Kieran Kingston

​Senior Lectur​er Sport Psychology & Research Metho​ds

Telephone number: 029 2041 7067
Email address:

Kieran is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Psychology and Research Methods in the Cardiff School of Sport. He joined the School in 2000, after spending most of his formative years as an academic member of staff at Bangor University. He has made a significant contribution to the Sport & Exercise Sciences, particularly in the area of sport psychology. Kieran acted as the Discipline Director for psychology from 2005-2012, and was the School's Discipline Director Coordinator from 2009-2012. He has also provided consultancy services to team and individual athletes, coaches, and NGBs, and was first accredited by BASES as Sport & Exercise Scientist ​ (Psychology) in 1994. ​

Research / Publications

Kieran’s research interests focus on the social-cognitive approaches to understanding motivation and confidence, and have largely been guided by interests developed during his Doctoral studies under the supervision of Lew Hardy, and his time as a Visiting Scholar at the University of North Carolina (Greensboro’) under the guidance of Professor Dan Gould. Specifically, his interests include: the process, and effects of goal setting in sport, sources of confidence, development of a mastery motivational climate in coaching and physical education, coach-athlete relationships, self-determination theory, and the psychology of golf.

Refereed Academic Journal Articles
Kingston, K., Morgan, K. Faithal, M., & Mitchell, I. (under review). The development of a TARGET based perceptual measure of coach-created motivational climate: Preliminary testing and implications. International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching.

Kent, S.E., Kingston, K. & Paradis, K. F. (under review). Is the relationship between passion and burnout mediated by psychological need satisfaction? International Journal of Sport Psychology.

Guzmán, J. F., Kingston, K. & Grijabo, C. (to appear 2015). Predicting coaches’ dropout: A prospective study. International Journal of Sport Science & Coaching, 10:2.

Mullen, R., Faull, A., Jones, E.S., & Kingston, K. (2015). Evidence for the effectiveness of holistic process goals for learning and performance under pressure. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 17, 40-44.

Mullen, R., Jones, E.S., Faull, A., and Kingston, K. (2012). Attentional focus and performance anxiety: effects on simulated race-driving performance and heart-rate variability. Frontiers in Psychology – Movement Science & Sport Psychology, 3:426, 1-10.

Guzmán, J. F. & Kingston, K. (2011). Prospective study of sport dropout: A motivational analysis as a function of age and gender. European Journal of Sport Science, 1-12.

Thomas, O., Lane, A. & Kingston, K. (2011). Defining and Contextualizing Robust Sport-Confidence. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 23:2, 189-208.

Kingston, K., Lane, A. & Thomas, O. (2010). A temporal examination of elite performers sources of sport-confidence. The Sport Psychologist, 18, 313-332.

Morgan, K. & Kingston, K. (2010). Promoting a mastery motivational in a higher education sports class. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 9(1), 74-84.

Morgan, K. and Kingston, K. (2008). Developmen​​t of a self-observation mastery intervention programme for teacher education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy,13 (2), 1-28.

Kingston, K., Horrocks, C., and Hanton, S.H. (2006). Do multidimensional intrinsic and extrinsic motivation profiles discriminate between athletic scholarship status? European Journal of Sport Sciences, 6, 53-63.

Morgan. K., Sproule, J., McNeal, M., Kingston, K. and Wang, J. (2006). A cross-cultural study of motivational climate in physical education lessons in the UK and Singapore. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 37: 1-18. 

Morgan, K., Kingston, K. and Sproule, J. (2005). Effects of different teaching styles on the teacher behaviour that influence motivational climate and pupils’ motivation in physical education. European Physical Education Review, 11 (3), 257-285. 

Edwards, T., Kingston, K., Hardy, L. & Gould, D. (2002) A qualitative analysis of catastrophic performances and the associated thoughts, feelings and emotions. The Sport Psychologist, 16, 1, 1-19.

Kingston, K. and Hardy, L. (1997) Effects of different types of goals on processes that support performance. The Sport Psychologist, 11, 277-293. 

Edited Books
Jones, R. L. and Kingston, K. (2013). An Introduction to Sports Coaching: Connecting Theory to Practice, Second Edition. Abingdon. Routledge. 

Jones, R. L., Hughes, M. and Kingston, K. (2008). An Introduction to Sports Coaching: From Science and Theory to Practice, Abingdon. Routledge. 

Book Chapters
Kingston, K. (2014). Goal-setting. In, R. C. Eklund & G. Tenebaum (Eds.), Encyclopaedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN: 978-1-452-20383-6.

Kingston, K., Thomas, O., and Neil, R. (2013). Psychology for coaches. In, R.L Jones and K. Kingston (Eds.), An Introduction to Sports Coaching: Connecting Theory to Practice, Second Edition, pp. 49-66. London: Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-415-69491-9.

Lawrence, G., Kingston, K., and Grottwald, V. (2013). Skill acquisition for coaches. In, R.L. Jones and K. Kingston (Eds.), An Introduction to Sports Coaching: Connecting Theory to Practice, Second Edition, pp. 31-47. London: Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-415-69491-9.

Jones, R. L. and Kingston, K. (2013). Tying it all together. In, R.L. Jones and K. Kingston (Eds.), An Introduction to Sports Coaching: Connecting Theory to Practice, Second Edition, pp. 215-221. London: Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-415-69491-9.

Jones, R. L., Kingston, K. and Stewart, C. (2011). Negotiating expectations in football’s complex social structure. In D. Gilbourne & M. Andersen (Eds.), Critical Essays in Applied Sport Psychology, pp. 267-288. Human Kinetics.

Jones, R.L., Bowes, I. and Kingston, K. (2010). Complex practice in coaching: Studying the chaotic nature of coach-athlete interactions. In J. Lyle & C. Cushion (Eds.), Sports coaching: Professionalism and practice, pp. 15-26. London: Elsevier.

Kingston, K. and Wilson, K. (2009). The application of goal setting in sport. In: S. Mellalieu and S. Hanton, eds. Literature Reviews in Applied Sport Psychology. NY: Routledge.  

Wallace, E., Kingston, K., Strangwood, M. and Kenny, I. (2009). Science and Golf. In: T. Reilly (Ed.) Proceedings of the World Congress of Sport Sciences. Netherlands: Shaker.

Kingston, K., Thomas, O. and Mitchell, I. (2008). Psychology for coaches. In: R. Jones, M. Hughes, and K. Kingston, (Eds). An Introduction to Sports Coaching: From Science and Theory to Practice, pp. 16-27. Abingdon: Routledge. 

Lawrence, G. and Kingston, K. (2008). Skill acquisition for coaches. In: R. Jones, M. Hughes, and K. Kingston, (Eds.) An Introduction to Sports Coaching: From Science and Theory to Practice, pp. 28-39. Abingdon: Routledge. 

Kingston, K., Harwood, C.G. and Spray, C. (2006). Contemporary approaches to motivation in sport. In: S. Hanton and S.D. Mellalieu, (Eds.) Literature Reviews in Sport Psychology, pp 159-197. Hauppauge NY: Nova Science.

Kingston, K., Madill, M. and Mullen, R. (2002) Yielding to internal performance stress? - The yips in Golf: A review with a commentary from a player’s perspective. In E. Thain (Ed.), Science and Golf IV (pp. 268-283). London, UK: Routledge.

Kingston, K. and Hardy, L. (2001) Pre-performance routine training using holistic process goals. In P.R. Thomas (Ed.), Optimising Performance in Golf (pp. 264-278). Brisbane, Australia: Australian Academic Press.

Kingston, K. and Hardy, L. (2001) How do we define success? Differences in the goal orientations of higher and lower ability golfers. In P.R.Thomas (Ed.), Optimising Performance in Golf (pp. 289-299). Brisbane, Australia: Australian Academic Press.

Kingston, K. and Swain, A. (1998) Goal orientations and state goals: Research in golf and implications for performance. In M Farrally and A. Cochran (Eds.), Science and Golf III (pp. 150-157). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Kingston, K. and Hardy, L. (1994) Factors affecting the salience of outcome, performance and process goals in golf. In A. Cochran and M. Farrally (Eds.), Science and Golf II (pp. 244-249). London: Chapman-Hill.

Conference Presentations
Kieran has presented papers at over 40 national and international conferences and conducted two key note presentations. In addition, he has recently been invited to provide a keynote address, and act as a scientific advisor for an International Congress on Performance Analysis and Coaching at the University of Valencia (avardyc).  ​


Teaching and Supervision

Kieran delivers on modules in the areas of sport psychology and research methods at both Undergraduate and Postgraduate level. He has been the Module Leader for every sport psychology module at undergraduate level and has continued to lead the MSc module on Theory to Practice in Sport Psychology, and the Welsh Rugby Union’s Level 4 coaching module Sport psychology for the last ten years. He has previously fulfilled the roles of Dissertation Coordinator (Cardiff School of Sport), Discipline Director (Psychology), and Discipline Director Coordinator (Cardiff School of Sport) at Cardiff Metropolitan University. The latter post required him to coordinate and manage the implementation of institutional and school-wide teaching, learning and assessment strategies.

Kieran has supervised over 30 MSc dissertations in the areas of motivation, confidence and psychological skills. Additionally he has, and continues to be involved in the supervision, support, and examination (University of Malaya & University of Valencia currently) of doctoral students.

Postgraduate Research Supervision: Doctor of Philosophy (completions)

  • Kevin Morgan. Thesis Title: The effects of teaching behaviours on motivational processes within physical education. Member of staff registered at Cardiff Metropolitan University (formerly UWIC). Completion 2015. First supervisor with Dr. Bill Davies (Director of Studies).
  • Christopher Wagstaff. Thesis Title: Positive organisational psychology in sport. Registered at Cardiff Metropolitan University (formerly UWIC). Completion 2010. Supervisory team member with Dr. David Fletcher & Professor Sheldon Hanton.
  • Mohammed Faithal Hassan. Thesis Title: The application of TARGET in sport. Registered at Cardiff Metropolitan University (formerly UWIC). Completion 2011. Supervisory team member with Dr. Kevin Morgan and Professor Robyn Jones.
  • Andrew Lane. Thesis Title: The development and maintenance of robust sport confidence in elite sport. Registered at Cardiff Metropolitan University (formerly UWIC). Completion 2012. Co-supervisor with Dr. Owen Thomas.

Qualifications and Awards

  • B.Sc. Physical Education & Educational Studies, Bangor University
  • Ph.D. Sport Psychology, University of Wales
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • BASES Accredited Sport & Exercise Scientist (Psychology)

External Links

Kieran is linked with a number of external organisations through research, professional practice, enterprise activities and learning and teaching.

British Association of Sport & Exercise Science (BASES)

Kieran has provided sport psychology support provided to both elite and non-elite individuals, teams, coaches, and organisations in a variety of sports since 1992. He has been accredited and reaccredited by BASES.

Higher Education Authority (HEA)

Kieran was made a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority in 2009

  • Professional Golf Association (PGA)
  • British Olympic Association (BOA)
  • Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP)
  • North American Society for the Psychology of Sport & Physical Activity (NASPSPA)
  • Welsh Football Trust (WFT)
  • Bahama Sports Federation

External Examining & Validation

  • Sports & Exercise Science degree Programme. University of Roehampton (2005 – 2009).
  • Psychology Programme. University of Northampton (2009-2013)
  • Programme validation: Sport & Exercise Psychology. Degree validated for commencement in September 2009 at University of Northampton.

Collaborative work – other institutions

  • University of Valencia – 1998 to present
  • University of Malaya – 2004 to present

Sport / Coaching Profile

International Sponsored Athlete competing for GB & Wales

World Masters Indoor Champion 800m, 1500m & 3000m (2014)

World Indoor Championships 1500m finalist 4th (2004)

Commonwealth Games 1500m finalist 1500m 9th (2010) Semi-Final (2006)

European Indoor Championships finalist 6th (2005) & 9th (2007)

British Champion 1500m (2003) 3000m (2006)

Current  holder of 2  Indoor Welsh Records (Mile & 2000m)

Millrose Games (MSG, New York) Mile 2nd 2004

Sub 4 minute Miles on Track Indoors, Outdoors and Road

Welsh Team Captain: Team Matches in 2006 & 2013

Cardiff Team Captain 2003-4/ 2008-2011

Cardiff Metropolitan University Athletics Team Captain 2001

Coaching performance
Selected as Part of the British Athletics staff for the 2015 European U23 Championships.

Self-Coached to World, European and Commonwealth Games finals

11 athletes coached to National U20/U23 and Senior British Medallists (2 Australian National Medals)

Coached finalists to the 2011, World Student Games 1500m final and 2011, European U23’s Championships 5000m final.

Two athlete’s qualified for Glasgow (CWG) 2014

Coached Multiple UK Senior medallists’ males & female from 1500m to Half Marathon

5 athletes coached to Great Britain Internationals Honours

13 athletes coached to Home Country Internationals Honours (Scotland, Wales & England)

Coached 7 British University Championship Gold Medallists

35 athletes coached top 8 finishers in the British University Championships

Coached best University team placing at British Universities Cross-Country Championships – Bronze in 2014.

Equalled the best Universities team placing at British Universities Outdoor Track & Field  Championships – 2nd in 2013 & 2014.

9 athletes mentored through to graduation and on to gain full MA scholarships to NCAA Division I & II Universities in the USA

Welsh Athletics Team leader, Mary Peters International 2013

Coached from Athletics Development Centres (ADC) levels to being a National Lead coach with Welsh Athletics (2009)