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Sport, physical activity, and health psychology

Sport Psychology deals with the psychological aspects (e.g., thoughts, emotions, behaviours, relationships) of competitive sports, exercise, health-related fitness, physical education, and other types of physical activity. Within the sport, exercise, and health psychology fields we conduct research, applied practice/consulting, as well as related teaching and learning.

Publications
Publications

Publications by the members

Research projects
Research projects

Projects within the research area

Calendar
Calendar

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Our definition of sport psychology is based on the definition of the European Federation of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC) established in 1995.
More detailed definition and description of sports psychology of FEPSAC.

The sport, physical activity, and health psychology research at the department is broad; it includes issues related to sport performance, exercise promotion, as well as health-oriented physical activity.

The research involves a wide range of research methods and is often undertaken through multi-disciplinary collaborations (e.g., physicians, physiologists) both locally and internationally with athletes, teams, and sport governing bodies. We also undertake associated performance and health research and consultancy in other domains beyond sport (e.g., police, military, performing artists, business).

Research

The role of emotions in performance and health
Emotions such as anxiety and anger can influence performance outcomes as well as individuals' general health. We examine how individuals attempt to manage their own emotions as well as the potential influence of significant others.
Paul Davis; Louise Davis; Markus Nyström

The influence of motivation in sport and exercise
Motivation is a key factor underlying human behaviour. Our research investigates antecedents and consequences of human motivation in sport, exercise, and physical activity settings.
Andreas Stenling; Paul Davis

Overtraining, burnout, and recovery
Individual differences can influence how athletes as well as coaches train and recover. We examine the role of personality (e.g., perfectionism), emotions, and significant others (e.g., teammates) in burnout and recovery.
Paul Davis; Louise Davis; Stefan Holmström

Coach, parent, and athlete relationships
Athletes' relationships with their coach can influence their sport performance, enjoyment, and continuation in sport. The quality of the relationships between athletes, coaches, and parents are explored within the research group with a particular focus on parent- athlete, coach-athlete attachment bonds.
Louise Davis; Marius Sommer; Paul Davis

Supporting physical activity through online consultation
Physical activity is often prescribed for the treatment and prevention of health related issues. A particular focus of the research group aims to increase the effectiveness of the use online consultations to support exercise adherence and increase health.
Markus Nyström

Improving motor control and coordination
Timing, coordination and motor-control are important factors for optimal performance. Thus, effects of multimodal, bi- and unilateral training on selected aspects of motor learning, functional laterality and performance in athletes is in focus.
Marius Sommer

Self-regulated learning in sports
As continued learning and successful performance is fundamental in elite sports, knowledge about successful learning environments and efficient learning strategies becomes imperative. This research examines how continued learning and skill development takes place at the expert level, from a self-regulated learning and motivational perspective.
Marius Sommer

Leadership in sport and organisations
The role of leaders is central to success in both sport performance as well as administration. The research group examines both the characteristics of effective leaders as well as the perceptions of group members.
Andreas Stenling; Louise Davis; Paul Davis

The use of sport to optimise integration
Sport is a global activity that can help individuals connect with new communities. The research group explores how relationships formed in sport (with coaches and peers) can enhance integration and the health of immigrant populations.
Louise Davis; Paul Davis; Andreas Stenling

Mental health (e.g., depression & anxiety)
Physical activity has been shown to improve individuals' mental health and can be particularly effective in the treatment of depression and anxiety. We examine how specific factors (e.g., personality, emotions) influence individuals' experience of exercise and how these can be targeted to enhance approaches to treatment (e.g., CBT).
Stefan Holmström; Markus Nyström; Afsaneh Moharer; Paul Davis; Andreas Stenling

Sport injury prediction, prevention, and rehabilitation
Psychosocial factors can influence injury risk in athletes. We examine various predictors (e.g., recovery, stress, sleep) of injury occurrence and rehabilitation adherence. We also examine if and how tailored interventions can reduce the risk of injury and increase rehabilitation adherence.
Andreas Stenling

Motor planning, kinematics performance and underlying mechanisms
Quantitative measurement of 3D motions of interest and subsequent analysis based on the computed kinematic quantities allow in-depth understanding of movement performance, enhancement as effect of training, side differences and lateralization, as well as of injuries and neuro-motor development and deviations.
Louise Rönnqvist

Student projects

Markus Nyström
• Internet treatments
• Personality disorders
• Affects/emotions
• Group processes
• Performance enhancement
• Attachment

Louise Davis
• Interpersonal Coach-athlete relationships in sport
• Attachment
• Leadership & Coaching
• Social Integration through Sport

Paul Davis
• Emotions
• Personality
• Coaching & Leadership
• Mental health

Marius Sommer
• Interpersonal relationships in sport
• Performance enhancement
• Self-regulation
• Motivation
• Motor control and coordination

Louise Rönnqvist
• Sport biomechanics
• Kinematics analysis of movements
• Laterality and sport performance
• Physical activity and the brain – behavioural relationship

Stefan Holmström
• Performance enhancement
• Mental health
• Coaching and leadership
• Self-regulation
• Motivation
• Treatment interventions (e.g. ACT, FACT & Self-compassion)

Consultancy

Staff in the profile group have extensive experience working with a wide range of individuals, teams, organizations, institutions, and government departments.

Examples of teams and organisations we have worked with include elite national athletes, teams and coaches (Sverige, UK, Canada), Professional Sport Clubs (Premiership Football, Premiership Rugby: England), Multinational corporations, Non-governmental organizations, Public Health England, Research Councils, Police, Military, municipalities, and charities.

Our work includes but is not limited to:

  • Psychological skills training for athletes and coaches (teams and individuals)
  • Psychological treatment for mental illness (e.g., depression and anxiety)
  • Evaluation of programs and initiatives associated with health promotion
  • Team building in organisations
  • Leadership training
  • Workshops for performance enhancement and health
  • Feasibility studies
  • Contract research
  • Development of programs for healthy communities and positive youth development

 

Members

Contact

Paul Davis
Associate professor
E-mail
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Louise Davis
Associate professor
E-mail
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Paul Davis
Associate professor
E-mail
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Stefan Holmström
Associate professor
E-mail
Email
Markus Nyström
Associate professor
E-mail
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Marius Sommer
Associate professor
E-mail
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Andreas Stenling
Associate professor
E-mail
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