Emotional Intelligence in Sport 

There has been an increase in recent coaching literature aimed at helping coaches to create more emotionally intelligent athletes; in the belief this will benefit performance by improving motivation, awareness, problem-solving capability, decision-making, and resolve. The move to bring emotional intelligence (EI) into sport comes after great success by corporate organisations introducing specific strategies to develop this in the workplace. The potentially significant role of EI on sports performance is of…Read more

Team Building and Group Cohesion 

Team cohesion is “a dynamic process that is reflected in the tendency for a group to stick together and remain united in the pursuit of its instrumental objectives and/or satisfaction of member affective needs” (Carron et al., 1998). There are a few key points within this definition that need to be taken into account when beginning to develop cohesion with a group. Firstly it is a dynamic process; indicating that it is ever changing and needs to be address at regular intervals. There is little point doing a…Read more

Developing the Team 

How do groups and teams differ? Early research by Cartwright and Zander (1968) made the distinction that a team is any group of individuals who must interact with each other to accomplish shared objectives. This leads us to identify that all teams are groups but not all groups are teams. Team members have to depended on and support each other to accomplish these shared objectives. Therefore it is important that we recognise the process groups go through in order to become focused and perform at high levels…Read more

Positive Self-Talk 

The use of self-talk is central to the management of cognitive anxiety. The regularity and content of internal dialogue is individual and situation dependent. Research has defined self-talk to be any time that a person engages in a conversation with themselves, which can be external or internal, aimed at providing instruction, reinforcement or interpretation of feelings. As most people will understand this can have either positive or negative consequences. Positive self-talk becomes facilitative when it…Read more

Hypnosis in Sport 

Traditionally a variety of psychological skills are employed by sports psychologists to enhance performance. These include: imagery; attentional focusing activities; arousal regulation; and goal setting. In general imagery, visualization, mental practice and mental rehearsal are terms that have been interchangeable within published literature. These terms refer to cognitively creating or re-creating new or past experiences to enhance confidence, preparedness or skill acquisition. Attentional focus…Read more

7 Habits 

There are numerous examples available aimed at helping people become more effective or efficient in their performance. These are not just sports specific but many come from personal development, self-help or corporate settings. In previous blogs goal setting has been discussed, highlighting the importance of short-term goals as stepping-stones to long-term success; however it is equally essential to ensure that those short-term goals are actually leading somewhere. Regularly people emphasize the short-term…Read more

The Psychology of the Marathoner 

We recently came across a research paper that had been presented at a conference in 2007 by John Raglan, entitled “The Psychology of the Marathoner”. Obviously this struck our interest, especially as there were some interesting analysis within it. As such we have decided to use this newsletter to summarize the key points, while including our own thoughts on this topic.While the physiological attributes of endurance sport athletes, and in particular marathon runners, have been research for many years there…Read more


In recent years research in sport psychology has moved away from the identification of personality traits as a means to identify peak performance levels; particularly as the multitude of different personalities in elite sport grows. Away from sport a number of performance settings (i.e. performing arts) are still engaging in research related to how personality traits effect results. These studies have identified openness and conscientiousness as being favourable, with neuroticism and emotionality as…Read more

Psychology of Injury 

A range of negative emotions, principally shock, disbelief, anger, frustration and depression, have been reported by athletes following severe injury. Over time these negative emotions are replaced by optimism and focus as the athlete concentrates on the rehabilitation. The quicker an athlete becomes disengaged from these negative emotions the sooner they can become focused on the physical rehabilitation. As such early acceptance of the severity of the injury can result in a speedier and more efficient…Read more

Pre-Performance Routines 

Research across a variety of performance settings has identified that routines can ensure that all positive influences on performance are supported (Schack et al., 2005). They help by diverting attention from task-irrelevant thoughts to the task-relevant plan. The habit allows athletes to control every possible aspect that influences training and competition, while helping to provide positive mental and emotional states. There are a number of differing theories as to how they work (Attention Control theory…Read more