In this blog, Jazzelle Frame shares with us her educational and practical experience in the field of Sport & Exercise Psychology, including challenges gaining work experience and issues of diversity in the field.
Jazzelle Frame is a 22 year old aspiring Sports & Exercise psychologist currently completing an MSc at the University of West England and due to starting training in March.
What drew you to a career in Sport and Exercise psychology?
Throughout my life I have always enjoyed and participated in sports. During
secondary school I started studying psychology, it was something I found interesting
and really enjoyed. At about 17/18 years old when thinking of applying for university I started looking into courses and careers in psychology. Whilst researching I found Sport and
Exercise Psychology, which gave me the opportunity to merge two of my passions
What was your experience of studying psychology at undergraduate level?
Before I got to university, I had never studied Sport and Exercise Psychology before.
Although there were similar aspects to psychology, I did have to make sure I was
engaged and sometimes do extra readings.
What was your research experience prior to gaining a place on the Stage 2 training?
Although I have not yet applied for my stage 2 training, I do have some research
experience. During my time at university, I have written two dissertations.
One mixed-methods (qualitative and quantitative) and one qualitative. I have gained
experienced interviewing people, using excel and SPSS statistics.
How did you find out about relevant positions?
I have found that trying to gain work experience in Sport and Exercise Psychology
can be quite difficult due to the nature of the work. However, I was always quite
active in trying to gain any experience possible and any opportunities thrown my way.
The first point of call is usually lecturers as they were applied practitioners.
However, it is also beneficial to use the resources that the university offers such as the career service. I also try to get involved in any conferences that can be beneficial to enhance your learning. All of the aforementioned points can help you to build your
Did you meet trainees or qualified Sport and Exercise psychologists from a similar
ethnic background to you before applying?
When completing my undergraduate degree, I did not meet many people from a
similar background. However, when I moved back to Bristol for my masters there
were a lot more opportunities for me to get in contact with people from a similar
background for example through the BAME outreach opportunities. This provides
the opportunity to possibly meet people only on your course or in a similar field.
Seeing the benefit that this can have to not only myself but to others, I believe it is
important for me to try and be involved in these opportunities.
Why do you think it’s important to have diverse ethnic representation in Sport and
I believe that it is important to have diverse ethnic representation in sport and
exercise psychology. Firstly, I believe when working with athletes there can be
various factors that influence their experiences such as race and gender. Athletes
being about to discuss these issues with someone from a familiar ethnic background
can have an influence on how they communicate and what they share with the sport
Secondly, I believe it is important for people who want to work within the field of
Sport and Exercise Psychology to see people from similar ethnic backgrounds
working in that field. As this can have an influence on whether some people would
like to peruse a career in Sport and Exercise Psychology.
Finally, I believe that having diverse ethnic representation can enable change within
a sport or club. For example, Kick it Out, which aims to tackle racism within football.
Additionally, it can help to understand how aspects such as ethnicity and culture can
be so important when working with athletes. Also, how ethnicity can have influence
people’s experiences when working in the field.
What was one piece of advice that really helped you on your journey into training?
Taking all of the opportunities that are thrown your way. Within the field of Sport
and Exercise psychology, I have found that sometimes you have to reach out to clubs
and create opportunities for yourself.
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