1st Edition

Positive Psychology in Sport and Physical Activity An Introduction

Edited By Abbe Brady, Bridget Grenville-Cleave Copyright 2018
    290 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    290 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Positive psychology (PP) is a fast-developing area of research that emphasises personal growth and the positive qualities of life. This is the first book to apply the principles and practice of PP to sport and physical activity.

    In attempting to help people enjoy sport, sport psychology has paradoxically often focused on topics such as anxiety, stress and burnout. By contrast, this reader-friendly introduction to PP shows how it can improve sporting performance while also enhancing physical and mental well-being. Demonstrating the practical relevance of PP for all those who participate in sport and physical activity at any level, it covers a variety of topics including:

    • passion, enjoyment and flow
    • positive pedagogy and appreciative inquiry for sport leaders, coaches and teachers
    • gratitude, mindfulness, optimism and hope
    • positive psychology coaching for sport leaders and practitioners
    • character strengths, growth mindset and resilience.

    With expert contributors from around the globe, real-life case studies, practical strategies and suggestions for future research in every chapter, this book is inspirational reading for all students, coaches, researchers and practitioners with an interest in sport and exercise psychology, mental health and well-being.


    [Brian Hemmings]


    Part 1: Why a text on positive psychology in sport and physical activity?

    1. Introducing positive psychology and its value for sport and physical activity

    [Abbe Brady and Bridget Grenville-Cleave]

    2. Understanding the components of well-being

    [Bridget Grenville-Cleave and Abbe Brady]

    3. Contemporary findings about the value of well-being and positive psychology in sport and physical activity settings

    [Abbe Brady and Bridget Grenville-Cleave]

    Part 2: Key topics in positive psychology and their value in sport and physical activity

    4. Positive psychology meets education in the context of passion for sports: Implications for sports-study programs

    [Tanya Chichekian and Robert Vallerand]

    5. Character strengths in sport and physical activity

    [Scott Bradley and Piers Worth]

    6. Hope and optimism in sport

    [Carolina Lundquist and Henrik Gustafsson]

    7. Mindfulness in sport and physical exercise

    [Hanna Kampman and Tim Lomas]

    8. Resilience and growth mindset in sport and physical activity

    [Abbe Brady and Rudy Alleyne]

    9. As positive as it gets: Flow and enjoyment in sport and physical activity

    [Jay Kimiecik, Robin S. Vealey, Emily Wright and Deanna Morrison]

    10. Gratitude and athletes’ well-being

    [Lung Hung Chen]

    11. Positive psychology of relationships in sport and physical activity

    [Bridget Grenville-Cleave, Abbe Brady and Emma Kavanagh]

    Part 3: Applying positive psychology in and through sport and physical activity

    12. My future today

    [Dan Jolley, Chris McCready, Bridget Grenville-Cleave and Abbe Brady]

    13. LifeMatters: Using physical activities and games to enhance the self-concept and well-being of disadvantaged youth

    [Stephanie J. Hanrahan]

    14. Positive psychology and physical education in schools

    [Graham Mallen and Bridget Grenville-Cleave]

    15. Positive Pedagogy for sport coaching: The influence of positive psychology

    [Richard L. Light]

    16. Performance Lifestyle in Olympic and Paralympic sport; where positive psychology informs practice

    [Arabella Ashfield, Joanna Harrison and Samuel Giles]

    17. Embracing positive psychology ideas and interventions within sport and exercise psychology consultancy

    [Paul McCarthy]

    18. Appreciative reflection and Appreciative Inquiry in the development of sport coaches

    [Liam McCarthy and Abbe Brady]

    19. Positive psychology coaching for sport leaders

    [John M. Yeager and Kathryn H. Britton]

    Part 4: Concluding thoughts and future directions for positive psychology in sport and physical activity

    20. Embracing positive psychology in sport and physical exercise: Implications for practitioners

    [Bridget Grenville-Cleave and Abbe Brady]


    Abbe Brady is Programme Director for Sports Coaching at St Mary’s University, London, UK. Through her applied work as a registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist as well as her research, Abbe has developed an interest in well-being and positive psychology applications within sport and business. She has led symposia and workshops introducing positive psychology to students and practitioners in sport, and she presents on a range of PP-related themes at national and international conferences.

    Bridget Grenville-Cleave is a lecturer in Applied Positive Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK. She runs well-being, resilience and engagement training programmes in business, health and education sectors and is passionate about community development using applied positive psychology. Bridget has written five psychology books, including Positive Psychology: A Toolkit for Happiness, Purpose and Well-being (2012). She is also an international speaker on positive psychology and a founding member of the International Positive Psychology Association.

    "Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, regrets that the discipline had often omitted the study of what he calls "the neck down". This is no longer the case! The first of its kind, this volume brings together the field of positive psychology with that of sport and physical activity showing how they are far more than just physical experiences. Going well beyond constructing an excellent research argument, the book offers a great selection of real life case studies, practical interventions and research ideas. A must for anyone who thinks that we cannot separate the study of the mind from the study of the body and believes that flourishing is a multidimensional phenomenon." - Dr Ilona Boniwell, Head of the International MSc in Applied Positive Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University, UK