Join Sport Psychologist, Dan Abrahams, on The Sport Psych Show as he aims to demystify sport psychology for players, coaches and parents by speaking with some of the most influential people in sports performance today. Dan is on a mission to learn more about how sport psychology philosophies, tools and techniques positively impact participation, progression and performance in sport. He wants to learn more about how to drive participation – what motivational tools engage players and inspire people to play and stay in their sport. He wants to explore how players can progress quicker and more effectively – what is great practice and training? And how does learning in sport really happen? Finally, he wants to hear what his guests have to say about the psychology of performance – how do they think players can improve their ability to high perform consistently under pressure? Discover simple and practical tools and techniques by listening in to Dan’s conversations with elite competitors, sports coaches, sport scientists, and psychologists.
#202 Prof Andrew Lane - Measuring the Effectiveness of Psychological Skills
This week I’m delighted to speak to Prof Andrew Lane. Andy is a BASES accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist, a Chartered Sport Psychologist registered with the HCPC, and a Professor at the University of Wolverhampton.
Andy completed his undergraduate, Masters degree and PhD before becoming a lecturer at Brunel University. He then moved to the University of Wolverhampton where he progressed from Senior Lecturer to Associate Dean. Andy is responsible for developing and implementing a research strategy for staff and doctoral students.
Andy and I discuss a study that he led in conjunction with BBC Lab UK. The study, which had in excess of 40,000 participants, examined the effects psychological skills training has on the experience of emotion under pressure and competitive performance. We talk through the psychological techniques utilised in the study (imagery, self-talk, and if-then planning), and assess the effectiveness of these techniques when delivered online.
You can find the study here https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00413/full
#201 Prof Elaine Fox - Harnessing the Power of Mental Agility
I’m delighted to speak to Prof Elaine Fox this week. Elaine is the Head of School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide. Prior to that Elaine was at The University of Oxford for 12 years where, up until very recently, she ran a research lab and team. Elaine’s background is in cognitive psychology. More recently she has undertaken research around emotion, specifically how we react to different situations, as well as in mental health research. She is also director of her company Oxford Elite Performance which she co-founded with her husband to utilise scientific research in psychology and cognitive science in order to optimise high performance in sport, the military, and business.
Drawing on her 25 years of scientific research, Elaine has just released her brilliant new book “Switchcraft: Harnessing the Power of Mental Agility to Transform Your Life” in which she shares her step-by-step guide to what she calls ‘Switchcraft’: the set of skills we need to navigate a complex and uncertain world.
In her work coaching top athletes, military leaders and business professionals, she has seen that it’s the people who know how and when to switch between different approaches – people who have an agile mind – who achieve the best performance.
#200 Trevor Whyte - Leading a Team During Covid: Sport Psychology Techniques in Action
Something a bit different for this 200th episode of The Sport Psych Show. This week I speak to Trevor Whyte. Trevor has worked in hospitals as a Respiratory Therapist since 2006 having spent time on the frontline, on various projects and in leadership. Dealing with airway management and critical care taught him the importance of high functioning teams for good outcomes.
At the beginning of the pandemic Trevor was tasked with leading a team to set up and operate a mass testing site for COVID-19, quickly finding traction with his team. Trevor was given the opportunity to become an early mass vaccine site which delivered almost 170,000 vaccines. To manage the rapidly changing information and challenging conditions, Trevor worked to build a team mindset and framework that allowed the team to work in safe uncertainty and meet their goals under great pressure.
Trevor has played and coached soccer and has been able to translate his experience in sports to help his healthcare teams find success in challenging and ever-changing conditions, such as a pandemic.
#199 Dr Alexander T. Latinjak - Self-Talk in Sport
I’m delighted to speak to Dr Alexander T. Latinjak this week. Alexander is an Associate Professor in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Suffolk.
In his youth, Alexander was a high-level tennis player who travelled the world pursuing his sports career. After retiring from tennis Alexander studied psychology at the University of Barcelona and obtained his PhD in Psychology with Distinction from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He then worked for eight years at the prestigious School of Health and Sports Sciences (EUSES) at the University of Girona before joining the University of Suffolk to contribute to the sports psychology curriculum and broaden his diverse lines of research and applied practices.
Alexander specialises in the area of self-talk and cognitive self-regulation in sports and has co-edited a brilliant book on the subject entitled ‘Self-Talk in Sport’ with Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis.
#198 Dr Laura Healy & Joseph Stanford - Understanding Personality Traits Within Coach-Athlete Relationships
I speak with Dr Laura Healy and Joseph Stanford in this episode.
Laura is a Senior Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Psychology at Nottingham Trent University. Her research explores how to optimise goal pursuit in sport and physical activity for individuals and teams. This has included examining how the motivation underpinning goal striving can impact upon the self-regulation of goals and well-being.
Recently, Laura has researched in areas associated with elite performance environments, including the role of personality in elite coach-athlete relationships, resilience, psychological safety and fear of failure in a national sport governing body, and the experience of release from professional football academies.
Joseph is a PhD student at Nottingham Trent University, a Performance Swim Coach at University of Nottingham Sport and A squad coach at Nova Centurion - the elite performance programme for Nottinghamshire swimming and one of the UK's top swimming clubs.
Joseph’s research focuses on what makes a successful athlete and how coaches and athletes work together to facilitate positive relationships.
As part of his undergraduate degree and continuing in his PhD, Joseph has written a paper along with Laura, Dr Mustafa Sarkar and Dr Julie Johnston entitled “Interpersonal perceptions of personality traits in elite coach-athlete dyads”
You can read the full article the article here https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S146902922200022X
#197 Prof Tim Rees - The Difference Between Super-Elite and Elite Athletes
I’m delighted to speak to Prof Tim Rees this week. Tim is a Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Sport Sciences at Bournemouth University, a Higher Education Academy Fellow, a British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow, and a BASES Accredited Sport & Exercise Scientist.
Tim’s research centres on the development of talent, and social psychological influences on performance and physical activity. His research has been featured in all major UK broadsheets, BBC R4’s flagship programme “All in the Mind”, US National Public Radio’s “Only a Game”, Psychology Today and Huffington Post, and has informed and changed practice across all UK Olympic Sports, England Rugby, and the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Tim and I discuss several papers that he has contributed to regarding elite athletes and, in particular, we discuss the differences between elite and super-elite athletes.
Cant get enough!
As a neophyte practitioner these have become my go to podcast for everything sport psychology! Great topics and quality of interviewees and always exploratory and reflective as someone who is absorbing a d learning. Keep up the great work.
Consistently inspirational guests and enlightening conversation.
I really look forward to these podcasts. I find the content so useful and recommend them to both my students, coaches and competitors. The range of guests provides great depth and I particularly enjoy listening to the back and forth between Dan and his guests. My only complaint is the amount I’ve spent on books after listening to these podcasts!
Always an insightful listen across an excellent range of guests. Dan asks some superb questions and clarifies in a way that ensures you don’t need a psych degree to understand it! Definitely a must listen for anyone involved in sport!