Hearts in the Fire, Heads in the Fridge! Stress, Coping and Wellbeing in Elite Sport

Hearts in the Fire, Heads in the Fridge! Stress, Coping and Wellbeing in Elite Sport
Professor Stephen Mellalieu - Cardiff School of Sport
Wednesday 15th March 2017
5.45pm for 6pm start
Lecture theatre O1.01, Cardiff School of Management, Llandaff Campus


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How do elite sportsmen and women cope with the demands of training and competing consistently at the highest level of performance? How is this attribute developed? What are the factors that influence this development? What are the implications for managing stress and promoting wellbeing in other professional domains and occupations?

Professor Mellalieu will take the audience on a personal journey of his experiences as a player and consultant that have shaped his research interests, navigating some of the contemporary knowledge and understanding regarding the experience of psychological stress, coping and wellbeing in elite sport. Underpinned by a ‘theory to practice to theory’ philosophy the influence of a range of personal, contextual, social and developmental ​factors upon these phenomena will be explored.


Professor Stephen Mellalieu

Stephen is a Professor in Sport Psychology at the Cardiff School of Sport. a former pupil of Olchfa Comprehensive school in Swansea, he graduated from Loughborough University in 1996 following completion of his BSc and MSc studies in Physical Education and Sports Science. His Doctoral thesis in sport psychology was completed in 2000 from Cheltenham and Gloucestershire Institute of Higher Education and shortly after he gained his first lecturing position at the University of Bath. 

In 2002 Stephen returned to his roots to take up a lecturing post at Swansea University in the Department of Sports Science where he worked for the next 13 years. Stephen joined the Cardiff school of sport in the autumn of 2015 where he currently holds the position of associate Dean for Research. 

He is also the Editor of the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology and co-founder and Network Editor of the World Rugby Science Network. Stephen is a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society, a registered Practitioner Psychologist and Partner with the Health and Care Professions Council, and a British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences accredited Sport Scientist. 

He has over 20 years consultancy experience in high performance sport, working most recently within professional rugby union. Stephen’s primary research interests lie in the area of athlete welfare, including stress, coping and performance, psychological skills training and behaviour change, and the organisational environment of elite sport. In particular, Stephen is interested in how those individuals who operate within high performance sporting environments utilise personal and social resources as they negotiate the various demands placed upon them across their professional careers. 

Stephen has co-edited a number of acclaimed texts within the field of sport psychology with Professor Sheldon Hanton including: Literature Reviews in Sport Psychology (2006), Advances in Applied Sport Psychology (2009), Professional Practice in Sport Psychology: a Review (2011), and the recent Contemporary Advances in Sport Psychology (2015). When he is not working or spending time with his family, Stephen can be found by, or in, an ocean taking part (badly) in numerous water-based pursuits, notably surfing.​​

​How to book

To book your place on any of the Cardiff Metropolitan University Professorial and Inaugural Lectures, please complete the online book​ing form or contact: Caryn Blunt, Tel: 029 2041 6052 or email: pandilectures@cardiffmet.ac.uk 

Places are free of charge on a first come, first serve basis and are open to the General Public. Cardiff Metropolitan University operates a 24 hour parking system – please pay and display 50p on the evening of the lecture​.