School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Staff

Dr David Fletcher PhD MSc BSc(Hons) CPsychol CCAASP CSci FAASP FHEA FIOS(CC) FIOS MIOS AFBPS

Photo of Dr David Fletcher

Senior Lecturer in Sport and Performance Psychology

Director of Postgraduate Taught Studies

Director of Research Degree Programmes (Sport Performance)

David is the Director of Research Degree Programmes (Sport Performance) and the Director of Postgraduate Taught Studies.  He is also a member of the School’s Research Committee, Learning and Teaching Committee, Postgraduate Research Committee, Postgraduate Programmes Committee, and Enterprise Advisory Group.  He is a former Programme Director of the MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology and a former Director of the Sport Psychology Service.

David’s teaching, research and consultancy focuses on the psychology of performance excellence in sport, business and other performance domains. His work addresses how high achievers thrive on pressure and deliver sustained success, and clusters around the following performance themes:

  • Performance Leadership and Management (e.g., high performance leadership, managing elite teams)
  • Performance Environments and Cultures (e.g., organizational functioning and effectiveness, emotional intelligence and communication)
  • Performance Psychology and Lifestyles (e.g., growth and thriving, psychological and team resilience, stress and emotion)
  • Performance Consultancy and Coaching (e.g., psychosocial skills and interventions, professional competence)

Research Funding

David’s research has been financially supported by:

Medical Research Council

  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • UK Sport
  • English Institute of Sport
  • Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme
  • Association of Applied Sport Psychology
  • Lane4 Management Group Ltd
  • British Swimming
  • Loughborough University Sport Development Centre
  • Gloucester County Amateur Swimming Association
  • A Private Sponsor

 Doctoral Students

  • October 2015 – September 2019               Christopher Bradley, Working title: Performance Knowledge in Olympic Sport (co-supervisors: Dr Peter Brown, Dr Rachel Arnold, advisor: Dr Dave Griffiths)
  • October 2015 – September 2019               Sam Giles, Working title: Performance Lifestyle in Olympic Sport (co-supervisors: Dr Arabella Ashford, Dr Rachel Arnold, Ms Joanna Harrison)
  • January 2014 – December 2018                Gillian Cook, Working title: Performance Psychology and Management in Olympic Swimming
  • October 2015 – September 2018               Robin Lines, Working title: Performance Psychology and Management (principal supervisor: Dr Daniel Gucciardi, co-supervisor: Professor Nikos Ntoumanis, Dr Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Dr Kagan Ducker)
  • October 2015 – September 2018               Emily Deason, Working title: Performance Psychology and Management in Student-Athletes (co-supervisor: Professor Ian Henry)
  • January 2013 – December 2017                Philippa McGregor, Working title: Performance Psychology in Elite Youth Football (co-supervisors: Dr Ray Randall, Dr Stacy Winter)
  • October 2012 – September 2017               Nicola Tanner, Working title: Performance Psychology in Professional Services (principal supervisor: Dr Ray Randall)
  • October 2014 – December 2016                Steven Decroos, Working title: Performance Psychology and Management in Team Sport (principal supervisor: Dr Gert Vande Broek, co-supervisors: Dr Katrien Fransen, Professor Filip Boen, advisors: Mr Mustafa Sarkar, Mr Paul Morgan, Mr Robin Lines)
  • October 2013 – September 2016               Daniel Brown, Working title: Performance Psychology in Elite Sport (principal supervisor: Dr Rachel Arnold, co-supervisor: Professor Martyn Standage)
  • October 2012 – September 2015                Karen Howells, A Qualitative Exploration of Adversarial Growth in Elite Swimmers (advisor: Professor Brett Smith)
  • July 2010 – June 2015                               Paul B. C. Morgan, Working title: Team Resilience in Elite Sport (co-supervisor: Dr Mustafa Sarkar)
  • April 2009 – March 2014                            James L. Rumbold, The Design and Delivery of Stress Management in Professional Sport (co-supervisor: Professor Kevin Daniels)
  • October 2010 – September 2013                Mustafa Sarkar, The Assessment of Psychological Resilience in Sport Performers (co-supervisors: Dr Chris Stride, Dr Fehmidah Munir)
  • October 2009 – September 2012                Faye F. Didymus, Exploring the Organizational Stress Process in Sport Performers: From Theory to Practice
  • October 2009 – September 2012                Rachel Arnold, The Examination and Assessment of Organizational Stressors in Competitive Sport (co-supervisor: Professor Kevin Daniels)
  • October 2006 – September 2009                Christopher R. D. Wagstaff, Positive Organizational Psychology in Sport (co-supervisor: Professor Sheldon Hanton

 To apply for doctoral study with Dr Fletcher please visit the School Research Webpages.

 Research Assistants

  • January 2013 – December 2013                 Yevheniia Mikheenko, Psychological Resilience in Sport Performers (principal investigator: Dr Luke Clark, co-investigator: Professor Angela Roberts)
  • November 2012 – July 2013                       Daniel Brown, Personal Growth in Student-Athletes (co-investigator: Professor Ian Henry)
  • July 2011 – July 2012                                Charlotte Woodcock, Performance Lifestyle Evaluation Research Project (co-investigator: Professor Ian Henry) 

Consultancy and Enterprise

David is an advisor to and former Director of the Loughborough Sport Psychology Service.  He consults with high performers from a range of domains, including professional and Olympic sport, business, and the military and armed forces.  He also works closely with organizations on creating environments and cultures that enable high performance, including UK Sport, Sport England, British Olympic Association, New Zealand Olympic Committee, High Performance Sport New Zealand, British Swimming, British Triathlon, the IMG Bollettieri Tennis and Leadbetter Golf Academies in Florida, the Caudwell Xtreme Everest in Nepal, British Broadcasting Corporation, Sky Sports, Loughborough Sport, MAS Holdings in Sri Lanka, Lloyds TSB, and the National Health Service.  He is regularly interviewed about performance psychology-related topics on British national television (e.g., BBC Breakfast, BBC News, Sky News, ITV News, Sky Sports) and radio (e.g., BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live).

To request consultancy and enterprise with Dr Fletcher please contact the Enterprise Office.

To request media appearances by Dr Fletcher please contact the Public Relations Office.

Editorial Positions and Boards

  • May 2016 – present;                                 Psychology of Sport and Exercise Guest Co-Editor (Stress and Emotion in Sport Special Issue)
  • May 2016 – present;                                 Psychology of Sport and Exercise Editorial Board
  • January 2016 – present;                            Journal of Sport Psychology in Action Editorial Board
  • October 2014 – present                             Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology Editorial Board
  • January 2013 – present                             Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology Consulting Editor
  • December 2012 – present                         Journal of Sports Sciences Advisory Board (Psychology)
  • July 2010 – present                                   International Journal of Sport Psychology Editorial Board
  • November 2009 – present                         Journal of Applied Sport Psychology Editorial Board
  • February 2014 – February 2016                Journal of Change Management Guest Co-Editor (Sport and Performance Psychology Special Issue)
  • January 2013 – December 2015                Journal of Sport Psychology in Action Editor
  • November 2009 – January 2013               Journal of Social, Behavioral and Health Sciences Editorial Board
  • February 2010 – December 2012              Journal of Sport Psychology in Action Associate Editor
  • September 2011 – August 2012               Journal of Sport Psychology in Action Guest Editor (Olympic and Paralympic Special Issue)

External Examining

  • February 2014 – January 2018                 MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology and MSc Sports Sciences (Sport Psychology) at Brunel University London

Committees and Groups

  • January 2013 – January 2016                   Member of the British Psychological Society Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology Training Committee
  • November 2012 – July 2013                     Member of the Loughborough University and the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme Student Athlete Research Steering and Advisory Group
  • October 2010 – July 2012                        Member of the UK Sport Performance Lifestyle Steering and Advisory Group
  • June 2011 – June 2012                            Co-Opted Member of the British Psychological Society Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology Committee

Featured Presentations and Symposia

  • Fletcher, D. (2016, May). Psychological Preparation for Olympic Performance: What does the Theory and Research tell us? Invited keynote presentation at the Annual Convention of the German Society of Sport Psychology, Münster, Germany.
  • Fletcher, D. (2016, May). Psychological Preparation for Olympic Performance: How do we Develop Resilient Athletes and Teams? Invited workshop at the Annual Convention of the German Society of Sport Psychology, Münster, Germany.
  • Fletcher, D., Sarkar, M. and Morgan, P. (2015, February). Developing Psychological and Team Resilience in Sport: From Theory to Practice. Invitedsymposium convened at the international student meeting of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, Loughborough, UK.
  • Fletcher, D. (2015, April). Personal Performance and Psychological Resilience. Invited presentation at the meeting of the National Smallbore Rifle Association and International Shooting Sport Federation, London, UK.
  • Sarkar, M., Morgan, P. B. C. and Fletcher, D. (2015, July). Developing Psychological and Team Resilience in Sport: From Theory to Practice.  Pre-congress workshop presented at meeting of the European Congress of Sport Psychology, Bern, Switzerland.
  • Fletcher, D. (2015, August). American Psychological Association Exercise and Sport Psychology Division Early Career Professional Award Lecture. Invited presentation at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.
  • Fletcher, D. (2015, August). Recent Developments in Resilience, Growth and Thriving Research in Performance Sport. Symposium convened at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.
  • Fletcher, D. (2015, September). Recent Research Developments in the Psychology of Sporting Excellence. Invited keynote presentation at the International Association of Educational Researchers Congress on Research in Sports Sciences, Çanakkale, Turkey.
  • MacIntyre, T. and Fletcher, D. (2014, October). The Interface of Performance Psychology and Industrial Organizational Psychology: New Directions to Solve Old Enigmas. Symposium convened at the annual meeting of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, Las Vegas, NV.
  • Fletcher, D. (2013, July). Recent Developments in Stress and Resilience Research in Competitive Sport. Symposium convened at the congress of the International Society of Sport Psychology, Beijing, China.
  • Fletcher, D. (2013, October). Psychology in British Swimming: An update.  In British Swimming Olympic Focus Weekend (chaired by M. Peyrebrune). Invited oral presentation presented at the workshop of the British Swimming National Team, Northampton, UK.
  • Fletcher, D. (2013, December). Realising the Dream: Attaining and Sustaining Elite Performance in Olympic Sport. Invited keynote presentation presented at the Swedish Sports Confederation Conference, Bosön, Sweden.
  • Fletcher, D. (2013, December). Resilience and Thriving in Elite Sport: From Research to Practice. Invited keynote presentation presented at the annual meeting of the Flemish Society for Kinesiology, Leuven, Belgium.
  • Fletcher, D. (2013, December). Stress and Resilience in Competitive Sport: A Review of Recent Research Developments. Symposium convened at the annual meeting of the British Psychological Society and Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Manchester, UK.
  • Fletcher, D. (2012, January). Going for Gold: Motivation for Elite Athletes. Invited presentation at the meeting of the Joint College SAS Conference, Royal College of Physicians, London, UK.
  • Fletcher, D. (2012, March). Performance Leadership and Management. Invited presentation at the From Beijing to London: Delivering Olympic and Elite Sport in Cross Cultural Context Conference, University College Cork, Ireland.
  • Fletcher, D. (2012, May). Going for Gold: The Psychology of Olympic Performance. Invited presentation at the meeting of the meeting of the EMBL-EBI Science and Society Committee, Cambridge, UK.
  • Fletcher, D. (2012, July). Creating the Olympic Preparation Camp Headquarters for Team GB. Invited symposium at the International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport and the annual meeting of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), Glasgow, UK.
  • Fletcher, D. and Whysall, Z. (2011, July). Taking it to the Next Level: Recent Developments in Organizational Psychology in Elite Sport and Beyond. Invited symposium at the meeting of the European Congress of Sport Psychology, Madeira, Portugal.
  • Fletcher, D. and Sarkar, M. (2011, July). Psychological Resilience: Human Performance, Wellbeing and Health. Symposium at the meeting of the European Congress of Sport Psychology, Madeira, Portugal.
  • Fletcher, D. (2010, September). Psychological Wreckage and Performance Catastrophes in Olympic Sport. Invited presentation at the annual meeting of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Glasgow, UK.
  • Fletcher, D. and Jones, M. V. (2009, June). Emotions in Sport: Recent Developments in Theory and Practice. Symposium at the congress of the International Society of Sport Psychology, Morocco, Africa.
  • Fletcher, D. and Woodman, T. (2007, September). Recent Developments in Stress and Anxiety Research in Sport. Symposium at the meeting of the European Congress of Sport Psychology, Halkidiki, Greece.
  • Fletcher, D. (2006, September). Back to the Future: Mental Conditioning for Tomorrow’s Champions. Invited presentation presented at the annual world clinic of the American Swimming Coaches Association, Washington, DC.
  • Fletcher, D. (2005a, January). British Swimming, sport psychology, and Olympic medals: Is it all in the mind?!?  In Swimming Coaching at World and Olympic Level (chaired by J. Atkinson). Invited presentation presented at the accreditation workshop of the British Swimming National Team, Birmingham, UK.
  • Fletcher, D. (2005b, September). Back to the Future: Mental Conditioning for Tomorrow’s Champions. Invited keynote presentation at the annual meeting of the British Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association and World Swimming Coaches Association (Europe), Sutton Coldfield, UK.
  • Fletcher, D. and Hanton, S. (2003, April). Research in organisational stress and British Olympic athletes: Conceptual, theoretical and practical issues. In Building and Supporting an Olympic Management Team (chaired by S. J. Bull). Invited oral presentation presented at the meeting of the British Olympic Association Psychology Advisory and Steering Group, Milton Keynes, UK.

Accreditation and Certification

  • April 2015 – present                                     Science Council Chartered Scientist
  • October 2010 – present                                Health and Care Professions Council Registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist
  • October 2010 – present                                British Psychological Society Registered Applied Psychology Practice Supervisor and Reviewer
  • September 2010 – present                           British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Supervisor and Reviewer
  • May 2010 – present                                     British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist
  • August 2008 – present                                 United States Olympic Committee Registered Psychologist
  • October 2006 – present                               Association for Applied Sport Psychology Certified Consultant
  • September 2006 – present                           British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist (Pedagogy, Psychology – Research and Scientific Support)

Awards and Prizes

  • August 2015                                              American Psychological Association Exercise and Sport Psychology Division Early Career Professional Award
  • June 2015                                                 Global Editors Network Best News Data App of the Year Award
  • May 2015                                                  Loughborough Students’ Union Postgraduate Support Academic Award Winner
  • May 2015                                                  Loughborough Students’ Union Vice Chancellor’s Loughborough Academic Award of Excellence Shortlisted
  • October 2012                                             Association for Applied Sport Psychology Dorothy V. Harris Memorial Award
  • May 2012                                                  Podium Bronze Medal
  • September 2010                                        British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Early Career Researcher Award – Sport and Performance
  • September 2009                                        British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Tom Reilly Memorial Award for a Recently Qualified Researcher in Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • July 1999                                                  University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, Eric Evans Memorial Award

 Fellowships

  • October 2014 – present                              Fellow of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology
  • June 2014 – present                                  Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
  • August 2010 – present                               Fellow of The Higher Education Academy
  • July 2010 – present                                   Fellow of the Institute of Swimming

David has published research in leading international journals in the fields of psychology (e.g., European Psychologist; Frontiers in Psychology), sports medicine (e.g., Sports Medicine; Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport), sports science (e.g., Journal of Sports Sciences; European Journal of Sport Science), sport psychology (e.g., International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology; Psychology of Sport and Exercise), sport management (e.g., European Sport Management Quarterly;Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal), and sports coaching (e.g., International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching).

Growth and Thriving

  • Howells, K. and Fletcher, D. (in press). Adversarial growth in Olympic swimmers: Constructive reality or illusionary self-deception? Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology.
  • Howells, K. and Fletcher, D. (2015). Sink or swim: Adversity- and growth-related experiences in Olympic swimming champions. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 16, 37-48.
  • Sarkar, M., Fletcher, D. and Brown, D. J. (2015). What doesn’t kill me…: Adversity-related experiences are vital in the development of superior Olympic performance. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 18, 475-479.
  • Sarkar, M. and Fletcher, D. (2014). Ordinary magic, extraordinary performance: Psychological resilience and thriving in high achievers. Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology, 3, 46-60.

Psychological and Team Resilience

  • Morgan, P. B. C., Fletcher, D. and Sarkar, M. (2015). Understanding team resilience in the world’s best athletes: A case study of a rugby union world cup winning team. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 16, 91-100.
  • Sarkar, M. and Fletcher, D. (2014). Psychological resilience in sport performers: A narrative review of stressors and protective factors. Journal of Sports Sciences, 32, 1419-1434.
  • Fletcher, D. and Sarkar, M. (2013). Psychological resilience: A review and critique of definitions, concepts and theory. European Psychologist, 18, 12-23.
  • Fletcher, D. and Sarkar, M. (2012). A grounded theory of psychological resilience in Olympic champions. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 5, 669-678.

Stress

  • Fletcher, D.and Arnold, R. (in press). Stress in sport: The role of the organizational environment. In C. R. D. Wagstaff (Ed.), An Organizational Psychology of Sport: Key Issues and Practical Applications. London, UK: Routledge.
  • Arnold, R., Fletcher, D. and Daniels, K. (2016). Demographic differences in sport performers’ experiences of organizational stressors. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 26, 348-358.
  • Arnold, R., Fletcher, D. and Daniels, K. (2013). Development and validation of the Organizational Stressor Indicator for Sport Performers (OSI-SP). Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 35, 180-196.
  • Arnold, R. and Fletcher, D. (2012). A research synthesis and taxonomic classification of the organizational stressors encountered by sport performers. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 34, 397-429.

Emotion

  • Arnold, R. and Fletcher, D. (2015). Confirmatory factor analysis of the Sport Emotion Questionnaire in organizational environments. Journal of Sports Sciences, 33, 169-179.
  • Wagstaff, C. R. D., Fletcher, D. and Hanton, S. (2012). Exploring emotion abilities and strategies in sport organizations. Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology, 1, 268-282.
  • Fletcher, D., Hanton, S. and Wagstaff, C. R. D. (2012). Performers’ responses to stressors encountered in sport organizations. Journal of Sports Sciences, 30, 349-358.
  • Mellalieu, S. D., Hanton, S. and Fletcher, D. (2006). A competitive anxiety review: Recent directions in sport psychology research. In S. Hanton and S. D. Mellalieu (Eds.), Literature Reviews in Sport Psychology (pages 1-45). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science.

Psychosocial Skills and Interventions

  • Brown, D. J. and Fletcher, D. (in press). Effects of psychological and psychosocial interventions on sport performance: A meta-analysis. Sports Medicine.
  • Wagstaff, C. R. D., Hanton, S. and Fletcher, D.(2013). Developing emotion abilities and strategies in a sport organization: An action research intervention. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 14, 476-487.
  • Rumbold, J. L., Fletcher, D. and Daniels, K. (2012). A systematic review of stress management interventions with sport performers. Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology, 1, 173-193.
  • Fletcher, D. and Hanton, S. (2001). The relationship between psychological skills usage and competitive anxiety responses. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 2, 89-101.

Performance Leadership and Management

  • Arnold, R., Fletcher, D. and Anderson, R. J. (2015). Leadership and management in elite sport: Factors perceived to influence job performance. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 10, 285-304.
  • Fletcher, D. and Arnold, R. (2015). Performance leadership and management in elite sport: Current status and future directions. In S. Andersen, B. Houlihan and L. T. Ronglan (Eds.), Managing Elite Sport Systems: Research and Practice (pages 162-181). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
  • Arnold, R., Fletcher, D. and Molyneux, L. (2012). Performance leadership and management in elite sport: Recommendations, advice and suggestions from national performance directors. European Sport Management Quarterly, 12, 317-336.
  • Fletcher, D. and Arnold, R. (2011). A qualitative study of performance leadership and management in elite sport. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 23, 223-242.

Organizational Functioning and Effectiveness

  • Fletcher, D.and Streeter, A. P. (2016). A case study analysis of the high performance environment model in elite swimming. Journal of Change Management, 126, 1234-141.
  • Arnold, R., Hewton, E. and Fletcher, D. (2015). Preparing our greatest team: The design and delivery of a preparation camp for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, 5, 386-407.
  • Wagstaff, C. R. D., Fletcher, D. and Hanton, S.  (2012). Positive organizational psychology in sport: An ethnography of organizational functioning in a national governing body. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 24, 26-47.
  • Fletcher, D. and Wagstaff, C. R. D. (2009). Organizational psychology in elite sport: Its emergence, application and future. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10, 427-434.

Performance Consultancy and Coaching

  • Fletcher, D. and Maher, J. (2014). Professional competence in sport psychologists: Clarifying some misunderstandings and making future progress. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 5, 170-185.
  • Fletcher, D. and Maher, J. (2013). Toward a competency-based understanding of the training and development of applied sport psychologists. Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology. 2, 265-280.
  • Fletcher, D.(2010). Applying sport psychology in business: A narrative commentary and bibliography.Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 1, 139-149.
  • Fletcher, D. and Scott, M. (2010). Psychological stress in sports coaches: A review of concepts, research and practice. Journal of Sports Sciences, 28, 127-137.

To view a complete list of Dr Fletcher’s publications and presentations visit the University Publications Database.