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Rachel Ade

Post-graduate Researcher

Department: Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation






  • MSc Sports Psychology (Accredited)
  • PG Dip (Hons) Psychology
  • BSc (Hons) Science and Football

Overview of Doctoral Research

The Performance Environment and Organisational Stress within Elite Football Academies: An Examination of Well-being

Identifying and understanding organisational environment demands and the impact they make upon sports performers has become an important area in sport psychology research (Thatcher & Day, 2008). Previous studies have explored the performance environment (e.g., Pain & Harwood, 2008) and organisational stress (e.g., Reeves, Nicholls & McKenna, 2009) when examining adolescent elite players within football environments. However, a deeper understanding of what affects coaches’ and players’ well-being in elite youth football is needed. The Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) was introduced in football academies in 2011 with the aim to develop increasing numbers of home grown players in English football. Surveys have suggested contradictory results of the EPPP with only one research study examining the influence of the EPPP and its high training loads on perceptions of well-being and physical performance of players (Noon, James, Clarke, Akubat & Thake, 2015). This research programme will employ mixed methods to explore the demands of elite football academy environments upon its coaches and adolescent players since the introduction of the EPPP which could have implications on well-being. Findings will extend the extant performance environment and organisational stress literature, provide practical implications and best practice for maximising performance and well-being of players and coaches.



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