From diving to doping to serious crimes, hardly a day goes by without an athlete getting themselves into some sort of trouble. In this episode Dr Pete is joined by Sport, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, Dr Mitch Abrams, and Assistant Professor of sport and exercise psychology at Georgia Southern University, Dr Megan Byrd, to ask: do we deserve better from our sporting heroes? We talk about whether or not sport is inherently “good”, whether athletes should be role models, organisational deviance, and a whole lot more in this fascinating episode of Eighty Percent Mental
Mitch is an expert in anger, violence and trauma, specifically as it presents in the sports world. Besides writing Anger Management in Sport in 2010, he also is the Chief Psychologist in the prison system in New Jersey, where he has worked for the past 21 years. Megan is a certified mental performance consultant and the co-director of mental performance for South Georgia Tormenta FC.
Trigger Warning: This episode contains non-detailed references to sexual assault and rape. If you are in any way affected by the content of this episode, you can contact the Rape Crisis Centre at https://rapecrisis.org.uk for information and support.
The conversation should always be about more than just sport. In this EPM Special, Dr Pete Olusoga is joined by organisational psychologist and best-selling New York Times author, John Amaechi OBE, for an honest and inspiring conversation about racism, anti-racism, and what we all could or should be doing to make our communities fairer for everybody.
Dr Pete and Hugh Gilmore (featuring in his final episode) investigate how we might bring psychology into the weight room. Lead Strength and Conditioning coach at Sheffield Hallam University, Dave Hembrough, and ALTIS Programs Director and Performance Coach, Nick Ward, discuss the mental challenges they encounter, their use of psych ‘skills’, and what they wish they’d known about the mental side of performance when they started their coaching journeys. This one is not to be missed!
When words like diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness are mentioned, they’re often met with a mix of confusion, defensiveness, and responses like “well I just treat everyone the same, I don’t see difference.” In this episode Dr Pete is joined by Dr Ale Quartiroli and Shameema Yousuf to talk about the need for Cultural Awareness, and the importance of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the spaces that we work in.
Sometimes in life, you just have to go with what you’ve got. So that’s what we’ve done with this Director’s Cut version of this episode. Enjoy!
Less than a week after the closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 2021 Olympics, Dr Pete and Hugh are joined, once again, by Dr Chelsi Day, Sport Psychologist at ‘The’ Ohio State University, and Dr Leah Washington, a professor of sports medicine and sport psychology, to chat about literally everything that happened at the Games. We discuss our favourite moments and yours, the twisties, the impact of the new sports, and the need for more sparkles all round… and a whole lot more too. Enjoy!
Dr Pete and Hugh find out everything you’ll ever need to know about resilience, with help from Dr Mustafa ‘Resilience’ Sarkar, a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Professor of Sport and Performance Psychology at Nottingham Trent University, and Wendy Searle, the 7th woman in history to ski 700 miles, unsupported, from Hercules Inlet to the geographic South Pole.
If you want to know what resilience is, what it isn’t, how to demonstrate and build resilience in individuals and teams, and how to make a tube of pringles last for several weeks, this is the episode for you.
This one is long! Just to mix things up a little, we decided to get you, dearest listeners, to come up with the questions for Dr Pete and Hugh to answer. “Ask us anything,” we said… and you did. From tips on imposter syndrome to getting in ‘The Zone’ to the greatest crisps of all time, Pete, Hugh, and special guest Elliott Newell talk for what turned out to be bloody ages, answering your questions. It’s good though. You’ll like this one!
Elliott Newell is a Senior Performance Pathways Scientist at the English Institute of Sport, and a BASES Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist specialising in Psychological Support. He’s particularly interested in performance communities, talent development practice, and philosophy of sport, and his favourite sweets are not what you’d expect!
There are some sports for which athletes might spend a lifetime preparing for one shot, one opportunity. Other sports require a long push through a season, competing day in, day out, for months, only to start again the next year. The EVENT and the GRIND.
Dr Pete and Hugh are joined by Dr Karen MacNeill, who has experience of preparing athletes as a performance consultant and psychologist at four Winter Olympics, but also of competing on the world stage as an international hockey player. Pete, Hugh, and Dr MacNeill explore the differences and similarities of the EVENT and the GRIND from the perspectives of player, coach, and psychologist, in what turned out to be a right Bobby Dazzler of an episode!
In this episode, Dr Pete and Hugh consider the psychology of injury with special guest experts, Dr Monna Arvinen-Barrow, a Chartered Psychologist, Mental Performance Coach, and Associate Professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Dr Damien Clement, Associate Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology/Athletic Training at West Virginia University. From exploring the link between stress and injury, to thinking about how we can understand and work with injured athletes more effectively, this episode has everything you need to know to appreciate the role that the mind can play in managing the injury experience.
In this episode, Dr Pete and Hugh think about how to work with and how to be good sports parents. Dr Camilla Knight, Associate Professor at Swansea University and a specialist in parental involvement in youth sport, and Andy Bradshaw, Senior Coach Developer at UK Coaching and a coach with over 30 years’ experience, talk about the positive and negative influences that parents can have on their children’s sport experiences. We discuss what coaches and clubs can do to engage parents in positive ways, and what parents might do to support their children through their sporting journeys.