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Sport & Thought

Sport & Thought is a specialist model of group psychotherapy for adolescents that uses football as a way of engaging young people who find it difficult to engage in traditional talking therapy.

The model helps young people who struggle to regulate their emotions, who are finding it difficult to secure a foothold in school, and those who live in deprived areas impacted by crime and may be vulnerable to exploitation.

How it works

Players complete a series of drills that link to the emotional demands of classroom learning and socializing, where the group have to work together with restrictions on touches, space or speed. Sport & Thought creates a safe place for young people to build reflective capacities and think differently about their behaviour, allowing for improvements in their relationships, focus and resilience.

Feedback from a Sport & Thought link worker

‘Sport & Thought has brought significant benefits to a range of boys. In two cases, a thorough transformation has occurred where they have struck friendships with peers who previously had not been able to build friendships of any kind. There has been a reduction in negative behaviours in lessons for a number of pupils, and in one case a vast improvement enabling the student to have no detentions since the group formed. When I see the boys in class it is extremely noticeable how they are starting to listen more to both their teachers and peers. The pupils have been committed to the group and are excited to come along and enjoy the sessions.’