Dr Gillian Cook is the Programme Leader of BSc Sport Psychology, and a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Performance Psychology. She is a British Psychological Society (BPS) Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist, and a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered Practitioner Psychologist. She is the club and first team sport psychologist at Dundee United Football Club, and has worked with teams and organisations including British Swimming, British Athletics, Birmingham City Football Club's Academy, Scottish Hockey, Loughborough Sport, Nike, the NHS, and BBC. She is regularly interviewed about sport psychology-related topics on British national radio and news outlets (e.g., BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Wales, The Sunday Times).
Gillian teaches and supervises across the undergraduate, postgraduate, professional doctorate and PhD degree programmes. She is the Module Leader for Developmental Psychology and Individual Differences, as well as Developmental and Social Psychology. Her research interests include high performance leadership, and the psychology of performance excellence. Specifically, her research examines how effective leaders create the conditions for others to thrive and deliver optimal outcomes in high pressure environments.
Gillian joined the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences in 2019. She graduated with a First Class BSc Honours degree in Psychology from the University of Aberdeen in 2012. She continued her studies at Loughborough University, graduating with Distinction from the MSc Psychology of Sport and Exercise programme in 2013. She conducted her PhD at Loughborough University in collaboration with British Swimming, and examined the psychology of the world’s best Olympic swimming coaches, in particular, understanding how they optimise their own and their athlete’s performance.
Through her research and applied consultancy, Gillian has been the recipient of awards including the 2014 British Psychological Society (DSEP) MSc Award for the best MSc dissertation of the year; the 2015 Global Editors Network News Data App of the Year Award for her contribution as scientific advisor to develop the interactive App ‘What Sport are you Made for?” which was part of the BBC’s coverage for the Commonwealth Games; the 2018 world-wide Association for Applied Sport Psychology Student Award for Excellence in Science Practitioner Endeavors for her research and applied sport psychology consultancy work; the 2019 Loughborough University Doctoral College Research Student Prize for demonstrating outstanding academic performance, achievement, and contribution to the University; and the 2020 British Psychological Society (DSEP) PhD Award for the best PhD thesis of the year, demonstrated by an exceptional and innovative thesis, and contribution to knowledge in the field.
2019, Loughborough University, United Kingdom, PhD in Sport and Performance Psychology
2018, British Psychological Society, United Kingdom, Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (Stage 2)
2013, Loughborough University, United Kingdom, MSc Psychology of Sport and Exercise
2012, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom, BSc Psychology (Hons)
Cook GM, Fletcher D, Peyrebrune M. 2022. Olympic coaching excellence: A quantitative study of Olympic swimmers’ perceptions of their coaches Journal of Sports Sciences, 40 :32-39 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url
Cook GM, Fletcher D, Peyrebrune M. 2021. Olympic coaching excellence: A quantitative study of psychological aspects of Olympic swimming coaches Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 53 :101876-101876 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url
Cook GM, Fletcher D, Carroll C. 2021. Psychosocial functioning of Olympic coaches and its perceived effect on athlete performance: a systematic review International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 14 :278-311 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url
Cook GM, Fletcher D. 2017. Sport psychology in an Olympic swimming team: Perceptions of the management and coaches Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 48 :343-351 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url
Live interview with Lisa Marrey on BBC Radio Merseyside. The interview covered the Champions League final, and the psychological factors that will come into play, and how both teams may look to get the edge. 2022
Live interview with Tony Livesey on BBC Radio 5 Live. The interview covered the resilience, focus, and motivation needed by English Premier League footballers to effectively bounce back from disappointment. 2022
Live interview with Paul Salt on BBC Radio Merseyside. The interview covered pressures elite athletes face, the increasing recognition of mental health concerns, and how we can better support athletes to enhance their well-being and performance.. 2022
Live interview with Lisa Marrey on BBC Radio Merseyside. The interview covered the performing under pressure and the effects on mental health and well-being at the Olympic Games.. 2021
Live interview with Claire Summers on BBC Radio Wales. The interview covered performing under pressure and psychology of winning at the Olympic Games.. 2021
https://theconversation.com/why-fans-cover-their-faces-when-football-players-take-penalties-a-psychologist-explains-164449, The Conversation: Why fans cover their faces when football players take penalties – a psychologist explains. 2021
Live interview on BBC Radio Scotland. The interview covered performing under pressure, motivation, and Novak Djokovic aiming to win a record equalling 20th grand slam title at Wimbledon. 2021
Live interview on BBC Radio Scotland. The interview covered the psychology of football rivalries and why we can sometimes see unexpected results.. 2021
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/57595280, BBC Sport: The psychological impact on the Danish players of Christian Eriksen collapsing and suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch. 2021
Live interview with Claire Summers on BBC Radio Wales. The interview covered the psychology of penalties, the impact of crowds, and being an underdog at Euro 2020.. 2021
Live interview with Paul Salt on BBC Radio Merseyside. The interview covered the impact that crowds returning to English Premier League stadiums may have on player performance.. 2021
Live interview with Ady Dayman on BBC Radio Leicester. The interview covered resilience, managing setbacks, and building momentum in English Premier League football after the COVID-19 break.. 2020
Live interview with Paul Salt on BBC Radio Merseyside. The interview covered the psychological opportunities and obstacles facing teams on their return to English Premier League football after the COVID-19 break.. 2020
Live interview with broadcaster Steve Hothersall on Radio City. The interview covered the psychological effects of VAR on footballers, managers, officials, and fans.. 2020
Live interview with Jonathan Lampon on BBC Radio Leicester. The interview covered motivation, resilience, and self-worth in sport.. 2017
Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology, Editorial Board. 2021
PhD Award, British Psychological Society (DSEP). 2020
Loughborough University Doctoral College Research Student Prize, Loughborough University. 2019
Student Award for Excellence in Science Practitioner Endeavors, Association for Applied Sport Psychology. 2018
News Data App of the Year Award, Global Editors Network. 2015
MSc Award, British Psychological Society (DSEP). 2014
Colours Award for Outstanding Dedication to Sport, University of Aberdeen. 2012
Membership of professional bodies:
Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist, British Psychological Society.
Practitioner Psychologist, Health and Care Professions Council.
Professional Member, Association for Applied Sport Psychology.