Applied Sport Psychology Research Group (ASP-RG)

The applied sport psychology research group (ASP-RG) conducts applied research and consultancy to understand performance excellence and to optimise human functioning from a psychological and socio-psychological perspective. Taking a science-informing-practice approach, our research is delivered with National and International partners such as Governing Bodies of Sport, Sport England, and The Football Association. The group comprises 12 members of staff, of which, seven are Registered Sport and Exercise Psychologists (Health Care and Professions Council; HCPC), and a large cohort of Doctoral students.

Research Group Lead: Professor Joanne Butt

The group facilitates psychology research collaborations within three main themes of performance, development, and training and education.

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Training and Education

Research Projects

Our research is conducted across a variety of performance domains including elite and youth sport, health care and emergency services, and performing arts to address real world research questions. We have a number of consultancy projects being conducted in collaboration with our Industry partners.

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Psychological Talent Development: British Equestrian

Think Aloud and Coach Reflection

Performance Decompression following the Olympic Games

Performance Adaptability

High Performance Leadership

Women's Leadership Project and Kick Some Balls

Developing tactical knowledge and performance using immersive technology

Evaluating player development during the youth-to-senior transition in North American soccer

Postgraduate Research in ASP

Meet our sport psychology PhD students conducting their research across the 3 themes within our Applied Sport Psychology Research Group: Performance, Development, and Training and Education. Emilie Haspel is our PGR student representative. Emilie is in her first year of doctoral study and focuses her research on lost move syndrome in gymnastics. For more information on postgraduate study in sport psychology please see our Postgraduate research opportunities in Sport and Exercise Science webpage or contact The Research Group Lead, Professor Joanne Butt (

  • Sam Alder - Youth Sport and talent development
  • Liam Burnell - Psychological Adaptability in High Performance Environments (Mindflick)
  • Eleanor Cantwell - Exploring the lockdown experiences and learnings of British Gymnastics performance pathway gymnasts and coaches: Implications for return to training and competition and for future provision of support and coaching (British Gymnastics)
  • Reece Chapman - An Investigation into the Past and Present Practices of FA Grassroots Coach Education (Football Association)
  • Noel Dempsey - An Examination of Coach Education Provision in Grassroots Football (Football Association)
  • Emilie Haspel - Exploring Lost Move Syndrome: A Study of the Coach's Knowledge, Understanding and Experience of Coaching an Athlete With LMS
  • Libby Mitchel - Talented Athlete Support Scheme (TASS)/Performance Psychology
  • Andrew Newland - Exploring the Athlete-Coach relationship within high performance football
  • Alice Stratford - Career stage transitions in Women’s football

ASP RG houses around 30 Trainee Sport and Exercise Psychologists who are registered on LJMU’s Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology (BPS Accredited). Our trainee practitioner psychologists have contracts with many of our Liverpool City partners including Mindflick, British Gymnastics, British Sailing, The English Institute of Sport, Blackburn Rovers Football Club, Warrington Rowing Club, Everton Football Academy, Lancashire County Cricket Academy, City of Liverpool Trampolining and Gymnastics Club, Nuffield Health, Be Strong, and Merseyside Sport Partnership.

Contact Dr Martin Eubank for interest and enquires about the Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology

ASP RG currently has seven members of staff who are registered to supervise trainee sport and exercise psychologists on the Professional Doctorate and Stage 2 training programme (British Psychological Society Qualification) working towards Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Registration.

  • Professor Joanne Butt
  • Dr Gill Cook
  • Dr Martin Eubank (Prof Doc Programme Director, Qualification Manager, QSEP Stage 2 training programme, BPS)
  • Dr Zoe Knowles (Chair of British Association for Sport & Exercise Sciences, BASES)
  • Dr Martin Littlewood
  • Dr Nick Wadsworth (January 2023 onwards)
  • Dr Amy Whitehead

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Currently enrolled Professional Doctorate students in Sport and Exercise Psychology

Sport Industry collaborators

Special Interest Research and Networking Groups