Liverpool Skylilne

Sport and Exercise Sciences

Dr Martin Littlewood

Dr Martin Littlewood

Telephone: 0151 904 6235


Journal Articles

Dowling C, Reeves MJ, Littlewood MA, Nesti M, Richardson D. 2018. Developing individuals whilst managing teams: perspectives of under 21 coaches within English Premier League football Soccer and Society, :1-16 >DOI

Reeves MJ, Littlewood MA, McRobert AP, Roberts SJ. 2018. The nature and function of talent identification in junior-elite football in English category one academies Soccer & Society, 0 :1-13 >DOI

Ronkainen NJ, Ryba TV, Littlewood M, Selänne H. 2018. ‘School, family and then hockey!’ Coaches’ views on dual career in ice hockey International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 13 :38-45 >DOI

Reeves M, McRobert AP, Littlewood M, Roberts S. 2018. A scoping review of the potential sociological predictors of talent in junior-elite football: 2000–2016 Soccer and Society, >DOI

Reeves M, Roberts S, McRobert A, Littlewood M. 2018. Factors affecting the identification of talented junior-elite footballers: a case study Soccer and Society, >DOI

Devaney DJ, Nesti MS, Ronkainen NJ, Littlewood M, Richardson D. 2017. Athlete Lifestyle Support of Elite Youth Cricketers: An Ethnography of Player Concerns Within a National Talent Development Program Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, :1-21 >DOI

mcdougall M, nesti M, Richardson D, Littlewood M. 2017. Emphasising the culture in culture change: Examining current perspectives of culture and offering some alternative ones Sport and Exercise Psychology Review, 13 :47-59

Eubank MR, Nesti M, Littlewood M. 2017. A Culturally Informed Approach to Mental Toughness Development in High Performance Sport International Journal of Sport Psychology, 48 :1-17

O'Halloran L, Littlewood MA, Richardson D, Tod D, Nesti MS. 2016. Doing descriptive phenomenological data collection in sport psychology research Sport in Society, >DOI

Rennie DJ, Vanrenterghem J, Littlewood M, Drust B. 2016. Can the natural turf pitch be viewed as a risk factor for injury within Association Football? Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 19 :547-552 >DOI

Ronkainen NJ, Tikkanen O, Littlewood M, Nesti MS. 2015. An existential perspective on meaning, spirituality and authenticity in athletic careers Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 7 :253-270 >DOI

Cook C, Crust L, Littlewood M, Nesti M, Allen-Collinson J. 2014. 'What it takes': Perceptions of mental toughness and its development in an English Premier League Soccer Academy Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 6 :329-347 >DOI

Mitchell T, Richardson D, Nesti M, Eubank M, Midgley A, Littlewood M. 2014. Athletic Identity in Elite Level English Youth Football:A Cross Sectional Approach Journal of Sports Sciences, >DOI

Cook C, Littlewood M, Nesti M, Crust L, Allen-Collinson J. 2014. 'What it takes': perceptions of mental toughness and its development in an English Premier League Soccer Academy Qualitiative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, >DOI

Crust L, Nesti M, Littlewood M. 2012. Player and coach ratings of mental toughness in an elite association football academy :241-252

Crust L, Nesti M, Littlewood M. 2012. A cross-sectional analysis of mental toughness in a professional football academy :171-180

O'Halloran L, Richardson D, Littlewood M, Nesti M. 2012. Phenomenological analysis of critical moments of players in elite level English professional football Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health,

Nesti M, Littlewood M, O'Halloran L, Eubank M, Richardson D. 2012. Critical Moments in Elite Premiership Football: Who Do You Think You Are? Physical Culture and Sport. Studies and Research., 56 :23-32 >DOI

Relvas H, Littlewood M, Nesti M, Gilbourne D, Richardson D. 2010. Organizational Structures and Working Practices in Elite European Professional Football Clubs: Understanding the Relationship between Youth and Professional Domains EUROPEAN SPORT MANAGEMENT QUARTERLY, 10 :165-187 >DOI >Link

Richardson D, Gilbourne D, Littlewood M. 2004. Developing support mechanisms for elite young players in a professional soccer academy: Creative reflections in action research European Sport Management Quarterly, 4 :195-214 >DOI

Finnegan L, Richardson D, Littlewood M, McArdle J. The influence of date and place of birth on youth player selection to a National Football Association elite development programme Science and Medicine in Football, >DOI

Ronkainen N, Tikkanen O, Littlewood M, Nesti M. An Existential Perspective to Meaning, Spirituality and Authenticity in Athletic Careers Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health,

Littlewood M, Mullen C, Richardson D. Football labour migration: an examination of the player recruitment strategies of the ‘big five’ European football leagues 2004–5 to 2008–9 Soccer and Society, 12 :788-805 >DOI

Richardson D, Littlewood M, Nesti M, Benstead L. An Examination of the Migratory Transition of Elite Young European Soccer Players to the English Premier League Journal of Sports Sciences, >DOI


Littlewood MA. 2018. Science in Soccer: Translating Theory into Practice Littlewood M, Gregson W. Bloomsbury Publishing. London


Littlewood MA, Nesti MS. 2011. Making your way in the game: Boundary situations in England's professional football world Gilbourne D, Andersen MB. Critical Essays in Applied Sport Psychology :233-250 Human Kinetics. USA 9780736078856

Littlewood MA, Nesti M. 2010. Psychological preparation and development of players in Premiership football: Practical and theoretical perspectives Reilly T, Williams AM, Drust B. International Research in Science and Soccer :169-175 Routledge. London

Littlewood MA, Richardson D. Sociological and Cultural Influences on Elite Player Development Williams AM. Science and Soccer

Littlewood MA, Drust B. Reflective practice in Science and Football Knowles Z, Gilbourne D, Dugdill L. Reflective Practice in Sport, Health and Pedagogy’

Relvas H, Littlewood M, Gilbourne D, Richardson D. Youth development structures, philosophy and working mechanisms of top-level football clubs: a pan-European perspective Reilly T, Korkusuz F. Science and Football VI: The Proceedings of the Sixth World Congress on Science and Football :476-481 Taylor and Francis. London

Engagement & Impact

External collaboration:

URL:, Institution: Leaders, Collaborator: Professional contributor for The Leaders magazine

External committees:

Committee name: Science and Football Steering Committee, Organisation: World Congress Science and Football Steering Group, Position: Psychology Advisor

Committee name: Elite Performance Advisory Group, Organisation: The English Premier League, Position: Performance Psychology Advisor

Industrial connections:

Company: Manchester United Football Club, Position or project: Football Exchange Sports Science Support Assistant

Company: Everton Football Club, Position or project: Management of Internship programme to provide Sports Science support to Academy teams

Company: Crewe Alexandra Football Club, Position or project: Successfully gained an external consultancy contract to deliver Applied Sports Psychology support within the club

Membership of professional bodies:

Professional Member, BASES

Other invited event:

Title of event: World Congress Science and Soccer, Location: Portland, Oregan, USA, Description: Invited talk on Psychological Development of Elite Academy Players in English PRemier League Football

Research Grants Awarded:

Rugby Football Union, Motivation and movement of University leavers, Dr Robert Morris, Dr David Tod, Grant value (£): £24,852, Duration of research project: 6 months

The English Football Assocaition, Exploring the 'wash-out' effect on, and lived experiences of, Level 1 and 2 football coaches, Grant value (£): £60,000, Duration of research project: 3 years

Racing Welfare, Racing Industry Mental Health, Dr Mark Nesti, Grant value (£): £94,290, Duration of research project: 18 months

British Council, UK Football Study Programme for Yunnan Province, China, Grant value (£): 159,000.00, Duration of research project: 3 months

Teaching qualification:

Title of qualification gained: Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education