Dr Hannah Stoyel (Cooper), MSc, CPsychol, HCPC
Founder of Optimise Potential. Hannah is an HCPC registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist and a Chartered member of the British Psychological Society. Beyond her private practice at Optimise Potential, Hannah is also the lead Sport Psychologist for Swim England and the Sport Psychologist for Reading FC Girls' Academy. Hannah is also a British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) registered practitioner.
Hannah uses an integrative approach with an emphasis on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy.
Hannah has a PhD from University College London (UCL) in Clinical Sport Psychology. Her research focusses on disordered eating and eating disorders in athletes. She has a BA in Psychology from Kenyon College in the US, and an MSc in Applied Sport Psychology from St Mary's University Twickenham.
Serena MacLeod, MSc, MBPsS (Current Interim Director)
Serena is a Performance Psychologist, British Psychological Society graduate member and inclusive sport advocate. Her passion for sport psychology stems from her experience playing football at an elite youth level. She has a diploma in Social Work, BSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology, MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology and recently completed the Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology Stage 2.
Serena previously worked within the field of social service work working with the general population in Toronto, Canada. Over the past 3 years, she has pursued her career in sport and exercise psychology and has worked with individual athletes, exercisers, teams and organisations ranging from amateur to professional level. She has worked in a range of sports including football, swimming, athletics, hockey, cycling, lacrosse, rugby, shooting, adaptive BMX, wheelchair racing, esports and VI (visually impaired) tennis. Currently she is a Sport Psychologist for UK Athletics working with athletes on the Youth Development Programme, Academy Psychologist for Reading FC Women's Academy and Esports Mental Performance Coach for City Football.
Her services include one to one consultations with individual athletes and exercisers and educational workshops workshops for local clubs, universities, governing bodies and organisations. The educational workshops are bespoke on various topics including building team cohesion, goal-setting, pre-performance routines and self-confidence. Serena uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help athletes understand the connection between their thoughts, feelings, physiological sensations and behaviours and implements individualised interventions to change their thoughts processes and behaviours. She is also trained in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT).
Louise Byrne, CPsychol, HCPC, MSc
Louise is Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). She has MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the University of Roehampton.
Having grown up immersed in sport and all types of exercise Louise applied her passion to becoming a Performance Psychologist registered with the British Psychological Society, with the aim of helping others help themselves. Her experience within a high performing investments firm allowed her to understand what it takes to become a high achiever and follow through on goals that may seem a little out of reach.
Louise’s clients range from recreational exercisers to elite athletes including those that want to achieve something they have not done yet. Her past work has involved sessions with triathletes and novice marathon runners from the very beginning of their journey. Being an avid runner herself she knows the perseverance and strength it often takes to go beyond and accomplish what seems impossible.
Being involved in sporting and business organisations gives her the opportunity to apply transferable knowledge across both environments. Her aim for those involved is to foster a new progressive perspective enabling positive change in results.
Her driving force behind her practice is evident throughout her work; providing people the opportunity to learn how to help themselves, with an open and direct practitioner supporting their progress. Fulfilling one's abilities and maintaining momentum for change is the core of her work, aiming to enable positive growth and development.
Based in London but offering online sessions means she has a wide base to work from.
Alex Stoyel, MSc
Alex has an MSc in Psychology from the University of Westminster and MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the University of Roehampton. Alex is currently pursuing a Professional Doctorate at the University of Portsmouth. Alex's expertise and research interest is on choking under pressure.
Alex has worked with private clients as well as with Swim England and England Touch Rugby.
After a career in management consultancy, Alex is excited to embark on a new career that will use his problem-solving skills to help individuals rather than corporations.
As a former high-level swimmer, sport is a passion for Alex. He is keen to learn more about the careers of those in sports and sports science: "From my own experience, I know that an athlete’s performance is built of multiple components, with help of numerous individuals. As such, I keen to understand not just the mental side of performance, but a more holistic view of sport science that includes elements of physiotherapy, nutrition and coaching."
Hannah Winter, MSc, MBPsS
Hannah is a performance psychologist registered with the British Psychological Society. Hannah’s clients range from recreational exercisers of all abilities to elite athletes and teams, parents, personal trainers, clubs and coaches delivering both 1-1 sessions and group workshops. She has experience working with clients across a range of sports including tennis, football, swimming, cycling, running, triathlon, rowing, netball, fencing, skiing and rugby.
Hannah places a significant emphasis on building strong relationships with her clients. She works collaboratively with her clients using a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) approach focusing on exploring thoughts, feelings and behaviours, learning new skills and building on strengths.
Hannah says - "I am passionate about the wellbeing of my clients. Often sport psychology is perceived as only focusing on performance or that it is there for people when something is wrong and an issue needs to be dealt with. However, really it is about helping things to be as good as possible for people. Working in sport psychology I am often working with people who are trying to do something really challenging. My role is to help individuals navigate those challenges."
Hannah’s sport is triathlon where she has competed in both half and full Ironman. Through her own sporting challenges, Hannah has seen the power of developing the right mindset in the pursuit of achieving goals, personal development and improving wellbeing.
Hannah is currently splitting her time between London, UK and Vancouver, Canada. She currently has availability for virtual sessions in the afternoons/evenings for clients based in the UK on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Aneeka Hopkin MSc, MBPsS, PGCert
Aneeka is a Sport & Exercise Psychologist in Training registered with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences and a graduate member of the British Psychological Society. Her passion for sport psychology stems from a background in swimming and athletics, alongside a keen interest in psychology. As a Grenadian who has lived in Canada and the UK, Aneeka has a multicultural sporting perspective. She has worked locally and internationally with individuals, teams, and organisations from several sports, including Olympic athletes.
Aneeka uses an Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) approach, which emphasizes increasing psychological flexibility, mindfulness, and values-based actions to enhance performance and well-being. Her practice philosophy is also centred around working collaboratively with clients. She believes that taking her clients’ unique strengths and experiences into account is vital to helping them achieve their goals.
Aneeka has a BSc in Psychology from the University of Toronto, an MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Brunel University London, and a PGCert in Counselling Psychology from City, University of London.
Edgar is an aspiring sport psychologist based in Kampala, Uganda. He is being mentored by Hannah Stoyel and Serena MacLeod as part of a partnership with equitysport. Edgar is currently working with Cricket Uganda.
Optimise Potential makes trusted referrals to the following professionals:
Jasmine Campbell: Sport and Exercise Nutritionist
Jasmine is a Sport & Exercise Nutritionist Practitioner Registrant with the Sport and Exercise Nutrition register (SENr) and Member of the British Association of Sport & Exercise Science and completed Supervised Experience in Physiology & Nutrition. Jasmine has experience working with all ages and abilities from recreational to elite athletes. Currently she is working in swimming, rowing, football and motorsport, but works with any type of athlete. Jasmine is also undertaking a Professional Doctorate at Liverpool John Moores University.
Andrew Shepherd: Sport and Exercise Nutritionist
Andrew is a Sport and Exercise Nutritionist Practitioner Registrant with the Sport and Exercise Nutrition register (SENr). Andrew works with athletes, parents and coaches of all ages to address day to day issues faced nutrition in training, competition and times of illness and injury. Andrew has supported Amateur, Junior, World, Olympic, Para-Olympic and Commonwealth Games athletes.
*Please note that Optimise Potential does not currently have any vacancies for work experience or internships