Frontiers for Young Minds

Frontiers for Young Minds

The psychology behind sports performance

Collection Editors

Sam Thrower, Vaithehy Shanmuganathan-Felton, Chris Harwood



Submission Deadline



About this collection

Have you ever watched sport on TV and wondered how athletes like LeBron James, Serena Williams, Lionel Messi, Simone Biles, and Virat Kohli are able to perform so well in front of thousands of people? Just the thought of it is enough to make most people throw up and pass out! For over 100 years, sport psychologists (scientists interested in how the brain influences sport performance) have been studying athletes and teams in order to understand more about the psychology behind successful sport performance. These scientific studies have uncovered some fascinating insights regarding what it takes to become an elite athlete and perform at the highest level.

In this collection, we will reveal some of the secrets that sport psychologists have uncovered in relation to sport performance. Specifically, we will highlight what has been learnt from research which has explored elite athletes’ background, their personalities, what motivates them, how they are able to maintain their concentration, where they get their confidence from, and how they are able to cope under pressure.

The collection will help children and young athletes understand how the way they think and feel in different situations influences their performances, and how those in their surrounding environment (e.g., coaches, parents, friends, and teammates) can influence their performances and long-term development. These insights are not only exciting, they start to highlight how young athletes can play a crucial role in enhancing their own performances both within and outside of sport (e.g., school, music, performing arts, and dance).

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