A busy summer for members of MTOUGH

MTOUGH group well-represented at QRSE 2014

Three members of the MTOUGH team attended the 4th International Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise (QRSE 2014) which was recently held in Loughborough. Elizabeth Stamp (conducting a PhD on mentally tough lifestyles) attended all three days of the conference, while Patricia Jackman (about to begin a PhD on the relationship between mental toughness and flow states) attended two days, and Christian Swann attended one day.

Indeed, Patricia and Christian presented their research on flow states in a Performance Enhancement session on 2nd September. Christian presented his research on flow occurrence in European Tour golfers, before Patricia presented her undergraduate and MSc research on flow in jockeys. Both presentations were received well, stimulating interesting questions and discussion.

The conference was an excellent chance to network and share our work with other qualitative/sport psychology researchers. Our congratulations go to the organising committee for a great event, and we look forward to presenting more MTOUGH research at QRSE conferences in future.

MTOUGH research on elite athletes generates interest

Members of the MTOUGH group recently had a paper accepted in Psychology of Sport and Exercise for the upcoming Special Issue on “The development of expertise and excellence in sport psychology.” This collaboration between Christian Swann, Prof. Aidan Moran (University College Dublin) and Dave Piggott (Leeds Metropolitan University) reviewed the ways in which elite/expert athletes have been defined in sport psychology research.

Briefly, the study suggests that the definitions of elite athletes vary on a continuum of validity, and the findings are translated into a taxonomy for classifying expert samples in sport psychology research in future (available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1469029214000995).

Indeed, the paper has generated early interest as Christian was interviewed for a documentary being produced for ESPN and Marvel Comics. This documentary is interested in “The origin of the superathlete”, features some of the best athletes in the world, and is due to be aired in December, 2014.