On the face of it, sport and science do not seem to relate to one another yet it there is a lot of science behind the former. Successful sport teams and individuals, whether in cricket, rugby, soccer and tennis, to mention a few, invest a lot in sport psychology experts.
The field is quite involved as it requires a combination of training in both medicine and psychology and also incorporates the science of physiology, kinesiology and biomechanics. Sport psychologist do not just assists athletes deal with physical aspects but also helps address mental issues that may hamper the performance one’s performance.
A member of top professional bodies
Dr Koketjo Tsebe is one such sport psychologist genius who has not only made a name for herself but has also received several awards for her contribution in sport in the country and rural communities. Currently, Dr Tsebe is a lecturer at the department of psychology in the college of human sciences at Unisa. She obtained her PhD degree at a young age of 30 and her success has enormously promoted and raised the profile of the profession particularly among the youth. She also serves on the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC)’s High Performance Psychology Working Group. Dr Tsebe is a practising clinical psychologist registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).
Dr Tsebe, who hails from Limpopo, is involved in teaching the sport psychology module and also supervises Master’s students pursuing research in sport psychology. In addition, she is also very involved in teaching the Master’s qualifications modules such as psychology assessment, neuropsychology, family and relationship. She also worked for a number of institutions, as a DST-NRF intern, and these helped built her experience. The organisations include 1 Millitaty Hospital, Steve Biko Academic Hospital, South African Police Services and Tshwane Rehabilitation Centre.
Currently, DTsebe is involved in two high profile research projects, the first one is a study titled “Psychosocial experiences of athletes living with disabilities in South Africa”. The other collaborative research study she is involved in is titled “The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health and psychological well-being of South African athletes”.
Credits and recognitions
Furthermore, she is also a psychologist for the softball national team and as part of her community work she provides psychological support to tertiary students in her home province of Limpopo. Some of the prestigious accolades that Dr Tsebe received include:
- recently being featured in the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young People which honours and celebrate young and innovative young South Africans and
- being shortlisted as a finalist for the 2021 Momentum gsport Award special recognition award, which is conferred to individuals who go beyond the call of duty.
In her view, Dr Tsebe believes these awards and recognitions “serve as confirmation that, as a young scholar who is passionate about sport psychology, I am on the right track. It encourages me to continue working hard and contribute to the scholarship of sports and mental health, which is a niche area in South Africa. I take great pride in receiving recognition of this magnitude”. She passionately supports the involvement of young South Africa women in sport focusing particularly on the young girls in rural communities.