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THE TEAM

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Dr Hannah Stoyel (Cooper), MSc, CPsychol, HCPC

Founder and Director 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 a Sport Psychologist for the UK Institute of Sport (formerly the EIS) working with British Diving. Hannah also works across aquatic sport working for many years as the also lead Sport Psychologist for Swim England's talent pathway and currently works with World Class Programme swimmers as a consultant for British Swimming. 

Hannah also has experience in football having previously worked as the Sport Psychologist for League 1's Oxford United Men's first team and with Reading FC Academy. 

Hannah is a British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) registered practitioner. 

Hannah uses an integrative approach with an emphasis on Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Solution Focussed Therapy, and Compassion Focussed Therapy. 

Hannah has a PhD from University College London (UCL) in Clinical Sport Psychology. Her PhD research focussed 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. 

Hannah is also a BASES Supervisor. 

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Aneeka Hopkin MSc, GMBPsS, 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, ranging from recreational to the Olympic level.       

 

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 also has a special interest in disordered eating and has undertaken additional training and supervision to support this niche concern. She helps athletes and exercisers navigate challenging relationships with food/exercise with the aim of helping clients achieve increased food/exercise flexibility.        

 

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.

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Louise Byrne, CPsychol, HCPC, MSc

As an accredited Sport and Exercise Psychologist, Louise works with a range of athletes from recreational exercisers to Olympic athletes. She has a keen interest in elite sporting organisations and is currently the Sport Psychologist for the professional women’s cricket team, South East Stars. Louise also works as a Psychologist for a Premier League football team, working with the first team coaching staff and multi-disciplinary team. Being embedded within these high-performance environments allows her to apply her knowledge and to develop an understanding of what it takes to enhance a player or athletes output on the pitch. 

 

Her aim is to improve performance and support positive mental well-being, taking into consideration the context in which the athlete is playing within. Louise uses a holistic approach during her work and ensures the techniques and strategies prescribed are appropriate for that individual. In depth analysis and evaluation is used throughout sessions ensuring a robust and bespoke process is set in place to best support the athlete. 

 

Louise has worked within academia as a Lecturer and assessor and has extensive research knowledge within the application of Sport Psychology during injury, how to support team cohesion, and developing secure confidence. 

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Nicole Smith, MSc, GMBPsS

Nicole is a Sport and Exercise Psychologist in Training, currently completing my accreditation with British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. Her initial insight and passion for developing athletic performance and wellbeing through sport psychology was during her own athletic journey as an acrobatic gymnast. Since then, Nicole has worked with a variety of athletes, coaches, parents, and wider populations, ranging from youth performance athletes to elite athletes and coaches that are part of National squads and pathways.

 

Nicole’s primary aim is to help clients generate a greater sense of self-awareness, where together they can develop their skill set to manage challenges throughout their journey to ultimately support them in their efforts of goal attainment. Her practice has been delivered in both a 1-2-1 capacity developing specific individual needs, integrating sport psychology support into training and competition/performance environments, and group workshops. Nicole is passionate about providing proactive support, whereby clients develop their psychological resiliency and skills throughout their athletic careers so that when difficulties or setbacks arise, they are better equipped to handle them.

 

Nicole’s practice is grounded upon utilising a humanistic approach, whereby she works to understand the person she is working with as opposed to looking at them solely as an athlete or coach. By doing so she appreciates each individual’s uniqueness, and the impact of external sporting factors that may influence performance. From here Nicole utilises an integrated approach between Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) to help athletes better connect with and manage their thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

 

Nicole obtained her MSc in Psychology of Sport from the University of Stirling and has been completing my accreditation with BASES ever since.

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Alex Stoyel, MSc, GMBPsS

Alex is a Sport and Exercise Psychologist in Training. He is currently pursuing a Professional Doctorate at the University of Portsmouth. His doctoral research focuses on pressure and under-performance with a specific interest in the phenomenon of “choking” under pressure. Alex has an MSc in Psychology from the University of Westminster and MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the University of Roehampton. 

 

As the lead Sport Psychology practitioner for Swim England, Alex oversees the provision of psychological support across the talent pathway. He also works with the LTA’s wheelchair tennis pathway, Oxford University and Imperial College. Alex has also worked with a wide range of individuals and sports from dedicated pre-teen athletes, to recreational amateurs, to professional athletes.

 

Alex is available for one-to-one sessions and for workshops aimed at teams and organisations. Alex also delivers corporate performance psychology in which leverages his decade of experience in management consultancy to provide actionable and relevant psychological support at both an organisational and individual level. 

 

Alex offers a welcoming and collaborative practice style based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), although he is also trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). ACT is a practical, evidence-based methodology designed to give clients the tools they need to define and achieve their goals.

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Joanna Train MSc, GMBPsS

Joanna is a sport and exercise psychologist in training, registered with the British Psychological Society. After completing a conversion psychology masters, Joanna was motivated to specialise in the field of sport psychology and pursued her master’s degree in sport and exercise psychology at Loughborough university.

From a young age, Joanna’s involvement in paddle sport ignited a keen interest in this discipline. Currently, she supports a range of athletes in kayaking and canoeing from junior athletes and their parents to elite athletes and their coaches. Joanna employs a cognitive-behavioural approach, tailoring interventions to meet the unique needs and goals of each individual, while integrating various evidence-based techniques such as mindfulness, cognitive reframing, visualisation and development of effective pre-performance routines.

Joanna’s experience extends to supporting a diverse range of individuals to increase their exercise behaviours and overall wellbeing, through understanding behavioural change and development of positive habits. In her spare time, Joanna enjoys staying active through open water swimming, yoga and hiking and shares this passion through her work, believing that everyone can be involved in sport and exercise whatever their ability or background.

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Serena MacLeod, MSc, CPsychol, HCPC

Serena is a HCPC registered, Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist (CPsychol) and Mental Performance Consultant (MPC). She prides herself in being an inclusive sport advocate working with individuals of all abilities. She pursued her career as a Sport and Exercise Psychologist due to her experiences as an elite footballer including a severe knee injury (and fear of re-injury) and pre-competition anxiety. She has a diploma in Social Work, BSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology, MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology, Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology Stage 2 through the British Psychological Society and is also a qualified Mental Performance Consultant through the Canadian Sport Psychology Association.

Serena has worked with individual athletes, exercisers, coaches, teams and organisations ranging from amateur to professional level. She has worked in a range of sports including football, swimming, VI (visually impaired) swimming, athletics, field hockey, ice hockey, golf, cycling, lacrosse, rugby, baseball, fencing, shooting, volleyball, adaptive BMX, wheelchair racing, esports (FIFA, Fortnite, League of Legends) and VI tennis. Currently she is a Sport Psychologist for Manchester City FC (Esports), Lead Sport Psychologist at Imperial College and UK Athletics. Previously, she worked for Reading FC Academy, Oxford University, Swim England, Hayes Hawks BMX Club and England Touch Rugby. Serena is also a part-time lecturer.

Serena’s services include virtual one-to-one sessions with individual athletes, coaches, and exercisers. She also delivers bespoke educational workshops for amateur to professional clubs, universities, governing bodies, and organisations. Serena uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help athletes understand the connection between their thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and behaviours. She is also trained in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT).

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Hannah Winter, MSc, GMBPsS

Hannah is a Sport and Exercise Psychologist in Training 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 also provides exercise psychology support, helping people with long-term, sustainable lifestyle change and works with personal trainers to educate them on the psychology of behaviour change. 

Hannah places a significant emphasis on building strong relationships with her clients. She works collaboratively, using cognitive behavioural theories to tailor her work to each unique client. 

 

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. 

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Edgar Kazibwe

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

www.JasmineCampbell.com

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. 

Jenaed Brodell: Sport Dietitian

*Please note that Optimise Potential does not currently have any vacancies for work experience or internships 

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