Course overview

The Certificate in Elite Player Care and Wellbeing has been designed to support sports industry professionals to enhance their practice with a multidisciplinary understanding of the subject.

The programme has been developed to allow delegates to establish a theoretical and practical understanding of player care and wellbeing, by engaging with elements of behavioural science, psychology, psychiatry, and social sciences, with the long-term goal of applying this knowledge across a variety of roles and contexts, at both youth and senior levels.

During their studies, delegates will be exposed to the latest research in the area, as well as a series of real-world scenarios and case studies, developed in conjunction with industry partners.

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This course is delivered in partnership with Premier Sports Network

Course outcomes

Designed to support a range of roles across elite sport including player care/liaison/welfare officers, academy managers, team operations managers, education and welfare officers, and coaches, by the end of the course, delegates should be able to:

  • Develop a working definition of player care and display an awareness of the challenges that a career in elite sport can present.
  • Define mental health and understand the impacts of identity, injury and environment upon it.
  • Appreciate a range of critical moments in sport, including career transitions, and career exit, and demonstrate some understanding of appropriate strategies to manage these moments.
  • Recognise a number of specific challenges that exist in youth sport and demonstrate some appreciation of safeguarding.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding developed during the course to write a player care strategy.

I'm so pleased to see the creation of this course. It will be crucial for any sports professional who is committed to player care and wants to learn how to support the wellbeing of athletes. I strongly believe it will be a game-changer.

Vincent PericardFormer St Etienne, Juventus, Portsmouth and Stoke City striker


Dr Richard Elliott
GIS Academic Leaders Dr Richard Elliott Head of Professional Education at GIS
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Alan Tonge
Academics UCFB Etihad Campus Alan Tonge Lecturer in Sports Research
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Tom Buck
Academics UCFB Etihad Campus Tom Buck Lecturer in Sports Research
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Introduction to player care

In this first module, you’ll think critically about the concept of ‘player care’ and consider the demands that a career in elite sport places on athletes, the specific challenges that athletes can face, and some of the effects of these challenges, if they’re not managed effectively.

Mental health and sport

In this module you’ll be introduced to a range of different factors associated with mental health in elite sport. This will include studies of mental health and common mental disorders in the context of elite sport, identity issues and the psychological impact of injuries, and the influences of environment and culture.

Critical moments in sport careers

In this module you’ll analyse the challenges presented at critical moments in sports careers. Adding to the currency of performance psychology and traditional mental skills training, the module will examine critical moments from an existential perspective and assess some of the ‘givens’ an athlete will have to face as they journey through their career. This will include studies of isolation, freedom, identity, and death (i.e. career exit).

Youth players and safeguarding

In this module you’ll examine the challenges present in the development of youth players. Structured through the various phases of the developmental journey, you’ll analyse the demands and expectations that elite youth athletes can be exposed to. These elements will be explored in the context of athletes’ major influences, including family, education, peers, and environment. The module will also introduce you to a range of issues related to safeguarding – something that is critical in the context of youth athlete care.

Leadership, change and development

In this final module, you’ll consider the ways in which you might understand leadership and change. As a relatively new area of elite sport operations, you may find yourself in a leadership role, or aspiring to one, and in a position where you have to change working practices and culture as you build capacity in this specific area. This module will prepare you for the challenges that you might face, so that you’re able to build and improve provision in the context of player care and wellbeing.

Nottigham Forest City Ground

I cannot stress the importance and significance of this course. The course covers the key elements involved in the player care process and will equip individuals with the knowledge and tools they require to support athletes holistically.

Abby CarringtonAcademy Player Care / Welfare Officer, Nottingham Forest

Course delivery

Delegates will attend three in-person study sessions spread over the duration of the course:

  • Session 1:
    Day 1 – Introduction to Player Care
    Day 2 – Mental Health and Sport
  • Session 2:
    Day 3 – Critical Moments in Sport Careers
    Day 4 – Youth Players and Safeguarding

  • Session 3:
    Day 5 – Leadership, Change and Development
    Day 6 – Conference/Networking

    Course venue: The Hilton, Wembley.

    Delegates will be continuously assessed during the course via a range of individual and group activities held during study sessions, and online via a range of independent study activities hosted on GIS’ comprehensive Learning Management System. They will also be assessed via a final, tutor-assessed, small-scale project. The course will take six months to complete.

  • Next session dates TBC


Course Fee
£1995 Inc VAT
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