WKU senior aspires to work with high performance athletes
- Lauren Weitlauf
- Friday, November 6th, 2020
Western Kentucky University senior Phillip Nguyen has dedicated his undergraduate career to studying the cognitive processing associated with high-performance athletics and exercise. A senior from Bowling Green, Nguyen is a Sport Psychology major, a recently-added Psychology concentration which introduces students to the research and theory of exercise psychology.
“Sport psychologists typically fall within three categories: teaching, research and practice. If you are interested in working with athletes or non-athletes by consulting, then looking into the clinical or counseling fields could be for you; this can vary from fitness consultant to lifestyle coach,” Nguyen said. “The primary goal of a sport psychologist is to facilitate optimal performance, involvement, and enjoyment.”
Nguyen shared that sports played an important role in his early development. From the age of ten, Nguyen participated in football and basketball and learned many key skills such as team-work and leadership. These lessons and memories inspired him to pursue working with like-minded individuals as a career.
“Someday, my goal is to gain the expertise and connections to work with a national team,” Nguyen said. “I would really like to be able to work with an Olympic athlete, but anyone who is willing to allow me to help them better themselves is whom I look forward to working with!”
Currently, Nguyen is a member of the CEBS Ambassador program, the WKU Psychology Club, the National Honor Society and is also a recipient of the Cornelius A. Martin scholarship. In his free time, he enjoys exploring new types of exercise such as hot yoga, weightlifting, mountain biking, and running. To further strengthen his competitive spirit, he enjoys building computers specifically for gaming. Moving forward, Nguyen intends to pursue a doctoral degree in counseling psychology with the goal of working with the general population, or a sports team.
WKU’s Sport Psychology concentration helps students explore how psychology and exercise intersect. Students who enter into the program can anticipate a fulfilling curriculum geared towards careers in performance enhancement consulting, psychology, occupational or physical therapy, athletic training, or coaching. Sport Psychologists have also gained popularity among first responders to help combat the high-intensity aspects of their daily professional lives.
For those looking for more information on the program, please contact Dr. Steven Wininger at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.wku.edu/psychology/programs/undergraduate/concentrationsport.php.