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Stuart Carrington

Senior Lecturer - Sports Coaching Science
Subject Lead for Sport Pedagogy

Stuart Carrington

About Research



Stuart is a Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching Science and Programme Coordinator for the Sports Coaching Foundation Degree.

I completed my BSc (Hons) in Sport & Exercise Science at the University of Gloucestershire, before obtaining my PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education through the University of Greenwich. While in a full-time lecturing and course management role, I completed my MSc in Applied Sport Psychology at Staffordshire University part-time, graduating with distinction. My thesis focussed on irrational beliefs and sports performance.

Stuart has a background in football coaching, previously representing two Premier League football clubs, and has coached in the UK, France, Italy and Australia to players of all ages and abilities. He was selected as Head Coach for the Berkshire U18 County Representative side.

With over a decade of teaching experience, he contributes to a wide range of modules across the Sports Coaching (BSc) and Sports Coaching Foundation (FdSc) programmes.

More recently, Stuart has focussed on the psychology and performance of sports officials, most notably in football and has recently published a book, 'Blowing the Whistle: The Psychology of Football Refereeing.'

My current area of interest is sports officials, in particular the role of rational-emotive behaviour therapy (REBT) can play in referee development.


Research profile

PhD Title:

Irrational Beliefs: Prevalence, Origins and Impact on the Performance of Football Officials

Sports officials are generally misunderstood by the public and under researched by academics. I hope that my PhD will assist in addressing this issue by providing officials in football with some clear guidance to develop performance and improve well-being.

As officials in all sports are subject to intense levels of scrutiny, originating from social and financial pressures, this is a much needed and worthwhile pursuit.

I hope my PhD benefits not only the officials themselves, who require insulation from external pressures to improve performance and protect their own well-being, but also generate a greater understanding amongst the general population of the pressures and impact the role has on the individuals involved.

My programme of work investigates the experiences of sports officials, assesses the prevalence of irrational beliefs amongst this unique population and seeks to decrease unhealthy, negative emotions that contribute to poor functioning regarding both performance and well-being.


  • Dr Jamie North
  • Dr Abbe Brady
  • Dr Martin Turner


  • Carrington, S. (2019). Blowing the Whistle: The Psychology of Football Refereeing. Stoke: Dark River.

Journal Articles

  • Carrington, S. C., North, J. S., & Brady, A. (2022). Utilising experiential knowledge of elite match officials: Recommendations to improve practice design for football referees. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 52, 242-266.

  • Turner, M., Carrington, S., & Miller, A. (2018).  Psychological distress across sports participation groups: The mediating effects of secondary irrational beliefs on the relationship between primary irrational beliefs and symptoms of anxiety, anger, and depression.  Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 1-38.

Academic Conference Papers

  • Carrington, S. (2019). The Psychology of Football Refereeing. The Football Collective Annual Conference 2019, 17th-18th November, 2019. Sheffield, UK.

  • Carrington, S. (2015). Irrational Beliefs: Prevalence and Origins in Athletes. The British Psychological Association Conference: Sport & Exercise Science Division. Coventry, UK.

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