Sports Psychology: Team GB swimmer Antony James

Name: Antony James

Course: MSc Psychology                                             

Sport and specialisation: Team GB Olympic swimmer

A Team GB Olympic swimmer has accomplished his sporting dreams whilst studying a degree in BSc (Hons) Psychology on our Sporting Excellence scholarship programme.

Our Sporting Excellence scholars have access to strength and conditioning expertise, nutritional advice and health checks to support their sporting development; helping them to advance their knowledge and transform their lives.

Now the University has formed a new partnership with chartered sports psychologist, Jonathan Rhodes, to prepare elite athletes mentally as they follow their journey to success. From time management and academic advice to positive mind-set preparation, our Sporting Excellence scholars now have a solid support system to aid them in balancing a hectic schedule of training, competitions and academic study.

The first student to access this support is Antony James, Olympic swimmer and BSc (Hons) Psychology student, who successfully managed his sport and study commitments to achieve his dreams thanks to the expert help of Jonathan Rhodes.

Antony said: 

“Jon fully understood things from both sides of the court; he could support me both from an educational perspective and a sporting one. Getting all that I could possibly need from one person improved my performance as a student and a sporting scholar.”

 This psychological support, along with vital dissertation and exam help, made a real difference to Antony’s preparation and training for the 2012 London Olympics.

“It gave me reassurance that one of the top individuals in sports psychology was helping me throughout my training and studies,” he said.  “Which contributed massively to my development in Olympic swimming and in psychology.”

In addition to the support delivered by Jon Rhodes, Antony’s course tutor was a key contributor to his success. With full support from the Sporting Excellence Scholarship Team and his course tutor’s full confidence, the sporting star was given a unique opportunity to split his degree over five years, enabling him to continue his swimming training full time.

Antony’s dissertation looked into the psychological aspects that impact and affect swimming performance at an Olympic level, by interviewing existing swimming scholars and Plymouth Leander Olympians. Jon then advised Antony on possible directions to take with the research, and show methods which he could use to analyse the data.

Antony concluded: 

“The support I received was a fantastic elite package and I would definitely recommend that other scholars make good use of it, as the more you put in, the more you will get out.”

Sporting Excellence Scholarships

The stars of the future are being offered the opportunity to achieve their sporting and academic goals thanks to the Sporting Excellence Scholarship at University of Plymouth.

Learn more about Sporting Excellence Scholarships