AECC University College Lecturer Delivers Sports Psychology Training in Italy

Psychology Lecturer at AECC University College, Ana Soares, has been working as an applied Sports Psychologist for the past 10 years with top junior and professional athletes in Portugal, Spain and the UK. 

Back in November 2019, she was invited by the Italian Tennis Federation to deliver a Sports Psychology course for 15 people who were studying to specialise in Tennis Psychology. She shares more with us:

“In order for a Psychologist to work in Tennis in Italy, they need to have certain qualifications – this was a Level 2 training course. The Tennis Federation invited me as an external speaker and I was there for three days.

“I spoke about my experience in the field and how I applied Sports Psychology to the tennis players that I have worked with. This involved support sessions in the classroom and on the court. I shared my background with them and my experience: the types of interventions I have worked on and the models that I follow.

“On the court, I gave them examples of different drills and exercises that I use with tennis players to help them improve their mental fitness. I had prepared the session in English, but it turned out that it was easier for them to understand it in Spanish – so I actually delivered the training in Spanish.”

At the start of her career, Ana won a scholarship with the Leonardo Davinci Programme and to work at Barcelona Total Tennis, the Tennis Academy in Spain as a Sport and Clinical Psychologist.

Many of the Top 100 tennis players trained at the Academy. Over the next six years, Ana worked with players of a range of ages: from 12 and 13-year-olds to professionals between 20 and 25 years old.

Ana’s research interests also lie in tennis. She says: “My research is about momentum and turning points in tennis. I’m studying why the match plays out in different ways. Why is a player sometimes in control of a match and then suddenly he/she loses it? I’m studying what happens in these moments and how players perceive them.

“I’m looking to understand this phenomenon better, so that I can provide players with strategies to help them feel more in control of the match and ultimately play better.”

You can read more about studying Psychology at AECC University College here.