BSc(Hons) in Sports Psychology, 2011 Graduate
A 2011 UCLan Sports Psychology graduate, 39-year-old David has worked with top international footballers to conduct ground-breaking research into the mental skills needed to be a high level professional footballer.
Aged 18, David wanted to become a professional footballer and had spells in the game at Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool, Rochdale and Accrington Stanley. However, after realising that his dream could never be a reality, David left the sport and forged a successful career in IT sales for 12 years.
The draw of football proved too strong and for the last five years he has worked as a mental skills coach at Burnley Football Club before moving to Bolton Wanderers.
David, from Cliviger in Burnley, first heard about the course after carrying out fitness testing at the UCLan Foster Sports Centre.
He said: “I came to UCLan with a foundation degree from the Open University and an FA Level Five in football specific psychology. The course at UCLan seemed like the next natural step, as it is a BPS professionally recognised degree course – plus the lecturers in exercise and psychology were extremely helpful.”
David worked with some of the top international footballers in the region, such as Gary Neville and Denis Irwin, as part of his project for his final dissertation, which is the first of its kind in the UK.
Summaries of David’s work are about to be published in the national media and for an eventual peer reviewed academic publication. In the meantime, David is already writing for ‘The Psychologist’ - the national magazine of the British Psychological Society. As well as continuing to help young football players, David plans to undertake a PhD at UCLan.