Book announcement | The Psychology of Soccer, by Joseph Dixon, Jamie B Barker, Richard C Thelwell and Ian Mitchell

Sports psychology, exploring the effects of psychological interventions on important performance-related outcomes, has become ever more popular and prevalent within elite level soccer clubs in the past decade as teams look to gain psychological as well as physiological advantages over their competitors.

The Psychology of Soccer seeks to present the detailed understanding of the theories underpinning the psychological issues relating to soccer, along with practical insights into effective psychological interventions and strategies

This book uses contemporary theory and research to elucidate key concepts and applied interventions. It includes world-leading expert commentaries of contemporary theoretical and applied approaches in understanding critical issues in soccer, and provides practical implications and insights into working effectively in soccer-related contexts.

The Psychology of Soccer is an evidence-based resource to guide research and facilitate practice and will be a vital resource for researchers, practitioners, and coaches within the area of sport psychology and related disciplines.


  • Joseph G. Dixon, PhD, C.Psychol., HCPC, has been working as Club Performance Psychologist with Stoke City Football Club in the English Premier League and Championship Division since 2013. In 2019 he joined Bath Rugby Club in the English Premiership and currently splits his time between both organisations. As a dual-qualified Sport and Occupational Psychologist, Joseph has consulted globally across a variety of sports and commercial organisations.
  • Jamie B. Barker, PhD, C.Psychol., HCPC, is Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Loughborough University, UK, with research interests in applied (sport) psychology, leadership, and stress. Jamie has consulted in business and professional sport, including Sony, the Football Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board, and Great Britain Rowing.
  • Richard C. Thelwell, PhD, C.Psychol., HCPC, is Professor of Applied Sport Psychology and Head of the School for Sport, Health, and Exercise Sciences at the University of Portsmouth, UK. In addition to his research activities, Richard has extensive applied practitioner experience in professional football and cricket and across a number of sports-governing bodies.
  • Ian Mitchell, PhD, C.Psychol., HCPC, is currently Head of Performance Psychology at England Football Association, UK. He previously worked with the Wales men’s senior team and Swansea City in the English Premier League. Prior to that he was Senior Lecturer in Sport Psychology at Cardiff Metropolitan University. A former professional and International Schoolboy captain, Ian is UEFA A licensed and has coached national development teams and developed coaches on both UEFA Advanced and Professional licenses.

Table of Content

Section I: Working with Individuals and Teams

    1. The Transition From Elite Youth To Elite Adult Professional Soccer: A Summary Of Current Literature And Practical Applications
      Robert Morris and Emily Deason
    2. The role of positive psychology and enjoyment in enhancing sport commitment and maximizing strengths in elite youth soccer
      Paul McCarthy
    3. The Psychology of Penalty Kicks: The Influence of Emotions on Penalty Taker and Goalkeeper Performance
      Philip Furley, Matt Dicks and Geir Jordet
    4. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and Soccer
      Andrew G. Wood and Martin J. Turner
    5. Developing effective on- and off-field leadership in elite soccer: The social identity approach
      Matthew J. SlaterNiklas K. Steffens, Katrien Fransen, and S. Alexander Haslam
    6. The Psychology of Soccer Referees
      Tom Webb and Denise Hill

Section II: Working through Others

    1. Developing Psychological Skills: Emphasising Life Skills for Positive Youth Development
      Ceri Bowley and Hamish Cox
    2. Identifying and Delivering a Team-Based Intervention in Elite Youth Soccer: Using Personal-Disclosure Mutual-Sharing (PDMS) to Enhance Team Identification, Resilience, And Coping
      Andrew L. Evans and Jamie B. Barker
    3. The Role Of Parents In Developing Elite Soccer Players
      Camilla J. Knight and Rachael A. Newport
    4. Enhancing Coaching Efficacy in Youth Soccer
      Richard Anderson and Chris Harwood

Section III: Working in the Performance Environment

    1. Ecology and culture in talent development – a four-step intervention towards cultural leadership in key stakeholders in a Danish soccer academy
      Jonas Vestergaard Jensen and Pætur Smith Clementsen
    2. Applied Psychology in Academy Soccer Settings: A Systems-Led Approach
      Cherrie Daley, Chin Wei Ong and Philippa McGregor
    3. A Challenge Culture: Reflections on Implementing a Psychological Skills Programme In Elite Youth Soccer
      Joseph Dixon and Marc V. Jones
    4. Understanding the Effects of Organizational Change in Professional Soccer
      Christopher R. D. Wagstaff and Richard C. Thelwell
    5. Understanding The Role Of Environment And Culture When Delivering Sport Psychology Services In Elite Women‘S International Soccer
      Jenn Gandhi and Peter Schneider
    6. Assessing the impact of psychology provision in elite youth soccer
      Charlotte Chandler, Karl Steptoe, and Martin Eubank

Section IV: Working to Support Physical and Mental Health Challenges

    1. Effectively Managing Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury and Return to Performance in Elite Women’s Soccer
      Adam Gledhill, Osman Hassan Ahmed, and Dale Forsdyke
    2. Understanding Mental Health and Wellbeing Issues in Elite Soccer Players. An Existential Sport Psychology Approach
      Alan John Tonge
    3. Soccer Referee Mental Health: Developing A Network of Soccer Referee Mental Health Champions
      Mikel Mellick
    4. Stress, Burnout and Perfectionism in Soccer Players
      Esmie P. Smith, Andrew P. Hill, Sarah H. Mallinson-Howard, and Henrik Gustafsson
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