Exercise, Health and Human Performance (EHHP)
The research carried out by the EHHP group examines a broad range of topics related to the physiological, biomechanical and nutritional aspects of exercise, health and human performance. The research undertaken by this group focuses on four sub-themes:
- Exercise epidemiology and meta-analysis
- Clinical exercise testing and exercise training interventions
- Biomolecular and nutritional aspects of exercise physiology and health
- Monitoring and evaluation of elite sports performance
Sport, Pedagogy and Practice (SPP)
The over-reaching aim of the SPP group is to assess and influence coach and athlete well-being.
The research carried out by the SPP group examines psychological constructs among athletes (stress, coping, emotions, and morality) and coaches (coach behaviour and the coach-athlete relationship) in addition to the social-pedagogical complexities of coaching practice.
The research group uses a mixture of qualitative research methods, such as interviews and diaries, and quantitative research methods, such as structural equation modelling. It conducts investigations that are principally informed by the concepts and theories that have been taken from the academic disciplines of sociology, psychology, and education.
The SPP group works and collaborates with leading sporting teams and professional bodies. These include:
- Rugby Football Union
- Rugby Football League
- F.A. Premier League
- Newcastle Knights RFL
- Hong Kong Rugby Union
- New Zealand Rugby League
- Raleigh GAC
- Leeds Carnegie RFU
- Hull City FC
- Hull Kingston Rovers
Stress, emotions, and coping
The purpose of this research is to identify the stressors encountered by athletes such as professional rugby union players or international adolescent golfers, how athletes evaluate these stressors, how it makes them feel, and what they do to cope. This research helps test existing theoretical models and provides guidelines for sport psychologists to improve how they teach athletes to manage stress.
Doping attitudes among adolescent athletes
Doping refers to athletes using banned substances and doping methods to improve their performance. Members of the research group are particularly interested in adolescents’ attitudes towards doping because it is during this time that attitudes are formed. By shaping adolescent athletes’ attitudes towards doping, there is a greater likelihood of reducing doping when the athletes become adult competitors.
Morality refers to whether athletes will cheat or not. Researchers from the SPP group examine the factors that influence whether athletes will cheat or play by the rules.
In order to gain a competitive edge over rivals, many sports teams now use performance analysts to identify weaknesses in their own play and their competitors. The effects of such analyses on players’ and coaches’ are relatively under-studied. Researchers from the SPP group examine player and coach experiences of delivering and receiving performance analysis, with a view to developing the use of this tool.
The way in which a coach interacts and behaves around athletes can impact on athletes’ performance and their well-being. Researchers from the SPP group explore how coaches behaviour, the impact of such behaviour, and provide recommendations for improving coaching behaviour.