From education to employment

Premier League sport psychologist returns to Leeds Trinity for first-ever Psychology Week

Leeds Trinity University (@LeedsTrinity) alumni Dr Mark Nesti, a sport psychologist who has worked with several Premier League football clubs, was one of the guests to speak at the University’s inaugural Psychology Week.

Psychology Week, organised collaboratively by colleagues from the School of Psychology, ran at the Main Campus in Horsforth from Monday 12 to Thursday 15 February. Students heard from a range of speakers established in the field of psychology including Dr Nesti, who has worked with teams such as Chelsea, Newcastle United and Everton. Outside of football, he has worked with Yorkshire County Cricket club, and at the top level of golf and tennis.

During his talk, Dr Nesti also recounted his journey from Leeds Trinity to the Premier League, having studied Human Movement at Leeds Trinity between 1983 and 1987.

Dr Mark Nesti said:

“After almost 40 years, it was a great joy to be back at Leeds Trinity University – or as I remember it, Trinity and All Saints College – to deliver a talk on my career in psychology and sport. It was nice to reflect on the journey I have been on, and I hope my story and the topics I covered provided inspiration and encouragement to the students in attendance. Having been in their position, I am proof that hard work and perseverance can lead to amazing opportunities and a career to be proud of.

“The academic grounding I had during four years at Leeds Trinity helped greatly throughout my postgraduate studies but, maybe more importantly, the vocational orientation and the emphasis on critical thinking was instrumental in preparing me for work as an applied sport psychologist at first team levels. I am sure the current students receive the same excellent preparation to enter the industry, and I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours.”

The week featured an exciting programme that shared stories from the careers and lives of the guest speakers. Areas such as clinical psychology, forensic psychology, sport psychology, and mental health and wellbeing were covered through talks, Q&As, film screenings and theatre performances.

Highlights included the Mental Health Museum, who explored themes such as changing treatments and the growth of the patient voice by showing students samples of their collection, and Men’s Talk, where students watched a 40-minute theatre performance about mental health experiences and recovery, performed by individuals with lived experience of the topics addressed.

Students also had the opportunity to attend career-building talks and workshops to support them with their own journeys. The University’s Employer Partnerships team arranged for officers and staff from West Yorkshire Police’s Digital Forensic Unit to give an insight into the specific skills they look for when hiring. Students also heard from IBM (International Business Machines), a company using technology and services to help clients solve business problems. They explored Skills Build, a free online platform providing skills-based learning and support. A Psychology Careers event was also part of the programme, informing students of opportunities available to them through employers and postgraduate study at Leeds Trinity.

Chris Rowley, Deputy Head of the School of Psychology at Leeds Trinity University, said:

“Our guest speakers delivered some brilliant sessions that helped showcase the type of career opportunities that are out there for psychology students to consider. From the feedback received, I know students are feeling further motivation to pursue their goals after hearing from professionals, some of whom started their journeys at Leeds Trinity.”

Michelle Dalton, Deputy Head of the School of Psychology at Leeds Trinity University, said:

“We are really pleased with how our first Psychology Week turned out after a lot of planning and thought had gone into creating a programme that would be of value to our students. I would like to offer a big well done and thank you to the team that worked on making Psychology Week a success. I am already looking forward to planning for 2025.”

To find out more about studying Psychology at Leeds Trinity University, visit the website.

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