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Professional Practice in Sports Psychology

The aim of this research group is to conduct high quality research that examines the practice of sport psychology and seeks to influence and develop the professional delivery of this applied domain.

Specific areas of current interest include the impact of cognitions and mental strategies on performance, observation as a psychological assessment mode, the use of humour within applied sport psychology consulting, interpersonal relationships within sport, and psychosocial interventions in elite soccer.



PhD students

All research degree students at St Mary’s are part of the Doctoral College. All potential research students must first submit an online enquiry form with details of their proposal.

Current students

Philippa McGregor (external PhD student)

The evaluation of psychosocial interventions in an elite youth soccer environment

Britta Sorensen

A biopsychosocial approach to female ultra-endurance athletes’ perceptions of pain and management strategies

Previous students

Dr Lorraine O'Malley (2016)

An investigation into triadic coach-athlete-coach interpersonal relationships within sport

Emily Martin (2018)

An exploration of trainee sport psychologists’ experiences of observation


External members

  • Prof Dave Collins (University of Central Lancashire)
  • Dr Brian Hemmings (Private Practice)
  • Dr Tim Holder (University of Winchester)
  • Dr Steve Pack (University of Hertfordshire)
  • Assistant Prof Monna Arvinen-Barrow (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
  • Dr David Fletcher (Loughborough University)
  • Dr Ray Randall (Loughborough University)
  • Philippa McGregor (Manchester City FC/City Group)
  • Dr Lorraine O’Malley (Manchester City FC/City Group)

Selected publications

  • Pack, S., Hemmings, B., Winter, S., & Arvinen-Barrow, M. (2018). A preliminary investigation into the use of humor in sport psychology practice. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, doi:10.1080/10413200.2018.1514428.
  • Anstiss, P. A., Meijen, C., & Marcora, S. M. (2018). The sources of self-efficacy in experienced and competitive endurance athletes. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. DOI: 10.1080/1612197X.2018.1549584
  • Anstiss, P. A., Meijen, C., & Marcora, S. M. (2018). Development and initial validation of the Endurance Sport Self-Efficacy Scale (ESSES). Psychology of Sport and Exercise. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2018.06.01
  • McCormick, A., Meijen, C., Anstiss, P. A. & Jones, H. S. (2018). Self-regulation in endurance sports: Theory, research, and practice. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology. DOI:10.1080/1750984X.2018.1469161
  • McCormick, A., Meijen, C., & Marcora, S. M. (2018). Effects of a Motivational Self-Talk Intervention for Endurance Athletes Completing an Ultramarathon. The Sport Psychologist, 32(1), 42-50. DOI: 10.1123/tsp.2017-0018
  • McCormick, A., Meijen, C., & Marcora, S. (2018). Psychological demands experienced by recreational endurance athletes. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 16(4), 415-430. DOI: 10.1080/1612197X.2016.1256341
  • O’Malley, L., Winter, S., & Holder, T. (2018). Always picking country over club’: a creative non-fiction story of an international coach–athlete–coach triad. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise, and Health, 10, 223-237.
  • Cooper, H., & Winter, S. (2017). Exploring the conceptualization and persistence of disordered eating in retired swimmers. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 11, 222-239.
  • Godfrey, S., & Winter, S. (2017). Winning Mentality: A reflective account of delivery to a professional football academy. Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology, 1, 63-75.
  • Holder, T., Winter, S., & Orr, B. (2017). Observation: Seeing athletes on the field. In: Taylor, J, (ed.). Assessment in Applied Sport Psychology. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Holder, T., & Winter, S. (2017). Experienced practitioners use of observation in applied sport psychology. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 6, 6-19.
  • McGregor, P., & Winter, S. (2017). A reflective case study of sport psychology support at the Lacrosse World Cup. Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology, 1, 40-51.
  • Martin, E. A., Winter, S., & Holder, T. (2017). An exploration of trainee practitioners’ experiences when using observation. The Sport Psychologist, 31, 160-172.
  • Meijen, C., Day, C., Hays, K. (2017). Running a psyching team: Providing mental support at long-distance running events. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 8(1), 12-22. DOI: 10.1080/21520704.2016.1205697
  • Sanders, P., & Winter, S. (2016) Going Pro: Exploring adult triathletes’ transitions into elite sport. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 5, 193-205.
  • Winter, S., & Collins, D. (2016). Applied sport psychology: A profession? The Sport Psychologist, 30, 89-96.
  • Winter, S., & Collins, D. (2015). Where is the evidence in our sport psychology practice? A United Kingdom perspective on the underpinnings of action. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 46, 175-182.
  • Winter, S., & Collins, D. (2015). Why do we do, what we do? Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 27, 35-51.
  • McCormick, A., Meijen, C., & Marcora, S. (2015). Psychological determinants of whole-body endurance performance: A systematic review. Sports Medicine. DOI: 10.1007/s40279-015-0319-6.
  • McCormick, A., & Meijen, C. (2015). A lesson learned in time: Advice shared by experienced sport psychologists. Sport and Exercise Psychology Review, 11(1), 43-54.
  • Winter, S., MacPherson, A., & Collins, D. (2014). To think, or not to think, that is the question. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 32, 102-115.
  • Barker, S., & Winter, S. (2014). The practice of sport psychology: A youth coaches’ perspective. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 9, 379-392.
  • Meijen, C., Jones, M., Sheffield, D., & McCarthy, P. J. (2014). Challenge and threat states: Cardiovascular, affective, and cognitive responses to a sports-related speech task. Motivation and Emotion, 38(2), 252-262. DOI: 10.1007/s11031-013-9370-5
  • Winter, S., & Collins, D. (2013). Does priming really put the gloss on performance? Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 35, 299-307.
  • Richards, K., & Winter, S. (2013). Key reflections from ‘on the ground’: Working with parents to create a task climate. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 4, 34-44.
  • Meijen, C., Jones, M., McCarthy, P. J., Sheffield, D., & Allen, M. S. (2013). Cognitive and affective components of challenge and threat states. Journal of Sports Sciences, 31(8), 847-855. DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2012.
  • Goose, M., & Winter, S. (2012). The coach’s impact on long distance runners’ training and competition motivation. International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching, 7, 383-398.
  • Meijen, C., & Manley, A. (2010). Supervised experience through the eyes of the supervisor. Sport and Exercise Psychology Review, 6, 43-46.
  • Jones, M., Meijen, C., McCarthy, P. J., & Sheffield, D. (2009). A theory of challenge and threat states in athletes. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 2, 161-180. DOI:10.1080/17509840902829331
  • Manley, A., & Meijen, C. (2009). Reflections on the accreditation process: Implications and advice for in-training practitioners. Sport and Exercise Psychology Review, 5, 44-47.