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Personal profile

Research interests

I am the Sport & Exercise Research and Innovation Group Lead at USW, the Head of the Centre for Football Research in Wales and the Coaching Science Lead for the Welsh Institute of Performance Science Research Steering Group. In addition, my research interests focus on the development of professional practice in different disciplines, specifically sport coaching and sport psychology. These interests include examining the value of, and improving, education and development pathways. I am particularly interested in reflective practice and the potential it has for developing effective practice and facilitating human flourishing. More recently, I have become interested in researching the development of life skills through sport and the psychology of performance in coaches and athletes alike focusing on mental health and well-being.



Brendan is a Professor of Sport Coaching in the Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, and the Sport & Exercise Research and Innovation Group Lead. He is also the Head of the Centre for Football Research in Wales. Brendan joined USW in 2017, having previously worked at Swansea University and Cardiff Metropolitan University. He has made a significant contribution to the Sport & Exercise Sciences, particularly in the area of sport psychology and sport coach education. He has provided a range of consultancy services to athletes, coaches, and NGBs as well as having an emerging research profile that has helped to shape training and development programmes in the sport sciences and sport coaching. This contribution was recognised by the British Association of Sport & Exercise Science (BASES) who awarded Brendan Fellowship status in 2014. Brendan has been a BASES Accredited Sport & Exercise Scientist (Psychology) since 2007 and a Chartered Scientist since 2014. Brendan has worked closely with a number of NGB’s to develop their coach education strategies and helped to write elements of the FAW's UEFA qualifications (Level 3-5) as well as acting as an FAW/UEFA coach educator and a mentor up to and including Level 4.



Conference Communications:

I have conducted over 70 presentations at national and international conferences and as well as 12 key note presentations.

Television Interviews:

  1. BBC 1 Wales (17/11/2014): Sport Wales programme interview – the impact of ‘booing’ on sports performance.
  2. ITV Wales (09/02/2018): Wales at Six programme live interview – mental health and well-being in sports coaches.

BBC Radio Wales:

  1. 03/06/2022 – Psychology of performance: Wales World Cup playoff final preparation
  2. 30/09/2015 – Psychology of performance: Wales RFU preparation for RWC
  3. 06/10/2014 – Psychological issues in sport: Team dynamics
  4. 11/08/2014 – Psychology of performance: Rory McIlroy’s excellent season
  5. 25/06/2014 – Psychological issues in sport: Luis Suarez’s behaviour
  6. 31/01/2014 – Psychology of performance: Wales Rugby Union 6 Nations
  7. 30/01/2013 – Psychology of performance: Wales Rugby Union 6 Nations
  8. 06/08/2012 – Psychology of performance: Dai Greene at the London Olympics

Newspaper Articles:

  1. The Western Mail (15/07/2016): Unleashing the dragon: How Wales got so good at football (p. 29).

Website Communications:

  1. UK Coaching (2022): Reflective practice for sport coaches resources - https://www.ukcoaching.org/search-results?searchtext=brendan+cropley&searchmode=anyword
  2. BBC Sport Website (18/06/2020): Cardiff and Swansea prepare to tackle the emptiness of the post-lockdown player - https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53101691
  3. BBC Sport Website (20/06/2016): Euro 2016 – The impact of winning for Wales - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-36540991
  4. SCUK (30/07/2015): http://www.sportscoachuk.org/coaches/resource-bank/talent-coaching/reflective-practice
  5. Heart/Capital News Website (25/06/2014): Suarez as a role model and website - http://www.heart.co.uk/wales/news/local/concern-over-suarez-as-role-model/ and http://www.capitalfm.com/southwales/on-air/news-travel/local-news/concern-over-suarez-as-role-model/
  6. BBC Sport Website (10/01/2014): Jessica Ennis-Hill Jessica Ennis-Hill: Could pregnancy make her better? http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/athletics/25680341


  1. Podcast: The Performance Psychcast - Episode 32 (08/05/2023) - Reflective Practice in The Sport and Exercise Sciences - https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-performance-psychcast-episode-32-reflective/id1557288472?i=1000612225314
  2. Podcast: Supporting Champions (12/04/2023) – Reflective practice – https://www.supportingchampions.co.uk/121-brendan-cropley-and-zoe-knowles-on-reflective-practice/
  3. Podcast: Emma & Tom Talk Teaching (13/11/2020) – Reflective practice – https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/reflective-practice-with-professor-brendan-cropley/id1428879037?i=1000498439434
  4. Podcast: Sixty Second Spotlight (02/06/2020) – Enhancing sport coaches’ performance – https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/enhancing-sport-coaches-performance/id1516531555?i=1000476564983
  5. Podcast: The Sport Psych Show (03/04/2020) – Being psychologically prepared to perform – https://podcasts.apple.com/uy/podcast/90-prof-brendan-cropley-being-psychologically-prepared/id1434313037?i=1000474949556
  6. Podcast: The Mindset Athlete (30/06/2017) – Reflective practice – https://mindsetgame.libsyn.com/2017/06



  • The Sport Psychologist Section Editor Professional Practice (2021 - present)
  • Journal of Applied Sport Psychology (2021 - present)
  • International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching (2021 - present)
  • The Sport Psychologist (2017 – 2021)
  • Journal of Applied Sport Psychology – Special Issue Guest Editor (2019-2020)
  • Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology (2015 – 2021)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Sport Psychology, PhD, Reflective Practice and Consultant Effectiveness: An Examination of Sport Psychology Practice, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

Award Date: 4 Dec 2009

Sport & Exercise Science, MSc, MSc Sport & Exercise Science (Hons), University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

Award Date: 1 Jul 2003

PE & Sport Science, BSc, BSc PE & Sport Science, Loughborough University

Award Date: 1 Jul 2001

External positions

External Examiner: MRes Sport, Nottingham Trent University

2020 → …

Coaching Science Research Sub-Group Lead, Welsh Institute of Performance Science

2019 → …

External Examiner: Elite Coach Apprenticeship Scheme, The Premier League

2018 → …

Head of Centre, Centre for Football Research in Wales

2017 → …


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