Routledge Handbook of Elite Sport Performance  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Elite Sport Performance

ISBN 9781138290303
Published May 21, 2019 by Routledge
420 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Routledge Handbook of Elite Sport Performance is the first book to examine a broad span of performance and support issues in contemporary elite sport; including coaching, sports science and medicine, leadership and management, operating in different societies, living in the system as a performer, and future developments in the domain.

The book is written by authors with elite-level experience, expertise, success, and status across individual and team sports, including football, NFL, track and field athletics, rowing, and rugby, in professional, Olympic, and other elite domains. The book also considers the integration of systems at micro to macro levels, from working with individual athletes to developing national organisations and policy, and features in-depth case studies from real sport throughout.

This is an essential reference for any researcher or advanced student with an interest in elite sport or applied sport science, from sport injury and sport psychology to sports coaching and sport policy. It is also an invaluable resource for coaches, managers, administrators, and policy-makers working in elite sport, offering them a "breadth first" guide to how and why specialists may work together for maximum effect.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations


List of contributors




Introduction – defining, delineating, and driving elite performance

Dave Collins, Andrew Cruickshank, and Geir Jordet



Coaching elites – art and science

1 The principles of elite coaching – blending knowledge, experience, and novelty

Dave Collins


2 Being the personal coach

Toni Minichiello


3 Being the national coach in an Olympic sport

Mike Hay


4 Coaching a national team in professional football

Egil ‘Drillo’ Olsen with Geir Jordet


5 Doing it week in, week out

Dean Smith with Andrew Cruickshank


6 Coaching in action/adventure sports – a novel challenge

Tom Willmott


7 Specialist coaching – coaching quarterbacks in NFL, college, and high school

Steve Fairchild with Geir Jordet


8 Developing the players of tomorrow

Ruben Jongkind



The appliance of science – uni-disciplinary perspectives

9 Physiology – working in endurance

Andy Jones


10 Strength and conditioning in the elite team sport environment

Clive Brewer


11 Performance analysis – working in football

Christopher Carling


12 Working with psychology in professional football

Geir Jordet


13 Keeping them on the pitch

Andy Barr with Geir Jordet


14 Medical practice with elite athletes

Bruce Hamilton



The appliance of science – interdisciplinary perspectives


15 Effective performance support – an integrated view

Graeme Maw


16 Interdisciplinary performance development in elite sport – applied sport science

Fergus Connolly


17 Using data in football

Ian Graham


18 Research and innovation – seeking and securing competitive advantage

Peter Vint



Managing elite performance systems


19 Culture, leadership, and management with elites

Andrew Cruickshank


20 Developing elites – academy systems

Neil McCarthy


21 Supporting performance – a national institute perspective

Phil Moore


22 The performance director’s role

Tim Jones with Andrew Cruickshank


23 Leading a national system

Alex Baumann with Andrew Cruickshank


24 Managing a professional football club

Frédéric Paquet with Geir Jordet


25 Managing impressions and relationships when speaking to the sports media

Kieran A. File



Fitting systems to societies


26 Fitting within the social milieu

Mads Davidsen


27 Vive la difference – perspectives on the challenges of being a woman in high-level sport

Tynke Toering


28 Developing coaches and players around the globe

Anne Pankhurst with Rosie Collins


29 The coach nomad

Guus Hiddink with Geir Jordet


30 The transition to elite performance – societal contrasts in the same sport

B. J. Mather and Dave Rotheram



Living in the system – the performer perspective


31 The new kids on the block

‘Team Porteous’ with Dave Collins


32 Staying at the top in Olympic rowing for 25 years

Olaf Tufte with Geir Jordet


33 Playing home and away – and away and away

Tore Andre Flo with Andrew Cruickshank


34 Life AND sport – making it happen AND progressing while you play

Sinéad Jennings with Áine MacNamara



Integration – making it all work

35 Driving the performance system – DOES research help?

Dave Collins and Andrew Cruickshank


36 Working in the jungle – how should elite sport practitioners operate and be developed?

Helen Alfano, Dave Collins, and Geir Jordet


37 Creating long-term high performing teams

Stuart Lancaster with Veronica Burke


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Dave Collins is Director of Grey Matters Performance Ltd and a Professorial Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. As a practitioner, he has supported over 70 world or Olympic medalists, and worked at the highest levels of professional sport and other performance domains. His current support roles include Chelsea FC, Gloucester RFC, and Snowsports New Zealand.

Andrew Cruickshank is Lead Psychologist for British Judo, Sport Psychologist for England Golf, and consultant for other elite sport organisations and governing bodies through Grey Matters Performance Ltd. Andrew is also Researcher/Lecturer within the Institute of Coaching and Performance at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK.

Geir Jordet is Professor in Sport Psychology at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Norway, and regular consultant for several European football associations and professional football clubs. He is co-owner of cognitive training software company BeYourBest.


"This lengthy volume of 37 essays may be the first to examine support issues in elite sports …The handbook is designed for researchers and advanced students in applied sports science, as well as sports coaches and administrators seeking guidance to maximize efficiency and success. All contributors seem to agree unanimously that elite sports teams, and individual athletes, require the following types of support: development of a team-based culture; focus on ethics in applying science to their needs; stress on good communication skills; and effort toward building trust. Various chapters address ways of enhancing cooperation between researchers and practically minded coaches … Summing Up: Recommended." - S. A. Riess, Northeastern Illinois University, Choice