EIS comment on performance psychology in the Paralympic Swimming world class performance programme

By Lucy Lomax | 16/10/2017

Comment from English Institute of Sport (EIS) on issues raised about the use of performance psychology in the Paralympic Swimming world class performance programme:

“We are aware of comments made which refer to the way that performance psychology was utilised as part of the Para Swim world class performance programme in the run-up to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

“The pressure technique deployed is an example of a range of services that a performance psychologist would routinely deliver as part of their work to support coaches and athletes in achieving improvements in performance.

“In this instance, the programme was designed with input from athletes at a series of workshops and intended, at their request, to help produce training conditions that felt more like a competition situation. While the psychologist was employed directly by British Swimming, as guardians of the Professional Code of Conduct along with the other home country sport institutes, the EIS will always seek to ensure best practice. The EIS’s Head of Psychology has reviewed the notes of the practitioner and is satisfied that the process followed was within the parameters set by the British Psychological Society. Notwithstanding that, the programme followed will be independently audited by an expert in the field. All practitioners operating within the high performance system are required to meet the standards set out in the Professional Code of Conduct which requires them to place the athlete’s health and welfare at the heart of everything that they do. Confidentiality is an element of this. There is nothing to indicate that any practice in this case did not meet the high standards set.”


Notes to editors

The practitioner is BPS qualified and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, the statutory regulator in the UK

The Professional Code of Conduct is a professional code for all employed and contracted medicine and science practitioner members of staff of the English Institute of Sport, Sport Wales Institute, SportScotland Institute of Sport and the Sports Institute Northern Ireland (SINI).

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) will be reviewing the notes of the practitioner and the process followed in this case. The purpose of TAG is to provide technical review and quality assurance to the EIS. It is chaired by an EIS board member and is made up of 4-6 independent technical advisors.