Favourite Thing: I love finding out what makes people tick. As interesting as monitoring human behaviour is, there’s nothing quite like trying to decifer why people do the things they do. In particular, I’m intrigued by morality. I also love sport. I’m interested in seeing how we can really maximise performance. There are some great studies out there supporting psychological interventions in sport.
Wintringham, Grimsby. 1992-1997
University of Gloucestershire (2000-2003) BSc (Hons) Sport & Ex Sciences with Psych; UWIC (2003-2004) MSc Sport & Ex Sciences; University of Huddersfield (2007-2009) PGCE; University of Hull (2009-present) PhD Psychology
North Lindsey College, Grimsby Institute of FHE, Grimsby Town FC
Leeds Trinity University College
Associate Senior Lecturer, Sport and Exercise Psychology
Me and my work
I run a sport science with psychology degree at Leeds Trinity University College.
It’s a funny job, lecturing. On the face of it, it looks like my job consists of writing lectures, delivering them and marking work. While this takes up a good portion of my time (especially the marking!), I find the job incredibly diverse.
I am about three-quarters of the way through my PhD so I am working towards that. I also conduct a lot of research in other areas of psychology. I’m a bit of a stats nerd so I spend a lot of time helping people out with analysis and I spend a good chunk of my time in meetings to see how we can improve quality and generally, help the student experience at university.
I also run Trinity Performance, which is an enterprise within our department. This offers coach education, sport science consultancy to performers and fitness assessments. I’m co-chair for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) Sport Psychology Interest Group, which helps sport scientists and psychologists work together.
I also drink a lot of tea.
My Typical Day
The best thing about my job is that there is no typical day.
My typical day changes throughout the year. This could have a focus on marking, writing new courses, doing research, seeing students and the other things I mentioned above. I’d like to refer to all of this as “stuff” from now on. As such my typical day looks like:
8:30ish: Fill kettle and ensure mini-fridge is stocked with milk and have the first cuppa for the day (probably with extra sugar depending on how awake I am)
8:45-12:30ish: Plenty of stuff, interspersed with perhaps a lecture or some individual tutorials.
12.30-13:00ish: Lunch. We normally have a good group of us that have lunch together.
13:00-17:00ish: More stuff, interspersed again with students and/or lectures. There will also be plenty of tea involved here (especially when stuff = marking)
17:00-bedtime: go home and have some sort of personal life interspersed with replying to emails. Sometimes this gets replaced with stuff when there is a deadline fast approaching.
What I'd do with the money
Produce an online package to help students with statistical analysis.
Stats is the number one student fear. I want people to overcome this. I love doing statistical analysis and find it extremely rewarding. I didn’t do well at maths in school and now I find myself producuing stats-based research.
That or take it to Vegas and turn it into thousands!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Difficult to describe.
Would you rather be a scientist or an athlete? And why?
Athlete. We all know it is much more cool to be an athlete but I’m just better at science so I do that instead.
If you could have a body super power, what would it be and why?
Flight. The cost of petrol these days is ridiculous and this power would save a fortune… That and saving lives I guess.
Which Olympic event would you most like to win? And why?
100m. The sponsorship deals are amazing.
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wanted to be a footballer but I wasn’t very good so I decided to do sport science to work in football.
Were you ever in trouble in at school?
Yes, but only because I didn’t like doing work. I just wanted to play sport. I was a nice enough kid though.
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Finding out that what I concocted in my head actually made sense to other people.
Tell us a joke.
Veal’s dear isn’t it?