My focus as an academic and practitioner is the development of talent and understanding the personal and environmental characteristics that enable people to fulfil their potential, develop effectively and achieve success. In line with this, I have developed the Talent Development Environment Questionnaire (Martindale et al., 2010) which has impacted research globally to assess the quality of development environments and guide evidence based practice.
Much of my work has involved the impact evaluation of a range of psycho-social interventions on the health, wellbeing and success of young people and adults, including those in sport, educational contexts and those who are socially excluded or have complex needs. For example, funded research projects have included the evaluation and design of:
• Elite sport academy programmes and structures
• Sport coach education and development
• School based talent identification and development programmes:
• School based physical activity promotion programmes;
• Impact of expeditions on positive adjustment of young people
• Impact of outdoor adventure experiences of school pupil learning, resilience and success
• Impact of youth cadet organisations on young people’s development
• Resilience and support requirements of military families who are geographically dispersed
• Resilience and support requirements of military families living on isolated bases
• Understanding the lived experience of military personnel
• Understanding resilience through the transition experience of military veterans
I am also a chartered sport and exercise psychologist and have worked with a variety of elite and development level performers, coaches and sports. I have experience working as a team psychologist (triathlon) through the Commonwealth Games 2002, London Olympics 2012 and Rio Olympics 2016 cycles, which has enabled me to apply evidence based talent development environment principles at the ‘coal face’. I have applied these same principles to the higher education context, helping staff and postgraduate research students to fulfil their potential through mentoring and communities of practice.