Dave Fletcher

Loughborough researcher among the most impactful in his discipline

Dr David Fletcher, Senior Lecturer in Performance Psychology and Management, has been ranked in the findings of a recent survey as among the most impactful researchers in sport, exercise, and performance psychology.

Spanning 28 different countries, the survey was completed by over 500 members of the world’s largest sport psychology organisation, the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. 

Survey participants were asked to identify a “peer-reviewed scholarly journal article” that “you believe has had the most impact to your sport, exercise and performance psychology work.”

The findings reported Dr Fletcher as the sixth most impactful journal article author and the highest ranked British researcher in the discipline.

Dr Fletcher’s research 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 has pioneered the study of psychological and team resilience, stress and emotions, thriving and growth, and organisational psychology and consultancy, particularly in elite sport contexts.

The survey highlighted Dr Fletcher’s resilience research and its impact across performance domains. Originally commissioned by the British Olympic Foundation as part of the Team GB’s preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games, Dr Fletcher led a program of research to study resilience in the world’s best athletes and teams

The findings were used to support the preparation of athletes and teams across the globe for the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. More recently, as an advisor to the Leaders in Sport Performance Institute, Dr Fletcher advises senior industry leaders on strategy of how to professionally develop sport on and off the field, alongside sector experts including Sir Dave Brailsford, Arsène Wenger, Carlo Ancelotti, and Stuart Lancaster. This work has been applied to other contexts, most notably business and commerce.

Dr Fletcher commented: “It’s gratifying to hear that professionals identify my research as having an impact on their work.  I’ve always tried to conduct and communicate research that is relevant in the ‘real world’ and has potential positive impact on people’s lives, so the findings of this survey are encouraging”.

As part of disseminating his research to different audiences, Dr Fletcher regularly appears on national television, and as a public lecturer and podcast guest.  He continues to work alongside leaders in Olympic and professional sport, and to apply his research in business and educational settings. In 2022, Dr Fletcher begins a series of keynote presentations across Europe discussing innovation and impact in the psychological support of elite performers.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 21/163

About Loughborough University

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2022, and 10th in both the Guardian University League Table 2022 and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.