Psychological Skills

This area of research examines how psychological skills influence high level performance, and explores the types of factors that impact on the effectiveness of psychological skill use. The research spans a wide variety of contexts, including sport, education, and extreme environments, and integrates theoretical perspectives from a number of psychological domains (e.g., personality and social psychology, cognitive psychology, neuroscience) in order to best understand how psychological skills exert their effects, and when they can be most useful in aiding performance.

Key Publications


Callow, N., Roberts, R.,  Hardy, L., Jiang, D., & Edwards, M. (in press). Performance improvements from imagery: Evidence that internal visual imagery is superior to external visual imagery for slalom performance. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. (This paper is in an open access journal. To access the paper click here

Roberts, R., Callow, N., Hardy, L., Markland, D., & Bringer, J. (2008). Movement imagery ability: Development and assessment of a revised version of the Vividness of Movement Imagery Questionnaire. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 30, 200-221.

Callow, N., & Hardy, L. (2005). A critical analysis of Applied Imagery Research. In D. Hackfort, J. L. Duda & R. Lidor. Handbook of Research in Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology: International Perspectives (pp. 21-42). WV, USA: Fitness Information Technology.

Self Talk

Blanchfield, A., Hardy, J., de Morree, H. M., Staiano, W., & Marcora, S. (2014). Talking yourself out of exhaustion: Effects of self-talk on perceived exertion and endurance performance. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, 46(5), 998-1007. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000184.

Hardy, J., Begley, K. & Blanchfield, A. (in press). It’s good but it’s not right: Instructional Self-Talk and Skilled Performance. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. doi: 10.1080/10413200.2014.959624.

Tod, D., Hardy, J., & Oliver, E. (2011). Effects of Self-Talk: A Systematic Review. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 33, 666-687.


Woodman, T., Zourbanos, N., Hardy, L., Beattie, S., & McQuillan, A. (2010). Do performance strategies moderate the relationship between personality and training behaviors? An exploratory study. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 22, 183-197.
Hardy, L., Roberts, R., Thomas, P. R., & Murphy, S. M. (2010). Test of performance strategies: Instrument refinement using confirmatory factor analysis. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 11, 27-35.

Key staff

Image of Nichola Callow

Prof Nichola Callow

Prof Lew Hardy

Dr Ross Roberts

Image of James Hardy



Dr James Hardy