Studying in autumn 2020 during coronavirus

Applied Sport and Performance Psychology

The Applied Sport and Performance Psychology Research Group examines everything from the psychology of sporting injuries, the antecedents of elite sports performance to the benefits of sports as a tool to improve mental wellbeing and quality of life.

By cross-examining their own research interests, members of the group have developed a better understanding of issues arising within their disciplines. This collaborative approach has also provided a special insight into members’ individual projects and achievements.


For any enquiries please email Group Chair Dr Linda Duffy or call +44 (0)20 8411 5406.

Projects and research interests

Our main areas of research include the following:

  • Psychology of recovery from sporting injuries (mostly focused on extreme
    sport and activities)
  • Psychology of circus performers (as extreme performers)
  • The development of expertise in sport
  • The psychological effects of practice
  • Gender differences in throwing ability
  • Psychological resilience
  • Psychological factors as mediators of the development and maintenance of expertise in sport
  • Personality and perceptual and motor skills in sport
  • Addictive behaviours amongst sport performers
  • Sport Psychologists’ use of counselling principles and skills to develop practitioner-athlete relationships
  • Evaluation of children’s drawings in a sporting context
  • Evaluation of Sporting programmes to enhance mental wellbeing and support the rehabilitation of young offenders

Our academics may have specific individual research interests so please ensure to view their profiles below.

  • Examples of impact

    Dr Cohen is working on a film project highlighting the injuries and psychology in this area as part of a project to develop psychological kit for Circus Art. She is also working with The National Centre for Circus Arts and Perform Health.

    Dr Duffy is working with the Professional Darts Corporation supporting players on the PDC Professional Tour, the Saracens Foundation, Reading FC and the Jamega Golf Tour.

    Dr Duffy and Dr Baluch are evaluating the Tottenham Active, Monday Club and Get Onside projects.

  • Examples of funding

    • Evaluation of the “Get Onside” project in collaboration with Saracens RFC £15,000
    • Wellcome Trust £10,000, Science of Circus: psychology and injuries
    • London Borough of Haringey £10,000, "Tottenham Active!" project
    • Saracens RFC £10,000 “Monday Club” project.

Student profile

Research student applications and placements

If you're wanting to undertake a PhD or looking to gain research assistant experience, we recommend speaking to our academics. They can help advise on what's available, your options and how we can work together. Contact details are available on their staff profiles.

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