In the dynamic world of sports, where every millisecond counts and mental fortitude is as crucial as physical, collaboration of technology and sports psychology is revolutionising athlete performance and well-being.

The Bath Digital Festival session was expertly chaired by Dr Becky Sage, Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Bath Innovation Centre, home of SETsquared incubation. Becky is supporting businesses with the health and Wellbeing sector through FWD, funded by the West of England combined Authority. As a four times British Adult Gymnastics Champion, Becky is no stranger to the role that psychology plays in competitive sport.

Alongside panellists, Donna Creighton, Campus Manager at Newark Works, Sam Holden, Founder of Ebb, and Dr Lee Moore, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Performance Psychology at University of Bath, the conversation captured points such as - why is sports psychology important and what are the barriers for athletes in accessing support?

“Technology is a game changer in sports psychology”, said Dr Lee Moore, who is interested in performance variability under stress. Lee uses eye-tracking technology to explore perceptual-cognitive expertise and the utility of eye movement training to aid the acquisition and refinement of motor skills.

Technology isn't just about gadgets for athletes like Donna; a former British skeleton athlete with 13 years of international competition, including five world championships and a role as reserve athlete at the 2010 Winter Olympics. It's about fostering a winning mindset. With access to specialized tools, Donna confronted challenges like injuries and disappointment head-on while maintaining a positive outlook. Integrating sports psychology techniques, she learned to control outcomes and focus on what she could influence rather than what was beyond her control.

Technology in sports psychology is what Sam Holden is using with innovations like the EBB App. This is opening previously inaccessible resources to a wider spectrum of athletes and sports enthusiasts. Sam transitioned from a career as an athlete, playing academy football at Manchester United, Bristol City, and Rovers, then moving to club football in the US, to now aiding athletes in comprehending and handling pressure. Technology is central to enhancing performance through its transformative influence on mental health support for athletes.

Dr Sage, closed the informative session with asking each panellists their opinion on What future innovations in sports psychology are you most excited about, and what kind of impact do you anticipate they will have?

The panellists agreed that personalised technological support is the way forward as every athlete is unique. Practitioners like Dr Lee Moore emphasise the importance of tailored support, from wearables monitoring daily habits to virtual reality enhancing visualisation techniques. The future of sports technology is all about personalised empowerment.

Donna highlighted how integrating physiological data monitoring with psychological insights, enables athletes to optimise their training routines and performance strategies.

Sam emphasised how striking a balance is very important, he said:

While technology offers unprecedented tools for sports performance enhancement, the human element remains paramount. The integration of sports psychology into coaching practices underscores the need for education and training to maximise its impact.

Dr Sage remarked that as technology continues to evolve, the future of sports performance holds boundless possibilities. She said:

Wearable tech advancements, augmented reality simulations, and AI-driven insights promise to redefine coaching methodologies and enhance athlete cohesion. However, the challenge lies in ensuring that these innovations are not just accessible but also effectively integrated into athlete development programmes.

Ultimately, it's the combination of technological innovation and human expertise that will propel sports performance to new heights, while fostering a culture of inclusivity and continuous improvement. In the ever-evolving landscape of sports psychology and technology, the journey towards excellence is not just about winning medals but also about empowering athletes to unlock their full potential, both on and off the field.