Game play

Psychology and Development Research Group

Promoting positive change in identity, performance and wellbeing

We work with professional sports teams, Olympic athletes and UK institutes of sport.

Our mission is to be internationally recognised as leaders in the area of identity, culture and personal meaning in elite sport, and how this informs the development of athletes, coaches, and sport science support staff and practitioners.


Our expertise

Our staff are world-leading experts in innovative qualitative research methods. We publish our work in peer reviewed journals and present it at international conferences and national policy forums. Our research findings impact policy and practice in applied settings.

  • We study the daily existence of athletes, coaches and support staff and how they understand themselves and others within their sporting environments using a wide range of cutting edge, multidisciplinary scientific approaches
  • We implement and evaluate interventions promoting positive changes to player, coach, support staff and sport science practitioner identity, performance and wellbeing, both during and after their sport-related careers
  • We explore how the elite sport culture informs effective sport science and sport psychology service delivery and how practitioners working in this context can be developed within their professional training


Staff have extensive networks with numerous elite and professional sporting organisations providing our students with research and placement opportunities. Examples include professional UK and European professional football, cricket, and rugby teams, Olympic sports, and UK institutes of sport.


Search through our selected publications:

Search for a research paper

7 papers found

  • Journal article

    ‘Don’t ever mix God with sports’: Christian religion in athletes’ stories of life transitions

    Ronkainen NJ and Ryba TV and Tod D

    Publish date:2019

  • Journal article

    ‘Through the lens of ethnography’: Perceptions, challenges, and experiences of an early career practitioner-researcher in professional football

    Champ F, Ronkainen N, Nesti MS and Tod D and Littlewood M

    Publish date:2019

  • Journal article

    A meta-study of qualitative research on the junior-to-senior transition in sport

    Drew K, Morris R and Tod D and Eubank M

    Publish date:2019

  • Journal article

    Children’s perceptions of factors that influence PE enjoyment: A qualitative investigation

    Domville M, Watson P and Richardson D and Graves LEF

    Publish date:2019

  • Journal article

    Effect of taekwondo practice on cognitive function in adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    Kadri A, Slimani M, Bragazzi NL and Tod D and Azaiez F

    Publish date:2019

  • Journal article

    Experiences leading elite motorcycle road racers to participate at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT): An existential perspective

    Sille R and Ronkainen N and Tod D

    Publish date:2019


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