says Aleksandra Pogorzelska, psychologist, Head of Programming for the Sport Psychology post-graduate program at SWPS University.

Athletes of all sports disciplines increasingly admit that mental couching constitutes 80-90 percent of their training. Mental toughness becomes the key element that may prove decisive in securing a win. Mental coaches are useful not only in sports. They also work in business and can help people to improve the quality of life and achieve work-life balance.

Athletes of all sports disciplines increasingly admit that mental couching constitutes 80-90 percent of their training. Mental toughness becomes the key element that may prove decisive in securing a win. Mental coaches are useful not only in sports. They also work in business and can help people to improve the quality of life and achieve work-life balance.

Aleksandra Pogorzelska, Head of Programming of the Sport Psychology program at SWPS University

 

How does the Sport Psychology program prepare students for working with professional athletes?

The Sport Psychology program at SWPS University is one-of-a-kind in Poland. Our student body comprises psychologists, coaches, sports activists, parents, directors of sports schools, and professional athletes. Our approach is very holistic and we encourage our students to learn more about developmental psychology, psychodietetics, physiology, and the theory of sport. Thanks to this methodology our students have an opportunity to look at sport and athletes from many different perspectives.

Our graduates work with athletes from various disciplines, who represent the country at the national level. During classes, the students share their experience and analyze actual case studies together. We look at each case from the perspective of a parent, coach, athlete, physiotherapist, and a dietician, and it turns out that this 360º analysis offers much more practical knowledge.

The holistic approach to a professional career in sports is crucial. For example, take a 7-year old, who begins her adventure with sport. We look at her whole career, from the first steps, through achieving a senior status, and winning the highest awards and top competitions in her discipline. To ensure that an athlete will be able to perform for many years, it is crucial to focus on the positive aspects, on the athlete’s needs. It is important to make a plan for building a balanced career, because it is not possible to stay motivated and engaged at the right level through hard physical training alone. Our program concentrates strongly on the positive aspects and on supporting athletes all the way along the very long path to the top.

Successful Graduates of Sport Psychology Program at SWPS University

Daria Abramowicz – clinical and sport psychologist, who over the years has been coaching many athletes, including Iga Świątek, the recent French Open Grand Slam winner.

Dariusz Jaworski – member of the Administration Board of the Polish Volleyball Federation He is a very enthusiastic sports activist, coach and avid promoter of volleyball and the idea of positive sport.

Bartek Ostasz and Damian Białek – established their own club, Ferajna, in Warsaw, where Close to 400 children play soccer. The added value of the club is that coaches work together with psychologists there, which is still a rarity, and our graduates have developed this model of working with children.

Tomasz Kura – owner of a sport psychology clinic in Warsaw, specializing in soccer and tennis, where he works with children, teenagers, parents and coaches.

Natalia Pawelska – a sport psychologist who currently works with the national team at the Polish Speed Skating Association

Aleksandra Zienowicz – as a sport psychologist she coaches individual gymnasts, martial art athletes, and sailors.

Ewa Serwotka –  a sport psychologist working for the Polish Tennis Association.

Joanna Madej – a sport psychologist who coaches Sebastian Kawa, a glider pilot, three-time World Champion in his discipline, currently number one in the world rankings of the FAI Gliding Commission.

Many of our graduates go on to successful careers at various Polish sports associations and work with athletes at the national level. Congratulations!

 

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