Athletic Development: A Psychological Perspective is an examination of the psychological factors that help or hinder the development of participants in sport. This includes influences such as families, coach-athlete interactions, and transitional episodes on an individual’s pathway in sport.

This edited collection of topical chapters shines a unique psychological perspective on the athlete’s development through sport. It explores a range of contemporary themes that influence athlete’s development including:

  • An introduction to athletic development which orientates a holistic, psychological perspective of the athletic development process.
  • Social influences on athletic development, which explores the impact of varied social influences (e.g., coach, family, peers, school) on sports participation and performance from a psychological perspective.
  • Athlete wellbeing, which explores various aspects influencing mental health and welfare as an athlete progresses through their sports career.

The book combines key theory with illustrative case studies, to analyse the complexities of athletic development. It takes a critical perspective highlighting some of the debates and controversies in these areas and uses spotlight boxes in each chapter to focus on questions or topics of particular interest. Athletic Development: A Psychological Perspective is a key reader for all students in the fields of sport and exercise psychology, sport coaching, and related sport science subjects.

chapter |3 pages


section Section I|80 pages

Athletic Development

chapter Chapter 1|11 pages

What Is Athletic Development?

chapter Chapter 3|16 pages

Transitions on the Athlete Journey

A Holistic Perspective

chapter Chapter 4|16 pages

Retirement From Sport

The Final Transition

chapter Chapter 5|15 pages

Researching Athletic Development

section Section II|96 pages

Social Influences on the Athlete's Journey

chapter Chapter 6|18 pages

Coach-Athlete Relationships

The Role of Ability, Intentions, and Integrity

chapter Chapter 7|18 pages

Towards Mutual Understanding

Communication and Conflict in Coaching

chapter Chapter 9|22 pages

The Family Behind the Athlete

section Section III|63 pages

Mental Health and Wellbeing on the Athlete's Journey

section Section IV|6 pages


chapter Chapter 15|4 pages

Effective Athletic Development

Closing Thoughts