This site is for students of Smith College’s ESS 220 – Psychology of Sport – taught by Tim Bacon. You can contact Tim at tbacon@smith.edu or 413-330-8222 (mobile).

The Instructor

Tim Bacon was a member of the Canadian Mental Training Registry (since 1989) – one of a handful of mental training consultants approved to work with Canadian National and Olympic Teams and athletes.  Tim obtained his M.A. in Physical Education (Sport Psychology & Coaching), and completed 10 years of Doctoral study in Sport Psychology at L’Universite de Montreal.

The majority of his consulting has been with Canadian elite racquet sports athletes – more than 30 of them going on to win world championships and even one Olympic Gold Medal. He has also conducted mental training workshops and and written coaching education materials for the Coaching Association of Canada and several American Universities (including Princeton University).

In addition to his sport psychology credentials and experience, Tim has coached the Canadian Jr. Men’s National Squash team, and held provincial, national, and world rankings in squash, tennis and racketlon.  He currently coaches the Smith College Squash team in addition to his Faculty duties at Smith College.

Location & Time

The course this year will be taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 to 2:20 in the ESS Classroom in Ainsworth Gym. Tim’s Office Hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30-3:30 at Ainsworth 110 (off the squash court gallery at the end of the main floor).


No prerequisite but having taken or taking PSY 111 would be extremely useful. A sport background while not essential, will facilitate understanding of the material. Those without a sport background should be prepared to do additional reading.


ESS 220 Fall 2011 Syllabus Updated 11.8.11

Text & Materials

  • Students are responsible for obtaining and viewing films.  There will be an abridged (non-sport psychology “fluff” removed) version made available for download by registered students.  A Netflix membership (or Blockbuster, etc.) is recommended as you will be able to obtain most films in the course.

From the Smith College 2011-12 Catalogue:

An examination of current sport psychology models and theories through a critical examination and analysis of popular sport film. Topics include motivation, team cohesion, leadership, peak performance, anxiety, attention, confidence and psychological skills training. Cultural differences and disability are also addressed. Student performance is evaluated primarily through scholarly writing, oral presentations, and a collaborative writing project. PSY 111 is recommended but is not a prerequisite


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