University of Technology Sydney

96313 Performance and Culture in High Performance Sport

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2023 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject examines the role of performance and culture in high performance sport and builds on principles from relevant preceding undergraduate subjects. It is designed for recent graduates rather than those currently working in high performance sport.

Content focuses on developing a strong understanding of responsibilities and issues with reference to effective communication in athletic settings and environments. Students will learn to do a thorough critique of relationships and practitioner effectiveness in a variety of sporting groups. They will also practice building effective work environments and develop innovative training principles through the use of key sport science concepts and mission-focused lesson planning. The subject has a strong focus on preparing practitioners with relevant skills that can be utilized in the fields of exercise science, exercise physiology and strength conditioning. These skills can then be further developed during professional placements in latter stages within the Master of High Performance Sport course.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Design innovative programs for high-performance athletes in a variety of sports and settings.
B. Select optimal work engagement strategies and solve critical problems in high performance sport.
C. Communicate effectively with respect and adapt to a variety of cultures (including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) in a multidisciplinary workplace.
D. Demonstrate basic performance attributes and teach them to others.
E. Analyse and evaluate principles for safe and effective practice to improve performance and reduce risk in a sports setting by adopting a critically reflective and self-aware accountability for managing service-oriented, efficient sport organisation processes and structures.
F. Formulate specific development goals and objectives to improve performance for both individuals and groups within multidisciplinary sports settings, including ongoing feedback on observable and/or measurable performance outcomes.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Adapt to an extensive array of stakeholder circumstances and integrate evidence to empower optimal and sustainable sport, exercise and health outcomes for service users. (1.2)
  • Critically appraise, assess and synthesise evidence relevant to high performance sport practice from an extensive range of sources to develop creative, innovative and effective evidence-based solutions. (2.1)
  • Demonstrate expert judgement, legal responsibility and ethical accountability to practise within the ethical boundaries of high performance sport professions and in accordance with professional practice, governance and privacy obligations to uphold ethical practice and the values of sporting excellence, fairness and athlete safety and wellbeing. (3.1)
  • Expertly communicate with key stakeholders and adapt to challenging, complex and diverse industry contexts to create positive and professional relationships in a high performance sport environment. (5.2)
  • Practise sensitively and to communicate effectively with a diverse range of stakeholders in diverse social and cultural settings, and in particular Australian Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing. (6.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject incorporates a range of learning activities to engage students. Three online modules will form the basis of the majority of the subject, with the addition of a end of session workshop and a practical viva exam.

The subject content will be delivered in the online platform Canvas. In order to be prepared for the planned collaborative activities and to keep on top the subject workload, students are encouraged to engage with the content on at least a weekly basis. Content will remain available past the specific delivery week, however students will get more out of the subject if they work consistently on a week-to-week basis rather than leaving it all to the end of the session. Specifically, online activities will focus on understanding high performance sport environments, characteristics of good culture, methods and expectations when integrating, operating and succeeding in high performance environments. Roles and responsibilities of an intern, ways to effect behaviour change, and increasing capability across performance outcomes will also be examined. These activities will require collaboration with others, preparation work and various interactive mediums (e.g. Zoom).

Tutorial activities will be interactive and maximise student engagement through novel approaches that complement all other materials. Students will be exposed to various workshops, and they will also complete a practical viva exam. Indeed, a major component of the assessment for the subject is the practical viva exam. In this authentic assessment item, each student will be presented with an individual case study that requires the student to answer various questions from the examiner, and demonstrate various practical skills that have been developed throughout the session.

Feedback will be provided to students throughout the session via several mediums. Each week students will complete pre-learning tasks and peer feedback will be central to the review of this content in the module activities. The subject coordinator will also provide feedback and discussion about these formative tasks where appropriate and will also lead debriefing discussions within online forums on Canvas. The tutorial activities and these forums provide the opportunity for students to receive low stakes feedback. There will be a high concentration of low-stakes feedback in the early weeks of the Session to enable students to understand the foundation concepts of the subject, and equip them with the knowledge and confidence to approach the more complex cases covered in the second half of the Session. The assessment items will be marked using a rubric which will be provided to students, along with written feedback about their work.

Content (topics)

Module 1: Relationships, engagement, workplace cohesion

  • Welcome and introduction to the subject
  • Understanding high performance culture, current issues, trust, relationships and workplace cohesion
  • The student and practitioner landscape - roles of practitioners, coaches and players
  • Lessons learned from successful teams and businesses; collaboration and communication techniques and team cohesion
  • Realities of working in high performance sport; wellness, work life balance, mental health, scheduling and creating routines.

Module 2: High performance roles and cultural expectations

  • Integrating and succeeding in multiple high performance sport environments with guest sport science content including cohesion and integration of staff
  • Nutrition assistance and integration, practitioner roles and guest industry content
  • Rehabilitation and integration with injury departments, practitioner roles and guest industry content
  • Strength and conditioning and integration with these departments, practitioner roles and guest industry content

Module 3: Behaviour change and leadership

  • Models of behavior change theory and leadership; including case studies
  • Working with all cultures including but not limited to indigenous populations, children, times and events (e.g. Ramadan)
  • Revision activities to help prepare students for seminar week, summaries session


Assessment task 1: Online discussion forums


The intent of this assessment is for students to contribute to 6 weekly online discussion forums (5% each) throughout the session. These activities will allow them to reflect on their own experiences as well as learn from others.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B and D

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

2.1 and 5.2

Weight: 30%

250 words max (each post)

Assessment task 2: Virtual reality practitioner-coach simulation


There a number of tutorial activities throughout the session where interactive scenarios will be undertaken as a learning method, and these will equip students with an understanding of the kind of activities undertaken during a typical coach-practitioner scenario. Specifically, students will be exposed to a range of tutorial activities within the VR simulation where they will interact and choose their journey in a number of conversations with a coach. Following this activity, a self-reflective report will be completed and marked by the subject coordinator.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

2.1 and 3.1

Weight: 30%

2400 words (800 words per scenario) or video (5-7 min per scenario).

Assessment task 3: Practical viva exam


The intent of this assessment is for students to utilise the skills learnt in the subject and apply them to a practical scenario.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.2, 2.1, 3.1, 5.2 and 6.1

Weight: 40%

20 minutes via Zoom

Required texts

There are no required textbooks for this subject

All additional readings, other than text books, will be available via links from within Canvas.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website ( and Canvas at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.

The Accessibility and Financial Assistance Service
The Accessibility Service can support students with disabilities, medical or mental health conditions, including temporary injuries (e.g., broken limbs). The Accessibility Service works with Academic Liaison Officers in each Faculty to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ such as exam provisions, assistive technology, requests and strategies for managing your studies alongside your health condition. If you’re unsure whether you need assistance, we recommend getting in touch early and we can provide advice on how our service can assist you. Make an appointment with an Accessibility Consultant (AC) on +61 2 9514 1177 or

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