Episodes

  • I speak to Jay DeMerit in this week’s episode. Jay is a retired professional soccer player having played in the Premier League and USMNT. He played for Watford F.C over six seasons, including one season in the Premier League, having scored in their victory in the 2006 Football League Championship play-off Final. Jay also played in the 2010 World Cup for the US.

    Jay now runs youth programme Rise + Shine which aims to inspire youth to identify their strengths and passions; and to develop the skills required for ongoing success, well-being, and the pursuit of excellence. Rise and Shine provides attendees with a series of experiences and lessons that explore the habits, mental skills, and personal responsibilities that are critical tools for emerging leaders.

    We talk about Jay’s remarkable story from not being drafted by any MLS clubs following his graduation from college to playing in the English Premier League in just a few short years.

  • In this episode I speak to Prof Mark Beauchamp. Mark is a Professor at The University of British Colombia. His research primarily focuses on the social psychology of groups within health, exercise, and sport settings and has been published in a variety of journals such as the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Mark is a Chartered Psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS), Associate Editor for the 'Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports', and he is on the editorial boards for a number of other journals including 'Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology'​ (APA), and the 'Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology'. Mark characterises his work as the psychology of human thriving.

    Mark and I discuss a brilliant paper he has written along with Alan Kingstone and Nikos Ntoumanis entitled “Psychology of Athletic Endeavor” which examines the (high quality) evidence that allows athletes to succeed, to thrive and to perform well.

    You can find the pre-print version of the paper on ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/publication/360181284_Psychology_of_athletic_endeavor

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  • In this episode I’m delighted to welcome back teacher, teaching mentor and bestselling author, Doug Lemov to the show.

    Doug studies high performing teachers and what it is they do that makes them so effective in the classroom.

    Back in episode 120 Doug came on the show to talk about his brilliant book “The Coach’s Guide to Teaching” in which he brings his considerable knowledge about the science of classroom teaching to the sports coaching world to create championship calibre coaches on the court and field. In this episode Doug is back to speak about the book a little over a year since its release, the question’s that have arisen from the book and his recent thoughts on some of the topics he introduced in the book.

  • I’m delighted to welcome Steve Magness back to the show this week. Steve is a world-renowned expert on performance. He has served as a consultant on mental skills development for professional sports teams, including some of the top teams in the NBA. He has also coached numerous professional athletes to the Olympics and world championship level.

    Steve was a columnist for Running Times magazine and is now the co-host of two podcasts: The Growth Equation podcast with Brad Stulberg and On Coaching with Magness and Marcus with Jon Marcus. His writing has also appeared in Runner’s World and Sports Illustrated. In addition, Steve's expertise on elite sport and performance has been featured in The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Men’s Health, The Guardian, Business Insider, and ESPN The Magazine.

    Steve is the author and co-author of a number of best-selling books. Collectively his books have sold more than a quarter-million copies. His upcoming book (out in June) is called “Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness”. We take a deep dive into this brilliant book.

  • I speak to Dr Keagen Hadley in this week’s episode. Keagen is an occupational therapy doctor who specialises in using psychological treatments such as ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) to improve the lives of his patients.

    Keagen is about to release his first book entitled "Torn: Overcoming the Psychological Challenges Post-ACL Injury" (out in June). The book has been written for people who may be struggling with psychological issues related to ACL injuries, though the practical tips on managing stress and overcoming the mental hurdles of injury recovery would be beneficial for those recovering from all types of injury.

    Keagen drew on his own personal experiences to write the book, having torn both ACLs playing college and semi-professional football (NFL). This experience made him acutely aware of the struggles associated psychologically post-ACL injury and how to overcome them with positive results. You can check out his website here https://keagenhadley.com

  • I speak to Dr Lee Hancock in this week’s episode. Lee is a professor in kinesiology at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He is also a coach educator at the US Soccer Federation and the sport psychology coach for Canada Women’s Beach Volleyball team that competed in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro and Tokyo 2020.

    Lee is also the founder and owner of DLH Performance - a company dedicated to helping professional athletes, coaches at all levels, business and team leaders, students, parents and organisations fulfil their potential.

    And he’s recently released a brilliant book “Talent Zones: 10 Tools to Help Kids Develop Their Talents” in which Lee redefines talent so that parents, teachers, and coaches can create environments rich in opportunities for all kids to boost their confidence and to develop talents in multiple areas. He presents ten evidence-based, developmentally appropriate strategies called Talent Development Zones (TDZs) which transform talent concepts and research into practical strategies adults can use to create environments for developing talents.

  • I speak with Prof Rosemary Purcell & Dr Courtney Walton in this week’s episode.

    Rosie is Director of Knowledge Translation at Orygen. She is also the Deputy Head of Department of the Centre for Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and a registered psychologist.

    Rosie has co-authored over 150 publications in the areas of youth mental health, early intervention in forensic mental health and mental health in elite sport. She is an investigator on a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grant investigating the benefits of physical activity for young people with depression, and a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Elite Athlete Mental Health Consensus Group and the IOC’s Mental Health Translation Working Group.

    Rosie’s primary research interests are understanding mental health problems in elite athletes and developing optimal strategies for improving and maximising mental health and wellbeing in sporting environments

    Courtney is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Mental Health in Elite Sports research group at The University of Melbourne and Orygen. He is also a psychologist at The Mind Room, where he works primarily with athletes and performers.

    Courtney's research aims are to understand the aspects of unstable and competitive environments that both positively and negatively interact with mental health. He is also interested in exploring the ways in which sport and exercise can be supportive of adolescent mental health and well-being. He is an Associate Editor at Australian psychologist, and has contributed to research and consultancy projects with leading sporting organisations such as the AFL, AIS, Cricket Australia, and Tennis Australia. So far, he has published over 50 peer reviewed articles and book chapters.

    Courtney and Rosie have co-authored a fantastic paper entitled “An Evidence-Informed Framework to Promote Mental Wellbeing in Elite Sport” and it’s this paper we discuss in detail.

    You can read the paper here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.780359/full

  • I speak to Dr Desmond McEwan in this week’s episode. Desi is a Chartered Psychologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Bath. His research examines the psychology of human health and performance and he has a particular interest in teamwork, group dynamics, team effectiveness, psychological safety, goal setting, and behaviour change.

    Desi has written a fascinating paper along with Kaitlin Crawford entitled “Why does teamwork execution breakdown? Experiences of university team sport athletes”. We take a deep dive into the paper and discuss the novel findings from the study which extend current knowledge of teamwork and group dysfunction in sport and provide directions for future research on teamwork breakdowns. We also discuss the potential applied implications for coaches and other team leaders related to these findings.

    You can find the article here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/359073208_Why_does_teamwork_execution_breakdown_Experiences_of_university_team_sport_athletes

  • I’m delighted to speak to coach, researcher and educator, Ross Ensor in this week’s episode. Ross is a PhD researcher in Sports Coaching at Loughborough University. He has experience with grassroots, semi-professional, national and county squads, and as a Foundation Phase coach at Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club (where he also worked in the pre-academy and the development centre).

    Ross is passionate about creating positive learning environments to support multidisciplinary player development and has a particular interest in games-based approaches to coaching.

    We discuss an article he has written about using a game-sense approach to coaching.

  • I speak with Dr Trish Jackman and Rebecca Hawkins in this episode. Both Trish and Rebecca are Senior Lecturers in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Lincoln.

    Trish’s research focuses on optimal experiences in sport and exercise. This work seeks to understand the positive, rewarding experiences that athletes and exercisers have during sport and physical activity to understand how these experiences can be promoted.

    Rebecca studies part-time for her PhD alongside her role as a lecturer. Her research is focused on the role of goal setting in physical activity promotion.

    We discuss a number of Trish and Rebecca’s research papers that cluster around themes such as flow and clutch states, performance under pressure, goal setting, and self-regulation.

    You can check out their profiles and papers here:

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Patricia-Jackman

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rebecca-Hawkins-8

  • I speak to Dr Brandon Orr in this week’s episode. Brandon is a Sport and Performance Psychology Specialist with 20 years’ experience coaching, educating, and training individuals and teams in executive-corporate entities, sport and performance domains and Special Operations personnel.

    Brandon integrates evidence-based strategies for applied psychology for the purpose of facilitating resilience, optimising sustained high performance, as well as assessment and selection of personnel for leadership aptitude, job fit, personality screening, and talent assessment, acquisition, and development.

    Brandon trained under Dr Rick McGuire at The University of Missouri before becoming Director of Sport Psychology at the University of Missouri.

    He currently works as Lead Cognitive Performance Specialist for the United States Special Operations Command.

  • I’m delighted to speak to performance, leadership and coaching expert, Dr Jerry Lynch in this week’s episode. Jerry has been coaching for an incredible 58 years. Jerry helps people of all ages and abilities in all arenas of performance to develop the qualities of courage, integrity, fearlessness, tenacity, patience, persistence in order to overcome mental and emotional blocks. Using a rather unconventional approach, by combining Eastern Thought, Native American Tradition and western psychology, Jerry helps individuals and teams to create confidence, mental toughness, inspiration and empowerment for competitive events and to better navigate the unchartered waters of life.

    Jerry has worked with athletes and teams at universities such as The University of North Carolina, Duke, Maryland, Oregon State, Stanford, Harvard, Middlebury, Syracuse, UConn, Washington, Iowa, New Mexico and more.

    Jerry has conducted countless seminars and workshops talking about what it takes to be a champion. He is also the author of 15 books, including his upcoming book Everyday Champion Wisdom (out soon).

  • I’m delighted to speak to Dr Karen Treisman MBE in this week’s episode. Karen is an award winning, highly specialised clinical psychologist and trauma specialist.

    Karen is the founder of Safe Hands and Thinking Minds which supports organisations to help them become more trauma, adversity and culturally informed at a language, policy, culture, and practice level. This work focuses on creating meaningful and multi-layered cultural and paradigm shift across whole systems.

    Karen is the best-selling author of 10 books and is a TEDx speaker on the power of relationships and viewing behaviour as communication.

    Karen and I discuss how organisations and individuals can be more trauma, adversity and culturally informed.

  • I’m delighted to speak to Dr Stephen Harvey in this week’s episode. Stephen is Professor in Sport Pedagogy at Ohio University. His research is focused on teacher/coach pedagogy and practice and its influence on student/player learning.

    Stephen is a former junior international field hockey coach and currently works with organisations such as USA field hockey and the United States Olympic Committee in a coach development and education role. He has successfully completed international coach educator/developer qualification and was previously a coach educator with England Hockey.

    Stephen is an experienced licensed soccer and badminton coach. In 2016 he was honoured as a Research Fellow by the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America due to his extensive contributions to research in both physical education and sports coaching.

    Stephen is particularly interested in game-based approaches to teaching and coaching. And it’s this topic that forms the basis of our discussion in this episode.

  • I’m delighted to speak to Christian Swann in this week’s episode. Christian is Associate Professor in Psychology at Southern Cross University, Australia.

    Christian’s research areas are in goal setting, mental health, and the psychology of exceptional performance.

    We discuss a research article that Christian has written alongside a number of authors which aims to critically examine the use of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound) goals for physical activity promotion.

    The paper recognises that SMART is a highly prominent strategy for setting physical activity goals. And, while it is intuitive, and its practical value has been recognised, the scientific underpinnings of the SMART acronym are less clear. Therefore, the paper’s aim is to narratively review and critically examine the scientific underpinnings of the SMART acronym and its application in physical activity promotion. Specifically, the review suggests that the SMART acronym: is not based on scientific theory; is not consistent with empirical evidence; does not consider what type of goal is set; is not applied consistently; is lacking detailed guidance; has redundancy in its criteria; is not being used as originally intended; and has a risk of potentially harmful effects. These issues are likely leading to sub-optimal outcomes, confusion, and inconsistency. Recommendations are provided to guide the field towards better practice and, ultimately, more effective goal setting interventions to help individuals become physically active.

    Read the article here https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17437199.2021.2023608

  • I’m delighted to speak to Dr Colum Cronin in this episode. Colum is Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Sport Coaching at Liverpool John Moores University. Colum’s research concerns youth sport coaching, coach education and coaching in community contexts.

    Colum has worked with a number of sporting organisations such as the Football Association and UK Coaching. He is an associate editor of the academic journal Sports Coaching Review and is co-author of the book ‘Care in Sport Coaching’ along with Kathleen Armour. And it’s this brilliant book we discuss in this episode.

  • I’m delighted to speak to Prof Kristoffer Henriksen in this week’s episode. Kristoffer is Head of the Learning and Talent in Sport Research Unit at the University of Southern Denmark. He is also a sport psychologist for Team Denmark – an organisation that works to provide Danish athletes with the best possible frameworks and conditions for them to live out their potential and perform at the highest international level.

    We discuss Kristoffer’s approach to working with athletes as well as a fantastic paper he wrote along with Gregory Diment and Carsten Hvid Larsen entitled ‘Team Denmark’s Sport Psychology Professional Philosophy 2.0’.

    The purpose of the article is to discuss Team Denmark’s professional philosophy; including: (1) the vision for the team; (2) basic beliefs and values; (3) the psychological theories that interventions are based upon; (4) Team Denmark’s Sports Psychological model which describes the content and focus of the team’s work; and (5) the concrete psychological services that delivered. High quality service requires coherence across all five levels of the philosophy.

    Read the paper here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339167625_Team_Denmark's_Sport_Psychology_Professional_Philosophy_20

  • I speak with Dr John Stoszkowski and Dr Danny Massaro in this episode.

    Danny is widely recognised as one of the best squash coaches in the United Kingdom. He coached his wife, world champion, Laura Massaro, for over 10 years, guiding her to world number 1.

    Danny is a lecturer in Sports Coaching at the University of Central Lancashire. And just completed his PhD.

    John was, up until very recently, a senior Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, leading a range of modules on the BSc Sports Coaching and Performance, BA Sports Coaching and Development, and MSc Sports Coaching programmes. In recognition of his contributions to teaching, John is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

    He is research active with a particular interest in coach learning. John has just launched Think Space Academy, a new online cohort-based course.

    We discuss the importance of critical thinking in sporting environments.

  • I speak with Dr Fiona Leggat and Dr Sean Figgins in this episode.

    Fiona is a Research Associate at Kingston and St Georges University London. She completed her MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Chichester and her PhD in Applied Health Psychology at St Mary's University. Fiona’s academic interests include co-design, narrative pedagogy, rehabilitation psychology, implementation science and group dynamics.

    Sean is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology and Research Methods at the University of Chichester. Sean’s research focusses on the social psychology of groups in sport and exercise contexts, with a particular focus on leadership and group dynamics. His research has primarily focussed on how leaders inspire groups and individuals, as well as the personal and contextual factors that impact on this process.

    We discuss in detail a brilliant paper that Fiona and Sean have written along with Dr Matthew Smith entitled ‘Talented but Disruptive: An Exploration of Problematic Players in Sports Teams.

  • I’m delighted to speak to sport and performance psychology expert, author, and speaker, Dr Nate Zinsser this week. Nate has been at the forefront of applied sport psychology for over thirty years. He is the director of West Point’s prestigious Performance Psychology Program, a Certified Mental Performance Coach (CMPC) with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and has a PhD in sport psychology from the University of Virginia. Nate has been a regular consultant to the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Giants for twelve seasons.

    We discuss Nate’s brand new book ‘The Confident Mind: A Battle-Tested Guide to Unshakable Performance’ in which he distils his research and years of experience, offering a fascinating guide to the science of confidence. The book provides readers with a practical, step-by-step programme to best harness their belief in themselves to achieve success in any field. The Confident Mind is a complete guide to confidence: how to understand it, how to build it, how to protect it, and how to rely upon it when your performance matters most.