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The Sport Psych Show

Dan Abrahams

Join Sport Psychologist, Dan Abrahams, on The Sport Psych Show as he aims to demystify sport psychology for players, coaches and parents by speaking with some of the most influential people in sports performance today. Dan is on a mission to learn more about how sport psychology philosophies, tools and techniques positively impact participation, progression and performance in sport. He wants to learn more about how to drive participation – what motivational tools engage players and inspire people to play and stay in their sport. He wants to explore how players can progress quicker and more effectively – what is great practice and training? And how does learning in sport really happen? Finally, he wants to hear what his guests have to say about the psychology of performance – how do they think players can improve their ability to high perform consistently under pressure? Discover simple and practical tools and techniques by listening in to Dan’s conversations with elite competitors, sports coaches, sport scientists, and psychologists.

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Top 10 The Sport Psych Show Episodes

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12/28/20 • 30 min

I’m delighted to speak with Sian Beilock in this episode. Sian is a cognitive scientist, with two PhD’s: one in Kinesiology and one in Cognitive Psychology. Sian is one of the world’s leading experts on the brain science behind ‘choking under pressure’ and the brain and body factors influencing all types of performance from public speaking to your golf swing.

In this podcast, Sian and I take a detailed look at what ‘choking’ is and why it happens.

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09/14/20 • 80 min

I’m honoured to be speaking with Prof Mark Williams in this episode. Mark is one of the world’s leading authorities in sports performance. He completed his PhD in Movement Science with a focus on perceptual cognitive expertise. Mark has worked at various academic institutions including Liverpool John Moores university, University of Sydney, Brunel University London, Florida State, and he is now Professor and Chair of the Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation at the University of Utah.

Mark has authored 18 books and over 500 research papers and has just co-authored a book entitled The Best: How Elite Athletes are Made. And it’s this book we mainly focus on, specifically 10,000 hour rule; early specialisation; transference; choking; deliberate practice; and resilience.

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08/10/20 • 74 min

I’m delighted to have award-winning journalist and author, Joan Ryan on this episode. Joan was a pioneer in sports journalism, becoming one of the first female sports columnists in the country. Since 2008, Joan has been senior media advisor for the San Francisco Giants baseball team. Joan spends most of her time in the company of the players in the clubhouse, and the experiences she has had from this time prompted her to write her latest book, “Intangibles: Unlocking the Science and Soul of Team Chemistry” which asks does team chemistry really exist or is it a myth? If it exists, what is it exactly?

And it’s this book we mainly speak about. We discuss the dynamics of team chemistry, what hinders and what helps, and its effect on performance.

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I speak with rugby league international coaching specialist, Stuart Wilkinson in this episode. Stuart started out playing the game, before moving on to coaching in the National pathway. He was Great Britain Academy Assistant Coach and a coach with the English national team for a number of years. In the late 90’s he became the first player performance manager in GB Rugby League where his brief was to build up a local pathway for players. Stuart moved on to work with the first team at Wigan Warriors and then became the RFL national performance coach. He has coached with the national teams of Wales, France, Russia and is now coaching in Serbia, as well as undertaking a PhD in talent development.

We speak in depth about developing an integrated system around the player.

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I speak with Dr Amy Whitehead in this episode. Amy is a sport psychologist, coach developer and Programme Manager for the Sports Coaching and Sport Development programmes at Liverpool John Moores University.

Amy specialises in ‘Think Aloud’ protocol in a sporting context which asks athletes and coaches to think aloud as they perform/coach.

And it’s this protocol we focus on during the podcast. Specifically, how it works in practice; how it can help coaches and athletes analyse their performances; self reflection and flow.

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08/17/20 • 71 min

I speak with sport psychologist Gareth J Mole in this episode. Gareth spent his younger days in South Africa and credits this for his love of sport. He then moved to the UK and went on to undertake his psychology undergraduate at the University of Leeds after which he moved to Australia to complete his Masters in sport psychology at the University of Western Sydney.

In 2005 Gareth set up Condor Performance, a (now) 10 strong team of Australian sport and performance psychologists. Condor Performance has grown to become the largest independent sport and performance psychology practice in Australia.

We speak about what the future of sport psychology might look like, specifically greater role clarity; stronger regulations in the field; cohesion between coaches and psychologists; the landscape of sport psychology across the world and hopes for the future.

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I’m delighted to speak with former Olympic 100m sprinter and bobsleigher, Craig Pickering in this episode. After early success as a young athlete, Craig went on to win a number of medals at European and World Championship levels.

After a career-ending injury Craig completed his doctorate and now works as athlete pathway manager at Athletics Australia.

We speak in depth about Craig’s experiences as an athlete including attentional cues, dealing with injury, well-being and managing success and failure.

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08/03/20 • 70 min

In this episode, I speak with Dr Natalie Campbell. Natalie is senior lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire in the Department of Sport and Exercise sciences. She completed her PhD in Social Psychology. Natalie is also a research and education associate of a charity called Switch the Play Foundation which helps to transition athletes into life outside of their sport.

We speak about pop psychology; authenticity; acknowledging that success looks different for different people; experiential versus empirical knowledge.

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07/27/20 • 96 min

To mark the 100th episode of The Sport Psych Show, Dr Scott Goldman has come back on to interview me.

Scott and I speak about my experiences as a sport psychologist over the last 15 or so years. We explore the role of a sport psychologist and the importance of integrating sport psychology into sporting organisations. We also discuss what I feel coaches can do to get the very most from their players.

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I’m delighted to speak with Amy Price in this episode. Amy has a football coaching background holding her UEFA A Licence and now works as women's national coach developer for the FA. Prior to this, Amy was a lecturer at St Mary’s University London in Physical and Sport Education and then programme director. Amy holds a Masters and DProf.

We speak about a paper that Amy has just co-authored related to strategic understanding, which looks at soccer coaches’ interpretation, knowledge and application of game strategies. Specifically, game understanding; building meta- cognitive game skills; and the use of video games to improve learning transference onto the football pitch.

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