Olivia Garrod


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I had my heart set on Loughborough as soon as I visited the campus. I trusted the BSc course would be challenging and encourage my love for psychology. Having been involved in sport from a young age, seeing sport and exercise embedded into the Loughborough experience reaffirmed that it would be a good fit for me.

On my undergraduate degree, the optional modules were vast, which gave me a lot of autonomy over following my interests, whilst also covering the core psychology components. I liked the attempts to vary the assessment methods, which challenged my creative side e.g., blogs, posters, presentations.

For my placement I was employed as Wellbeing and Development Assistant at Northampton Saints Rugby. I met so many wonderful people through my placement who helped me in my early career development, acting as mentors. The placement year also gave me the time to reflect on what I want my career to look like, and not look like, which has helped shaped my career path since.

Since the beginning of my undergraduate degree my goal had been to progress on to an MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Loughborough. The competitive programme is delivered by leaders in the sport psychology field, who are open in sharing their expertise and experiences with you. I knew it would be challenging… but I also knew that this challenge would shape me into a better practitioner.

Olivia Garrod

I am currently working as part of the Loughborough Applied Psychology Service (LAPS) with Loughborough Lightning Wheelchair Basketball. This opportunity is enabling me to complete my Stage 2 Training with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences to become a HCPC accredited Sport and Exercise Psychologist.

LAPS has enabled me to take the first step into applied work with the support of other training sport psychologists and a supervisor. The opportunity for peer support is endless and has accelerated my development.

My role involves working within an interdisciplinary team to deliver sport psychology through practitioners. I also deliver 1-1 support to athletes and the nature of this support is tailored to each individual.

Working within Loughborough Lightning has given me early experience in elite sport and enabled me to work collaboratively with head coaches, physiotherapists, nutritionists, physiologists, performance analysts and strength and conditioning coaches.

Delivering psychology within an interdisciplinary team is an important tool within any sport psychologist’s toolbox – LAPS has enabled me to acquire that tool very early on in my career. I am so grateful to be a practitioner for Loughborough Lightning; it really is an incredible opportunity for any training sport psychologists.

The advice I would you give to someone considering following a similar career route as me is to be aware it’s a tough career. The progress you make is dependent on what you’re willing to put in. If you’re up for working hard and putting yourself out there for new opportunities, then it is incredibly fulfilling. There are always opportunities to learn more about yourself and others so, be as open as you can.

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