Psychology in Sports Coaching: Theory and Practice (Paperback) book cover

Psychology in Sports Coaching

Theory and Practice

By Adam R. Nicholls

© 2013 – Routledge

232 pages

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About the Book

Have you ever wondered how athletes learn and make use of the feedback they are given by their coach, or how a coach could make his or her feedback more effective for athletes?

Psychology in Sports Coaching has been written specifically for students studying coaching who want to improve their understanding of incorporating psychology into coaching practice. As such, it provides information on how coaches establish the psychological needs of athletes in order for them to provide psychological interventions, such as mental imagery, mental toughness training and coping effectiveness training.

This book also provides the reader with information on enhancing the awareness of athletes and the relationships that occur between the coach and the athlete. It explains how coaches can coach children, adolescents, adults and athletes with learning disabilities. These groups of athletes have different learning styles, are motivated by different factors and prefer instructions to be administered differently. So, it is important that coaches tailor their coaching based on the athlete they coach, as this has the potential to enhance the performance and enjoyment of the players that are being coached.

Essential reading for all students of sports coaching and sport psychology, and for practising sports coaches, this book will help develop and extend coaching expertise.


"With each chapter having a case study, summary points, practice exam questions, and critical thinking questions, this book will have appeal as a textbook for university modules on psychology in sports coaching".International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Identifying the Psychological Needs of Athletes 1. Conducting Needs Analysis Interviews 2. Using Questionnaires to Assess the Needs of Athletes Part 2: How to Help Athletes: Mental Skills Training 3. Mental Imagery 4. Mental Toughness Training 5. Maximising Sport Confidence 6. Coping Effectiveness Training 7. Choking Prevention Training 8. The Injured Athlete Part 3: Facilitating Awareness 9. Goal Setting 10. Performance Profiling Part 4: Coaching Different Populations 11. Coaching Children 12. Coaching Adolescents 13. Coaching Adults 14. Coaching Athletes with Learning Disabilities Part 5: Relationships and Support 15. The Coach-Athlete Relationship 16. Understanding and Building Team Cohesion 17. Providing Social Support Part 6: Concluding Thoughts 18. Ethics, Referrals and the HPC

About the Author

Adam R. Nicholls is Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Hull, UK. He is a Health Professions Council-registered sport and exercise psychologist, who has published over 40 scientific papers on the areas of stress, coping, emotions, and mental toughness. Much of his research has featured international and professional athletes.

Leigh Jones is National Coach Development Manager for the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union and National XV’s Head Coach. He is a BASES-accredited sport and exercise scientist with 20 years’ applied experience in the UK as a professional coach.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sports Psychology
SPORTS & RECREATION / Coaching / General