Research and Innovation>Applied Sport Science>Sport and Performance Psychology

Sport and Performance Psychology

​Our research is situated across a number of performance domains which include populations as diverse as sport, performing arts, and emergency services. The Sport and Performance Research group examines the psychological factors that underpin performance excellence and optimal human functioning. This comprises:

• A focus on personal, environmental and situational factors
• Embracing multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches to address novel research questions
• A commitment to high quality and impactful research
• Developing a strong connectivity with stakeholders and being practice focused.


Research / Innovation Areas

Sports Performance

To achieve optimal performance and performance excellence, performers encounter numerous demands and pressures throughout their career. This research explores key psychological factors that influence how performers cope with and thrive in high-performance sport, including the role of mental toughness, the mechanisms underpinning belief, and how regulating emotions of the self and others can facilitate individual and team functioning. We have close links with key stakeholders which facilitates our collaborative approach to highly impactful research.

Key Themes: Mental toughness, Efficacy and Confidence, Emotions.


Well-being and Occupational Performance

Working closely with industry and other organisations/fields, we explore psycho-social variables that help predict performance, well-being and organisational functioning. We also explore the impact of physical-activity and psycho-social interventions on: the individual; performance effectiveness; and functioning. To date, we have explored these issues with industrial partners in UK policing, the higher education sector and the performing arts.

Key Themes: Stress in the workplace, Well-being, Performance.         

Professional Practice

Working closely with National Governing Bodies of sport, sport science support providers, and health care agencies, we explore factors affecting service provision and practitioner self-care and effectiveness. This research is evidence-based, and client and practitioner focused to make recommendations for educators, professional organizations, and regulatory bodies to foster optimal development, performance and well-being.

Key Themes: Practitioner development, Applied practice, Injury rehabilitation, Social support.               

Group members

Professor of Sport Psychology
Reader in Sport Psychology
Dr Tjerk Moll,
Senior Lecturer in Sport Psychology (Co-Group Lead)
Senior Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Psychology
Dr Mikel Mellick
Senior Lecturer in Applied Sport Psychology

Dr David Wasley,
Senior Lecturer in Health & Exercise Psychology (Co-Group Lead)


Senior Lecturer in Coaching Science



Hannah Brooks - Academic Associate (PhD)
Lloyd Griffin - Academic Associate (PhD)
Kirsty Ledingham - Academic Associate (PhD)
Helen Oliver - Academic Associate (PhD)
Simone Willis - Academic Associate (PhD)
Bradley Woolridge - Academic Associate (PhD)


Dr Richard Mullen (Brunel University London)
Dr Sam Thrower (University of Roehampton)
Dr Pete Lindsay (Mindflick UK)
Dr Tim Pitt (Mindflick UK)
Dr Kate Hays (English Institute of Sport)
Dr Matt Barlow (Bangor University)
Professor Rob Copeland (Sheffield Hallam University)

Examples of Funding

‘Nudging’ sport psychologists to change: Developing a framework of single session problem-solving within elite sport (circa 40k funded project from the English Institute of Sport). Completed.

The triathlon 'Mindset': A prospective study (circa 50k funded research project from British Triathlon). In progress.

Health and wellbeing in UK policing (circa 245k funded project by college of policing and individual police forces). In progress.

Vice-Chancellor’s doctoral Scholarship Award: Developing an evidence-based framework for improving HE student mental health and well-being. In progress.

Injury rehabilitation and physiotherapist social support (circa 60k Studentship funded by ESRC Wales DTP). In progress.