Performance Psychology book cover

Performance Psychology

A Practitioner's Guide

Performance Psychology: A Practitioner's Guide is a comprehensive, evidence-based text covering the key aspects of performance culture: performer development, preparation, training and execution. Written by a team of international contributors, including national coaches, training specialists, applied sports psychologists, clinicians and researchers, and building on strong links between theory and practice, the book shows how applied psychological methods and principles can be used to enhance performance

Contributing authors offer clear implications for applied practice and each section is summarized by contributions from a 'Performers Panel' of experts who provide real-life practical examples. Performance psychology is applied to a wide variety of physical performance domains which enables practitioners to see how they can combine ideas and tailor interventions, to people and contexts, to produce effective applications of psychology.

Dave Collins is Professor of Performance and Coaching/Director for the Institute of Coaching and Performance at the University of Central Lancashire. As a practitioner, he has worked with over 50 World and Olympic medalists, and in professional performance domains spanning sport, business, motor sport, music, dance and adventure. He was formerly Performance Director of UK Athletics, a rugby player, martial artist and OE instructor. Dave currently works with the Chelsea FC Football Academy, amongst other consultancies.

Angela Button is a researcher at the University of Otago and is widely acknowledged as a world expert on talent. Angela has led funded research projects in talent development in the UK and New Zealand. Her sporting interests include squash, running and triathlon.

Hugh Richards lectures and is Director of post-graduate programmes in Performance Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has published in the areas of coping, talent, individual differences and professional development related to sport, the military and music. Hugh has applied psychology to professional performers from international level sport to business. He currently works with the UK Motor Sport Association, international performer development schemes and has been advisor to the BBC on learning and performance.


Published: March 2011

Imprint: Churchill Livingstone

ISBN: 978-0-443-06734-1


  • Chapter 1 Introduction

    Performance psychology: developing a peak performance culture

    Dave Collins

    Section 1 - Preparation

    Chapter 2 Aims, principles and methodologies in talent identification and development

    Angela Button

    Chapter 3 Expertise: the goal of performance development

    Nicola J. Hodges and Joseph Baker

    Chapter 4 Psychological characteristics of developing excellence

    Áine MacNamara

    Chapter 5 Talent development environments: key considerations for effective practice

    Russell Martindale and Paddy Mortimer

    Chapter 6 Implications and applications: views from the performer’s panel

    Dave Collins

    Section 2 - Provision (of support)

    Chapter 7 Introduction: organisational issues in providing support

    Dave Collins

    Chapter 8 Organising for excellence

    Veronica Burke

    Chapter 9 The team perspective: promoting excellence in performance teams

    Alan C. MacPherson and Patrick Howard

    Chapter 10 Planning for physical performance: the individual perspective. Planning, periodization, prediction, and why the future ain’t what it used to be

    John Kiely

    Chapter 11 Practical dimensions of providing for excellence: views from the performer’s panel

    Dave Collins

    Section 3 - Practice

    Chapter 12 Introduction: practice regimens for excellence

    Dave Collins

    Chapter 13 ‘Keeping it together’: motor control under pressure

    Chris Button, Clare MacMahon and Rich Masters

    Chapter 14 Skill acquisition: designing optimal learning environments

    Joan N. Vickers

    Chapter 15 Effective skill development: how should athletes’ skills be developed?

    Andrew Abraham and Dave Collins

    Chapter 16 Mental practice: neuroscientific support for a new approach

    Paul Holmes and Claire Calmels

    Chapter 17 Developing the performance brain: decision making under pressure

    Duncan R.D. Mascarenhas and Nickolas C. Smith

    Chapter 18 Practical dimensions of developing skill: views from the performers’ panel

    Dave Collins

    Section 4 - Performance

    Chapter 19 Introduction: performing on the day

    Dave Collins

    Chapter 20 Coping and mental toughness

    Hugh Richards

    Chapter 21 Emotional issues of peak performance: managing mood

    Sheelagh Rodgers and Britt Tajet-Foxall

    Chapter 22 Attention

    Aidan Moran

    Chapter 23 Putting it together: skills for pressure performance

    Mark Wilson and Hugh Richards

    Chapter 24 Putting them together: skills packages to optimize team/group performance

    Dave Collins and Judy Collins

    Chapter 25 Practical dimensions of realising your peak performance

    Dave Collins

    Conclusion Where next? Getting help in your pursuit of excellence

    Amanda Martindale and Dave Collins


advert image