Youth Development Phase Sport Psychologist

  • Wolverhampton Wanderers FC
  • Wolverhampton, UK
  • 24 May, 2024
Full time Academy

Job Description

We are Wolves. Progressive, determined, bright, unified and humble. A pack that is hungry for success. Wolves is one of the fastest growing professional football clubs in the UK, and also boasts one of the richest histories in the beautiful game.

Formed in 1877, Wolves was a founder member of the Football League, and was one of the country’s most successful sides in the fifties and sixties. During a two decade spell the Black Country’s most decorated side won three First Division titles and one of its four FA Cups.

Fast forward 70 years and Wolves are back amongst football’s elite. In the past six years we have celebrated promotion to the Premier League, back-to-back 7th placed finishes and a Europa League quarter-final campaign. Now, we will be competing in the Premier League for a sixth successive season.

 

But this post is not about what we have done, but what we will achieve next.

 

We take seriously our commitment to the safeguarding of children and adults at risk and to ensuring that Wolves is free from discrimination and harassment.

 

Job purpose

Wolves are recruiting for a Youth Development Phase Psychologist working within the Academy, as a fully integrated member of the support team. The fulltime role will require a practitioner to become immersed in the programme, applying psychological principles, promoting Wolves values, and working closely with players, coaches, support staff and parents. This full-time psychology role within the YDP aims to further enable staff and players to maximise performance and enhance wellbeing.

Key responsibilities

Support understanding of the psychological needs of players and inform targeted interventions:

  • Work with YDP coaches, and multi-disciplinary staff to identify and enhance understanding of the psychological needs of prioritised players.
  • Through comprehensive assessment and formulation generate a shared understanding and a co-ordinated approach to prioritised players development.

Targeted group workshops (based on identified needs):

  • To provide relevant education for academy coaches and multi-disciplinary staff on the Wolves psychological characteristics (Drive, Openness, Regulation).
  • Establish and deliver a parent-engagement programme. 

Helping players understand what helps them perform well:

  • Provide a variety of psychological workshops to YDP players throughout the season to support their understanding and development of the Wolves Psychology Characteristics (Drive, Openness, Regulation).
  • Offer 1:1 direct performance support for YDP players where appropriate (and in line with identified priority players).

Integrating psychology into training, matches, and tournaments:

  • Travel to matches and with the YDP teams on away tours.
  • To observe, facilitate staff and player reflections, and support the implementation of psychological training interventions.

Responding safely and appropriately to the wellbeing needs of players:

  • To contribute to and support the wellbeing forums and refer cases for clinical psychology support where appropriate.
  • Work closely with the Player Care team, Safeguarding, and the academy Clinical Psychologist, to educate the system and support player’s wellbeing.

 

General responsibilities

  • Compliance with Club policies
  • Compliance with the Club’s health and safety procedures
  • Compliance with the Club’s safeguarding policies
  • To promote the Club’s values of progressive, humble, determined, bright and unified
  • To work consistently to embed equality & diversity into the Club
  • To undertake such other duties as may be reasonably expected
  • To maintain professional conduct at all times

Safeguarding

This role carries a specific safeguarding responsibility. This means that the post-holder is required to apply all relevant policies and uphold the Club’s commitment to safeguarding vulnerable people. 

Key relationships

  • Head of Academy Performance & Medicine
  • Head of High Performance
  • Academy Manager – Operations
  • Head of Psychology
  • Head of Coaching & Development Youth Phase

Scope of job

The full-time Youth Development Phase Sport Psychologist work within the YDP aims to work closely with players, coaches, support staff and parents, apply psychological principles and further enable staff and players to maximise performance and enhance wellbeing.

Person Specification

Knowledge: the level and breadth of knowledge to do the job e.g. understanding of a defined system, method or procedure, legal or regulatory frameworks etc

Essential  

  • Understanding of how to work safely with children and/or vulnerable adults and uphold generally accepted practice when working with those participants.
  • Understanding of the psychological needs of youth football players.

Technical/work-based skills: skills specific to the job e.g. language competence, typing skills, coaching skills etc

Essential

  • Ability to work under pressure and willing to work unsociable hours to meet deadlines.
  • Open to learning and dedicated to self-improvement and personal development. Reflective and able to demonstrate appropriate self-care and emotional regulation skills.

General skills and attributes: more general characteristics e.g. flexibility, communication skills, team working etc

Essential

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, the ability to connect and build relationships with staff and players is crucial.
  • Ability to work within a team of psychologists to support the delivery of the broader Academy Psychology Programme, provide transition support between the YDP and PDP phases, and work closely with the Head of Psychology to ensure a one Club approach.
  • Promote, adhere to and implement the Club’s Equality Policy and to work consistently to embed equality and diversity within Club.

Desirable

  • Organised, methodical and logical approach to work.
  • Creative presentation skills and experience of presentation delivery.

Experience: proven record of experience in a particular field, profession or specialism.

Essential

  • Experience of working with adolescents in an elite sporting context.
  • Evidence of impactful 1:1 psychology support AND / OR delivery of psych-education to a relevant population.
  • Evidence of working with and through coaches / support staff in the delivery of psychology.

 

Desirable

  • Working with children and/or vulnerable adults
  • Experience of delivering / co-delivering team formulations in a sport context
  • Experience working in Academy or Senior Football, ideally within the Youth Development Phase.

Qualifications: the level of educational, professional and/or occupational training required

Essential

  • Post graduate degree in Psychology or Sport Psychology.
  • BPS chartered, HCPC registered Sport Psychologist.
  • Fully enhanced DBS Check and up to date Child Protection Certificate.

Desirable

  • Post-holder must hold or obtain at the earliest opportunity the relevant safeguarding training (i.e. FA Safeguarding Children Workshop)
  • Post-holder will be subject to a DBS check at the appropriate level and cleared by the Wolves Safeguarding Manager