• 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

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  • 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:



  • 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.

  • I’m so excited to speak with the very first Sport Psych Show guest, Dr Ed Coughlan this week. Ed is widely acknowledged as one of the top skills coaches working in elite sport today. He is a senior lecturer at Munster Technological University and Research Lead in Skill Acquisition.

    Ed has worked with a wide range of competitors and coaches including from the EIS, GB Shooting, UEFA, Chelsea FC, St Helen’s Rugby League and with a number of golfers on the European Tour.

    Ed has over 30 years coaching experience. We discuss how his coaching has changed over that time; being comfortable with not having all the answers for players; the ASPIRE model he and fellow researcher, Dr Paul Ford developed and Ed shares his top tips for coaches of teams for session design with skill acquisition in mind.

  • I am delighted to be joined by Mike Ashford in this episode. Mike is a lecturer in Sport Coaching at Coventry University. His research interests include player and coach decision making, coach development and understanding how we can shape effective learning environments. Mike completed his PhD at Leeds Beckett University.

    Mike is also a coach developer at Grey Matters, a company specialising in performance enhancement and coaching development for individuals, sporting/cultural organisations and systems.

    Mike and I discuss two papers he has co-written along with Dr Andrew Abraham and Dr Jamie Poolton on decision making processes in team sports. We take a deep dive into these brilliant papers which can be found here https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.609127 and https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9050065

  • I speak to BPS Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist and HCPC Practitioner Psychologist, Dr Bryan McCann in this episode. Bryan is a lecturer in Psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University. He is an active researcher interested in a range of sport and exercise psychology topics, in particular the social influences on motivation in sport and exercise contexts. In Bryan’s previous role as a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen he led a range of innovative and award-winning projects.

    Bryan has provided psychological support to a range of national, international and Olympic level athletes and teams in different sports, including football, golf, swimming, table tennis and skiing and has consulted for organisations such as the Scottish FA, The Camanachd Association, Scottish Swimming and Sport Scotland.

    Bryan and I speak about a fascinating paper he has written about the perceived influence of coaches, parents and peers on players' motivation during development.

  • I’m delighted to speak to Dr Matthew Schweickle in this week’s episode. Matt is a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Wollongong. Matt’s particular area of interest is clutch performances and the psychology of what is happening during clutch performances when people are performing well under pressure.

    We discuss in detail a fascinating paper that Matt wrote, along with Prof Christian Swann and Prof Stewart Vella which looks at objective and subjective performance indicators of clutch performances.

  • I’m delighted to welcome back licensed clinical psychologist and sport psychologist, Dr Scott Goldman in this episode.

    Scott started out at the University of Arizona where was one of the first embedded sport psychologists in an athletic department. He has since served as a clinical and performance psychologist for the University of Michigan and Saint Louis’ Athletic Departments. Scott also helped co-author the best practices for the NCAA and was part of their first mental health task force.

    Scott has worked as sport psychologist for the Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions NFL teams and NBA teams Washington Wizards, and currently the Golden State Warriors.

    Scott has also developed a test called the AIQ which measures sport-specific intelligence that is used across all 5 major leagues in the US as well as in other countries around the world.