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Dr Nichola Kentzer

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer in Sport, Exercise and Coaching
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
  • Childhood, Youth and Sport
  • n.j.kentzer

Professional biography

Dr Nichola Kentzer is a Lecturer in Sport, Exercise and Coaching at the Open University. Before starting as a full time academic at the university, she worked as an Associate Lecturer at the OU from 2010. Prior to moving full time to the OU, she worked as a higher education (HE) lecturer in sport and exercise science/psychology and teacher education for almost 10 years.

Nichola’s specialist area is sport psychology. She is a British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) accredited and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered Sport Psychologist and has provided sport psychology support to a wide range of performers.

Despite her professional qualifications and accreditations in sport psychology, Nichola completed her PhD in education, more specifically examining the experiences of in-service trainee teachers in further education with a focus on mentoring.

Research interests

Nichola’s research interests centre around professional and personal development of students/trainees and staff, both in education and sport psychology/sport science.  

Some of her more recent academic publications are:

Sport psychology/coaching:

Huntley, E. & Kentzer, N. (2013) Group-based reflective practice in sport psychology: experiences of two trainee sport and exercise scientists. Sport & Exercise Psychology Review. 9(2), pp.57-67

Huntley, E. & Kentzer, N. (2019) Sport, psychology and Christianity: the importance of reflective practice. In B. Hemmings, N. Watson & A. Parker (Eds) Sport, Psychology and Christianity: Welface, Performance and Consultancy. London: Routledge


Walker, N, Kentzer, N., Collins, R. & Katz, J. (2014) Using animation software to teach applied sport psychology to undergraduate students (Poster) 29th Annual Conference Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), Las Vegas, USA.

Phelan, S., Kentzer, N. & Lusted, J. (2017) Inclusive practice in coaching: A Q methodology study. 33rd Annual Conference for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity, Glasgow, United Kingdom, 7-9th September, 2017


Kentzer, N. Bracey, P. & Devecchi, C. (2019) Using activity theory and Q methodology to examine the experiences of in service trainee teachers in the English Further Education Sector. Research in Post Compulsory Education and Training (Published in the Autumn, details to be updated)

Kentzer, N., Dudeney, J. & Lord, J. (in press) Mental health and wellbeing. In J. Tummons (Ed) The Post Compulsory Education and Training Book. London: Sage/Learning Matters


Kentzer, N. (2017) Mentors perceptions of their trainee’s journey in English Further Education (FE): A Q methodology study. (Poster). 33rd Annual Conference for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity, Glasgow, United Kingdom, 7-9th September, 2017

Kentzer, N. & Berry, A. (2019) The importance of mental health and wellbeing to doctoral students on their PhD journey: A Q methodology study. British Educational Research Association Special Interest Group Conference, London, United Kingdom, 12th July 2019


Teaching interests

Nichola was involved as a Critical Reviewer in the production of E235.

Current teaching roles:

·        E233 Sport and exercise psychology: a case study approach

·        E313 Exploring psychological aspects of athletic development

Module Chair for E235 (presentation) from 2019/20

External collaborations

Alongside her OU role, Nichola is an applied sport psychologist currently working mainly with equestrian athletes. She has been the team sport psychologist for Team GBR Pony Driving Team and Team GBR Para-Driving Team for approximately 10 years and prepares the drivers and the wider support team for their bi-annual World Championship, travels with the teams and supports the post event review process.


Sport, Psychology and Christianity: The Importance of Reflective Practice (2019)
Huntley, Emma and Kentzer, Nichola
In: Hemmings, Brian; Watson, Nick J. and Parker, Andrew eds. Sport, Psychology and Christianity: Welfare, Performance and Consultancy. Routledge Research in Sport, Culture and Society (pp. 171-190)
ISBN : 9781351165488 | Publisher : Routledge


New nursing apprenticeship to boost healthcare in prisons

A new nursing apprenticeship is set to boost healthcare in prisons and support healthcare assistants to carve out careers in one of the most challenging and rewarding sectors of healthcare.

12th September 2019
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