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  • Name: Nadesja Fijn 
  • Age: 27 years old  
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at the University Utrecht. 

Why did you choose this Master’s track?  

I have always been interested in both the mental and physical well-being of humans. I spent most of my childhood and adolescence in gymnastics halls, and after that I became a gymnastics coach, as well as a personal trainer.

While studying Psychology, I learned more about the human mind and realised more and more that sports performance is as much a mental process, as it is a physical process. Therefore, I decided to combine my passions; mental well-being, sports and performance.  

Why at the UvA?  

The Master’s track is unique and it is not offered at many universities. My preference went to the UvA immediately, as this track focuses a lot on developing tools to help athletes and performers in the real world, instead of only focusing on research. Also, the track is not only about performance in sports, but also about performance in other areas. This makes the knowledge and skills you develop more widely applicable.  

What should students consider? 

The Masters’ track is fairly small compared to other Masters. I definitely prefer this, since you really get to know your classmates and teachers. However, it also means that not all applicants are admitted to the track. Therefore, make sure you spend enough time on your application, so that you can convince everyone that you are the right person to start the Master’s track.

Moreover, you should be prepared to invest a lot of time and effort into the study. When teachers tell you that the study load is big, please believe them and do not underestimate it. You can gain so much knowledge and get many opportunities to develop yourself as a sport- and performance psychologist, but this asks for an active attitude and sometimes sacrifices in other areas of your life. That being said, all your hard work will definitely pay off!