B.Sc. Physical Education & Sports Science
M.Sc. Sport & Exercise Science
Ph.D. Sport Psychology
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Fellow of the British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences
BASES Accredited Sport & Exercise Scientist (Psychology)
Chartered Scientist (The Science Council; BASES)
UEFA/FAW Trust ‘A’ Youth Licence Football Coach (Level 4)
UEFA/FAW Trust Level 4 Coach Educator
1st 4 Sport Level 3 Workforce Mentoring Qualified Educator
Brendan is a Professor of Sport Coaching in the School of Health, Sport, and Professional Practice. Brendan joined the School 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 has been 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 the A Youth License Coaching Qualification for the FAW Trust, as well as acting as a coach educator and a mentor up to Level 4.SPORTING / COACHING PROFILE
Norwich City F.C. (1996-1998)
Semi Professional Football Player (English and Welsh Leagues)
English and Welsh Universities Representative (2000-2006)
British Universities Representative (2000)
Tri-State Soccer Assistant Director of Coaching (2002-2003)
Blaenau Gwent Academy Coach (2003-2006)
FAW Modern Apprenticeship Scheme Coach Co-ordinator (2003-2004)
Swansea University Head Coach (2007-2009)
Cardiff Metropolitan University Football Academy Technical Director (2013-present)
Cardiff Metropolitan University (from 14/01/10 to 09/04/2017)
Cardiff School of Sport Ethics Coordinator
Principal Lecturer in Sport Coaching
Swansea University (from 03/09/07 to 13/01/10)
Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Science
Ystrad Mynach College (from 01/09/04 to 02/09/07)
Couse Coordinator BTEC National Diploma
Jane Barnett. Thesis Title: Efficient and effective management in higher education: An insider, action research perspective. Registered at University of Wales Institute, Cardiff and co-supervised by Prof. Sheldon Hanton and Prof. Scott Fleming. Director of Studies.
Ceri Bowley. Thesis Title: The design, implementation and evaluation of a resilient coping and life skills development plan for adolescents within a Football Coach Education programme. Registered at Cardiff Metropolitan University and co-supervised by Dr. Rich Neil, Prof. Sheldon Hanton and Dr. Ian Mitchell. Director of Studies. £70k KESS funding awarded for project.POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH DEGREE SUPERVISION: Doctor of Philosophy (Current)
David Adams. Ph.D. by Portfolio. Portfolio Title: Improving coach education in Association Football: Pedagogical and epistemological change. Registered at University of South Wales and co-supervised by Prof. Richard Mullen. Expected completion 2016. First supervisor.
Andrew Butterworth. Thesis Title: Multimedia performance profiles in sport (funded by England Netball). Registered at Cardiff Metropolitan University and co-supervised by Dr. Peter O’Donoghue. Expected completion 2016. First supervisor.
Emma Huntley. Thesis Title: Exploring critical reflection in psychology-based practice: A qualitative approach to learning and sharing. Registered at Liverpool John Moores University and co-supervised by Dr. Zoe Knowles, and Dr. Andy Miles. Expected completion 2016. First supervisor.
Gareth Picknell. Thesis Title: Developing performance through reflective interventions. Registered at Cardiff Metropolitan University and co-supervised by Dr. Stephen Mellalieu and Prof. Sheldon Hanton. Expected completion 2017. First supervisor.
John Peel. Thesis Title: Exploring the development of sports coaching education programmes: Enhancing the effectiveness of practice. Registered at Cardiff Metropolitan University and co-supervised by Prof. Sheldon Hanton and Prof. Scott Fleming. Expected completion 2017. Director of Studies.
Craig Gill. Professional Doctorate. Thesis Title: Developing the effectiveness of metoring programmes within the Welsh Football Trust. Registered at Cardiff Metropolitan University and co-supervised by Dr. Andy Miles. Expected completion 2017. First supervisor.
Anna Mayes. Thesis Title: The psychology of the elite coach: Learning to cope at the business end of sport. Registered at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff and co-supervised by Prof. Sheldon Hanton and Dr. Lynne Evans. Expected completion 2017. Director of Studies.
Toby Nichols. Professional Doctorate. Thesis Title: Enhancing the education and ongoing development of golf coaches. Registered at Cardiff Metropolitan University and co-supervised by Dr. Rich Neil and Dr. Andy Miles. Expected completion 2017. First supervisor.
Charlotte Williams. Thesis Title: ‘Live Smart’: Developing, implementing and evaluating life skills modules for Golf Union of Wales Junior Coaching Centres across Wales. Registered at Cardiff Metropolitan University and co-supervised by Dr. Rich Neil. Expected completion 2017. First supervisor.POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH DEGREE SUPERVISION: Master of Philosophy (Current)
David Watts. Thesis Title: Strength and conditioning (S&C) in elite rugby union: An examination of philosophies, practices, and factors impacting on practice effectiveness. Registered at Cardiff Metropolitan University and co-supervised by Dr. Rhodri Lloyd and Dr. Huw Wiltshire. Expected completion 2019. First supervisor.POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH EXAMINATION
Internal Examiner: Hamish Cox (2016). PhD titled, “Designing, implementing and evaluating a resilience-based life skills intervention for adolescents within West Wales via the ‘vehicle’ of golf.” Cardiff Metropolitan University.
External Examiner: Peter Tomsett (2017). PhD titled, “Transformational Leadership in HE Research Supervision.” Bangor University.
Cropley, B., Rainer, P., & Adams, D. (under review). Developing coach education: Examining the influence of a reflective practice intervention on coaching practice. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching.
Adams, D., Cropley, B., & Rainer, P. (under review). The impact of reflective learning on the development of effective coaching behaviours. Reflective Practice.
Cropley, B., Hanton, S., Miles, A., & Niven, A. (under review). Developing the effectiveness of applied sport psychology service delivery: A reflective practice intervention. Psychology of Sport and Exercise.
Cropley, B., Hanton, S., Miles, A., & Niven, A. (under review). Exploring the content of applied sport psychologists’ reflective practices: Examining links between reflective learning and effective professional practice. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology.
Whitehead, A., Cropley, B., Miles, A., Huntley, T., & Knowles, Z. (2016). Think aloud: Towards a framework to facilitate reflective practice in rugby league coaches. International Sport Coaching Journal, 3, 269-286.
Cropley, B., Baldock, L., Neil, R., Mellalieu, S., Wagstaff, C., & Wadey, R. (2016). Coping with the demands of professional practice: Sport psychology consultants’ perspectives. The Sport Psychologist, 30, 290-302.
Adams, D., Cropley, B., & Mullen, R. (2016). Developing specialised youth soccer coaching qualifications: An exploratory study of course content and delivery mechanisms. International Sport Coaching Journal, 3, 31-45.
Rainer, P., Griffiths, R., Cropley, B., & Jarvis, S. (2015). Barriers to delivering extra-curricular school sport and physical activity in Wales: A qualitative study of 5×60 officers’ views and perspectives. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 12, 245-252. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2012-0476
Huntley, E., Cropley, B., Gilbourne, D., Knowles, Z., & Sparkes, A. (2014). Reflecting back and forwards: The ebb and flow of reflective practice peer-reviewed research in sport. Reflective Practice, 15, 863-876. DOI: 10.1080/14623943.2014.969695
Butterworth, A., O’Donoghue, P. G., & Cropley, B. (2013). Performance profiling in sports coaching: A review. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 13, 572-593.
Rainer, P., & Cropley, B. (2013). Bridging the gap – but mind you don’t fall. Primary Physical Education teachers’ perceptions of the transition process to secondary school. Education 3-13, 43, 445-461. DOI: 10.1080/03004279.2013.819026
Peel, J., Cropley, B., Hanton, S., & Fleming, S. (2013). Learning through reflection: Values, conflicts, and role interactions of a youth sport coach. Reflective Practice, 14, 729-742. DOI: 10.1080/14623943.2013.815609
Barnett, J., Cropley, B., Hanton, S., & Fleming, S. (2013). Taking the plunge: Reflections on the decision to register for and supervise a doctorate. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 13, 123-131.
Neil, R., Cropley, B., Wilson, K., & Faull, A. (2013). Exploring the value of reflective practice interventions in applied sport psychology: Case studies with an individual athlete and a team. Sport & Exercise Psychology Review, 9, 42-57.
Rainer, P., Cropley, B., Jarvis, S., & Griffiths, R. (2012). From policy to practice: The challenges faced by head teachers delivering high quality physical education and school sport within primary schools. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 17, 429-446. DOI: 10.1080/17408989.2011.603125.
Cropley, B., Hanton, S., Miles, A., & Niven, A. (2010). The value of reflective practice in professional development: An applied sport psychology review. Sports Science Review, 19, 179-209. DOI:10.2478/v10237-011-0025-8
Cropley, B., Hanton, S., Miles, A., & Niven, A. (2010). Exploring the relationship between effective and reflective practice in applied sport psychology. The Sport Psychologist, 24, 521-541.
Faull, A. & Cropley, B. (2009). Reflective learning in sport: A case study of a senior level triathlete. Reflective Practice, 10, 325-339. DOI: 10.1080/14623940903034655
Hanton, S., Cropley, B., & Lee, S. (2009). Reflective practice, experience, and the interpretation of anxiety symptoms. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27, 517-533. DOI: 10.1080/02640410802668668
Hanton, S., Cropley, B., Miles, A., Mellalieu, S., & Neil, R. (2007). Experience in sport and its relationship with competitive anxiety. International Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 5, 28-53.
Cropley, B., Miles, A., Hanton, S., & Anderson, A. (2007). Improving the delivery of applied sport psychology support through reflective practice. The Sport Psychologist, 21, 475-494.INVITED PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE ARTICLES
Picknell, G., Cropley, B., Mellalieu, S. D., & Hanton, S. (2016). Investigating the benefits of enhancing reflective skills on the practice behaviours of health practitioners. The Sport & Exercise Scientist, 50, 22-23.
Cropley, B. (2016). Unleashing the dragon: How Wales got so good at football. The Conversation (July, 6th).
Cropley, B., Neil, R., Faull, A., Hayes, K., & Mellalieu, S. D. (2016). Applied sport psychology: An expert panel discussion. The Sport & Exercise Scientist, 47, 32-33.
Whitehead, A., Cropley, B., Miles, A., Huntley, T., & Knowles, Z. (2016). What are you thinking? Coaching Matters, 6, 8-9.
Cropley, B., & Neil, R. (2015). Applied sport psychology: An expert panel discussion. The Sport & Exercise Scientist, 38, 16-17.
Knowles, Z., Cropley, B., Huntley, E., & Miles, A. (2014). Critical issues for the development of reflective practice in the sport & exercise sciences. The Sport & Exercise Scientist, 37, 18-19.
Letton, F., & Cropley, B. (2013). The practicalities of working under the HCPC requirements. A thought-piece in response to – ‘Sport & Exercise Psychology: Who is legally qualified to provide support?’ The Sport & Exercise Scientist, 37, 18-19.
Picknell, G. & Cropley, B. (2013). Reflective Practice: a useful addition to organisational psychology support services? The UAE Psychologist Newsletter, 2(2).
Cropley, B., Miles, A., & Peel, J. (2012). Reflective practice: Value, issues, and developments within sports coaching. Sports Coach UK original research. Leeds, UK: SCUK.
Cropley, B., Neil, R., Wilson, K., & Faull, A. (2011). Reflective practice: Does it really work? The Sport & Exercise Scientist, 29, 16-17.
Rainer, P., Cropley, B., & Adams, D. (2010). Learning through reflection. Coaching Edge, 18, 12-13.
Cropley, B. (2006). Reflections on continual professional development: Reviews of the Consultant Effectiveness in Applied Sport Psychology workshop. British Psychological Society Sport & Exercise Psychology Annual Review 2006.EDITED BOOKS
Knowles, Z., Gilbourne, D., Cropley, B., & Dugdill, L. (2014). Reflective practice in the sport and exercise sciences: Contemporary issues. London: Routledge.BOOK CHAPTERS
Neil, R., & Cropley, B. (in preparation, 2017). Sport psychology across youth contexts. In C. Knights (Ed.), Applying Sport & Exercise Psychology in Youth Sport. Routledge / Psychology Press.
Swann, C., Keegan R., Cropley, B., & Mitchell, I. (in press, 2016). Professional philosophy. In G. Cremades & A. Mugford (Eds.), Sport, exercise, and performance psychology: Theories and Applications. Routledge / Psychology Press.
Cropley, B., & Neil, R. (2016). Supervising from the swampy lowlands: A case study of collaborative approaches to supervision. In L. Tashman & G. Cremades (Eds.), Global practices and training in applied, sport, exercise, and performance psychology: A case study approach (pp. 221-229). Routledge / Psychology Press.
Cropley, B., Miles, A., & Nichols, N. (2015). Learning to learn: The coach as a reflective practitioner. In J. Wallace & J. Lambert (Eds.), Becoming a sports coach (pp. 11-26). London: Routledge.
Cropley, B., & Neil, R. (2014). The neophyte supervisor: What did I get myself into? In L. Tashman & G. Cremades (Eds.), Becoming a performance psychologist: International perspectives on service delivery and supervision (pp. 219-228). Routledge / Psychology Press.
Picknell, G., Cropley, B., Hanton, S., & Mellalieu, S. D. (2014). Where’s the evidence? Empirical reflective practice interventions with different populations in sport. In Z. Knowles, D. Gilbourne, B. Cropley, & L. Dugdill (Eds.), Reflective practice in the sport and exercise sciences: Contemporary issues (pp. 28-38). London: Routledge.
Cropley, B., & Hanton, S. (2011). The role of reflective practice in applied sport psychology: Contemporary issues for professional practice. In S. Hanton & S. D. Mellalieu (Eds.) Professional practice in sport psychology: A review (pp. 307-336). London: Routledge.
British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)
Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP)
European College of Sports Science (ECSS)
European Federation of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC)
Sports Coach UK (SCUK)
External examiner: MSc Sport Coaching programme, Liverpool John Moores University (2016 – present).
External examiner: Sports Coaching Science degree and Sports Coaching Science with Disability degree programme, University of Worcester (2011 – 2015).
External reviewer: Sports Coaching Science and Disability Sport. Degree validated for commencement in September 2012 at University of Worcester.
External panellist: undergraduate degree (Coaching Science) validation board at the University of Glamorgan (2009).
I am also linked with a number of external organisations through research, professional practice, enterprise activities and learning and teaching:
a) Case Studies in Sport & Exercise Psychology (CSSREC) – Editorial board member
b) British Association of Sport & Exercise Science (BASES) – I have provided sport psychology support provided to both elite and non-elite individuals, teams, coaches, and organisations in a variety of sports since 2004. I am also registered as a BASES Supervised Experience supervisor. In addition to this, I am a BASES professional practice core workshop presenter (Reflective Practice). I have also published a number of articles in the organisation’s Sport & Exercise Scientist publication and contributed to the organisation of the BASES Student Conference in 2013.
c) FAW Trust – I have helped to write, develop and deliver the UEFA/FAW Trust A Youth Licence (Level 4) and have previously acted as coach educator and mentor at Levels 3 and 4. I am currently supervising research projects partially funded through the WFT.
d) Sports Coach UK (SCUK), UK Sport, and Sport Wales – I have helped to develop and deliver modules on the organisations’ coach education and development programmes. Specifically, the modules have been based on elite coach development through reflective practice.
e) Golf Union of Wales (GUW) – I am currently supervising neophyte practitioners who are providing support the GUW’s development squads. I am also supervising a research project that aims to improve the development pathways of the GUW’s coaches.
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.
I have presented papers at over 50 national and international conferences and conducted three key note presentations:
i. Cropley, B. (2013). Modern trends in coach education: Becoming accountable to the profession. Presented at the FAW National Football Coaches Conference, Cardiff, UK.
ii. Cropley, B. (2016). Developing effectiveness through reflective practice. Presented at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Annual Conference, Canberra, Australia.
iii. Cropley, B. (2017). Self-reflection. Presented at the GB Talent Coach Conference (Hockey), Loughborough, UK.
Morley, D., Whitehead, A., Polman, R., Kane, R., Misasi, S., Cropley, B., Knowles, Z., & Huntley, T. (2015). ‘Think Aloud’ protocol analysis and its application to athletic performance, practitioner reflection and patient cognitions. £25000 research award received from Liverpool John Moores University.
O’Donoghue, P., & Cropley, B. (2013). Multimedia performance profiles in sport. £10500 research award received from England Netball for full-time PhD tuition fees.
Mitchell, I., Tanner, P., Cropley, B., Fleming, S., Mellick, M., Arthur, C., & Miles, A. (2012). Leadership development programme. £25000 joint award received from FAW and Welsh Football Trust.
Cropley, B., & Miles, A. (2012). Developing coach education support programmes. £2000 award received from Strategic Insight Programme (SIP).
Cropley, B., Miles, A., & Peel, J. (2012). Reflective practice: Value, issues, and developments within sports coaching. £5000 award received from SCUK.
Mitchell, I., Neil, R., Cropley, B., & Hanton, S. (2011). Educating coaches to develop life skills and reflective practice in athletes. £72000 joint award received from FAW Trust and Knowledge, Economy, Skills Scholarships Project (KESS).
Bailey, J., Jones, R., & Cropley, B. (2011). Developing a level 3 coaching award in gymnastics. £5000 awarded from British Gymnastics.
Mitchell, I., Oliver, E., & Cropley, B. (2010). Embedding reflective learning into curriculum design. £3000 award received from the Higher Education Authority.
Cropley, B., Neil, R., Wilson, K., & Faull, A. (2010). Reflective Practice: Insights into an Intervention with a Coach, a Player, a Team, and a Sport Psychologist. £500 International Travel Grant awarded from BASES.
Areas of Expertise
If you are a journalist on deadline and you need to speak with a member of university staff with particular expertise, please contact the Press Office.