Regent’s University London student and aspiring sports psychologist, Chloe Young, was recently invited to Lord’s Cricket Ground to collect data for her final year dissertation titled Quick feet, sharp brain: how sports influences cognition.
As an athlete herself, Chloe chose to combine her interest in athletic performance with her degree and research into how sports enhances cognitive skills. Chloe was proactive in making contact with Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and was invited to meet with a senior coach at the academy, where she recruited 15 male participants aged between 18 and 23.
“Chloe is fascinated with cognitive psychology, the study of how our minds work and what makes us tick. This, together with her passion for sports, naturally led her to choose a topic for her research project that involved sports people and cognition” commented Chloe’s supervisor Doctor Rosamond Watling.
The study took around 20 minutes to complete and three standardised tests were used; stroop (measure of inhibition), trailmaking (measure of cognitive flexibility) and a vocabulary test (measure of verbal IQ). Chloe compared self-paced and externally paced athletes. Self-paced athletes have full control over their actions whereas the externally paced do not – it is the environment which influences the athlete’s action.
Over the coming weeks, Chloe will be analysing this data, expecting to find differences between the two.
“Cricketers are considered externally paced athletes whilst runners are considered self-paced. I’m expecting to find that externally paced athletes will do better on the trailmaking, while self-paced would do better on the stroop,” she commented.
On completion of her degree, Chloe is taking a year out of education to do various volunteer roles across the world. She has been accepted as a volunteer at the Cricket World Cup in June, as a sports psychology intern in Ghana, a volunteer at the Rugby World Cup in Japan and for a sports psychology internship in St Lucia! After her intensely busy year Chloe hopes to continue with a masters in sports psychology, with dreams of becoming a sports psychologist for Manchester United Football Club.
Dr. Watling added; “I've always known Chloe to be very proactive and she has gone from strength to strength, forging a great working relationship with Marylebone Cricket Club on her own initiative. I have no doubt that she will achieve her future goals.”