If you‘re interested in the mental side of sport performance, this is the podcast for you. Whether you’re an athlete, a coach, a sport psychology professional, or even just a sports fan, Dr Pete Olusoga, along with his expert guests, will answer all the questions you could possibly have about the role of the mind in sport performance.
Is there such a thing as a winning mindset and if so, where can I get one? Why do we get nervous, and what should we do about it? What‘s the deal with mindfulness?
In each episode, Dr Pete - with the help of some special guests - will ask and answer questions like these, exploring what the research says, and highlighting lessons from sport psychology that you can use on and off the field.
Season One Trailer
Welcome to Eighty Percent Mental. This is just a short preview of what you can expect from Dr Pete Olusoga and Hugh Gilmore in this brand new podcast all about the psychology of sport.
2.15 - Super Special Bonus Winter Olympic Review!
In this Super Special Winter Olympic Review, Dr Pete Olusoga is joined by Dr Chelsi Day, Sport Psychologist at ‘The’ Ohio State University, and Dr Leah Washington, resident Olympic Superfan and professor of sports medicine and sport psychology to talk about the ups, downs, ins, outs, and triple Salchows of the Beijing 2022 Winer Olympics. From drug scandals to ‘minor’ broken necks, and managing the post-Olympic comedown, this episode has a little bit of everything. Make sure you stay tuned to the end to find out how Leah is going to save the Olympics!
Oh, and dog sledding was a demonstration event in the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. So now you know.
Dr Chelsi Day on Twitter: @sportpsychmind Dr Leah Washington on Twitter: @Leah_SportPsych
Ryan Cochran’s minor broken neck: Article on the Czech Republic Women’s Ice Hockey team: Burn it All Down Podcast: The Figure Skating Fiasco:
2.14 - Mental health and wellbeing in sport
A ‘win at all costs’ culture can make it almost impossible for people in high-performance environments like sport to show any sort of vulnerability, to concede that pressure takes a toll, to admit that they are not in fact superhuman. But many sports performers are beginning to change this narrative. In the final episode of Series 2, Dr Pete Olusoga is joined by expert guests, Shakiba Moghadam and Dr Paul Gorczynski, for an open and honest conversation around mental health and well-being in sport
Shakiba Moghadam is a doctoral student focusing on the mental health literacy of women rugby players. She has a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Sport & Exercise Psychology and is the co-owner of Move Training Centre, a private Training facility in Southampton.
Dr Paul Gorczynski is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth and an HCPC registered Practitioner Psychologist. Paul was an expert member of the IOC consensus statement on mental health in elite athletes and is the co-author of the BASES Mental Health in Sport and Exercise psychology units.
Shakiba Moghadam on Twitter: @ShakibaMoghadam Dr Paul Gorczynski on Twitter: @PaulGorczynski
2.13 - The greatest sports movie of all time?
At the start of Series 2, we ran a poll to find the Greatest Sports Movie of All Time… The Movie GOAT. Somehow, Remember the Titans won… still not sure how that happened, but pretty sure it’s your fault. Anyway, in this episode, Dr Pete is joined by Dr Meghan Halbrook, Dr Tammy Sheehy, and (not the first) returning guest, Todd Cauthorn, to discuss what we can learn from some of the great sports movies out there… and maybe more importantly, which is the Movie GOAT!
Dr Meghan Halbrook is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant, an Assistant Professor in Sport and Exercise Studies ,and the Director of the MA in Coaching and Sport Leadership Program at Randolph College.
Dr Tammy Sheehy, originally from New Zealand is an Assistant Professor at Bridgewater College where she directs the coaching minor and teaches classes in coaching and sport psychology.
Todd Cauthorn, from Roanoke Virginia, played basketball at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and then had stops playing pro basketball in Austria and Belgium on his way to playing for the Sheffield Sharks for 12 seasons.
Dr Meghan Halbrook on Twitter: @MkhalbrookDr Tammy Sheehy on Twitter @TLSheehyTodd Cauthorn on Twitter: @ToddCauthorn
2.12 - Do we deserve better from our sporting heroes?
From diving to doping to serious crimes, hardly a day goes by without an athlete getting themselves into some sort of trouble. In this episode Dr Pete is joined by Sport, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, Dr Mitch Abrams, and Assistant Professor of sport and exercise psychology at Georgia Southern University, Dr Megan Byrd, to ask: do we deserve better from our sporting heroes? We talk about whether or not sport is inherently “good”, whether athletes should be role models, organisational deviance, and a whole lot more in this fascinating episode of Eighty Percent Mental
Mitch is an expert in anger, violence and trauma, specifically as it presents in the sports world. Besides writing Anger Management in Sport in 2010, he also is the Chief Psychologist in the prison system in New Jersey, where he has worked for the past 21 years. Megan is a certified mental performance consultant and the co-director of mental performance for South Georgia Tormenta FC.
Trigger Warning: This episode contains non-detailed references to sexual assault and rape. If you are in any way affected by the content of this episode, you can contact the Rape Crisis Centre at for information and support.
Dr Mitch Abrams on Twitter: @MitchAbramsPsyD Dr Megan Byrd on Twitter: @Megan_Byrd23 AASP Website:
2.11 - EPM Special: Conversations on racism in sport
The conversation should always be about more than just sport. In this EPM Special, Dr Pete Olusoga is joined by organisational psychologist and best-selling New York Times author, John Amaechi OBE, for an honest and inspiring conversation about racism, anti-racism, and what we all could or should be doing to make our communities fairer for everybody.
John Amaechi OBE on Twitter: @JohnAmaechi APS Intelligence Website: www.apsintel.com Read John’s new book: The Promises of Giants
2.10 - How do I bring psychology into the weight room?
Dr Pete and Hugh Gilmore (featuring in his final episode) investigate how we might bring psychology into the weight room. Lead Strength and Conditioning coach at Sheffield Hallam University, Dave Hembrough, and ALTIS Programs Director and Performance Coach, Nick Ward, discuss the mental challenges they encounter, their use of psych ‘skills’, and what they wish they’d known about the mental side of performance when they started their coaching journeys. This one is not to be missed!
Dave Hembrough on Twitter: @dwhembro
Nick Ward on Twitter: @coach_nickward
Altis World Website: www.altis.world
2.09 – Diversity and cultural awareness in sport - The Director‘s Cut
When words like diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness are mentioned, they’re often met with a mix of confusion, defensiveness, and responses like “well I just treat everyone the same, I don’t see difference.” In this episode Dr Pete is joined by Dr Ale Quartiroli and Shameema Yousuf to talk about the need for Cultural Awareness, and the importance of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the spaces that we work in.
Sometimes in life, you have to just go with what you've got. So that's what we've done with this Director's Cut version of this episode. Enjoy!
Dr Ale Quartiroli on Twitter: @AQuartiroliShameema Yousuf on Twitter: @Empower2PerformShameema’s website: empower2perform.comWatch John Amaechi explaining privilege here:
2.08 - Pete & Hugh's Olympic Review!
2.08 – EPM Special: Pete & Hugh’s Olympic Review
Less than a week after the closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 2021 Olympics, Dr Pete and Hugh are joined, once again, by Dr Chelsi Day, Sport Psychologist at ‘The’ Ohio State University, and Dr Leah Washington, a professor of sports medicine and sport psychology, to chat about literally everything that happened at the Games. We discuss our favourite moments and yours, the twisties, the impact of the new sports, and the need for more sparkles all round… and a whole lot more too. Enjoy!
Dr Chelsi Day on Twitter: @sportpsychmindDr Leah Washington on Twitter: @Leah_SportPsychDr J Bennett:The Psychology of the Yips and Lost Move Syndrome in Sport: Marina Harris:Simone Biles and Team USA Redefine Mental Toughness:
2.07 – What’s all this fuss over Resilience?
Dr Pete and Hugh find out everything you’ll ever need to know about resilience, with help from Dr Mustafa ‘Resilience’ Sarkar, a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Professor of Sport and Performance Psychology at Nottingham Trent University, and Wendy Searle, the 7th woman in history to ski 700 miles, unsupported, from Hercules Inlet to the geographic South Pole.
If you want to know what resilience is, what it isn’t, how to demonstrate and build resilience in individuals and teams, and how to make a tube of pringles last for several weeks, this is the episode for you.
Wendy Searle on Twitter: @betweensnowandskyWendy Searle website: Southpole2020.comDr Mustafa Sarkar on Twitter: @MusSarkarDr Mustafa Sarkar at NTU:
2.06 - A&Q with Pete and Hugh... and Elliott too!
This one is long! Just to mix things up a little, we decided to get you, dearest listeners, to come up with the questions for Dr Pete and Hugh to answer. “Ask us anything,” we said… and you did. From tips on imposter syndrome to getting in ‘The Zone’ to the greatest crisps of all time, Pete, Hugh, and special guest Elliott Newell talk for what turned out to be bloody ages, answering your questions. It’s good though. You’ll like this one!
Elliott Newell is a Senior Performance Pathways Scientist at the English Institute of Sport, and a BASES Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist specialising in Psychological Support. He’s particularly interested in performance communities, talent development practice, and philosophy of sport, and his favourite sweets are not what you’d expect!
Elliott Newell on Twitter: @ElliottSportPsy
2.05 - The Event vs. The Grind
There are some sports for which athletes might spend a lifetime preparing for one shot, one opportunity. Other sports require a long push through a season, competing day in, day out, for months, only to start again the next year. The EVENT and the GRIND.
Dr Pete and Hugh are joined by Dr Karen MacNeill, who has experience of preparing athletes as a performance consultant and psychologist at four Winter Olympics, but also of competing on the world stage as an international hockey player. Pete, Hugh, and Dr MacNeill explore the differences and similarities of the EVENT and the GRIND from the perspectives of player, coach, and psychologist, in what turned out to be a right Bobby Dazzler of an episode!
Dr Karen MacNeill on Twitter: @DrKMacNeill
2.04 - How can psychology help with injuries?
In this episode, Dr Pete and Hugh consider the psychology of injury with special guest experts, Dr Monna Arvinen-Barrow, a Chartered Psychologist, Mental Performance Coach, and Associate Professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Dr Damien Clement, Associate Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology/Athletic Training at West Virginia University. From exploring the link between stress and injury, to thinking about how we can understand and work with injured athletes more effectively, this episode has everything you need to know to appreciate the role that the mind can play in managing the injury experience.
Dr Monna Arvinen-Barrow on Twitter: @MABSportPsychDr Damien Clement on Twitter: @DrThreeWVU
2.03 - How to work with/be a good sports parent?
In this episode, Dr Pete and Hugh think about how to work with and how to be good sports parents. Dr Camilla Knight, Associate Professor at Swansea University and a specialist in parental involvement in youth sport, and Andy Bradshaw, Senior Coach Developer at UK Coaching and a coach with over 30 years’ experience, talk about the positive and negative influences that parents can have on their children’s sport experiences. We discuss what coaches and clubs can do to engage parents in positive ways, and what parents might do to support their children through their sporting journeys.
Dr Camilla Knight on Twitter: @cjknightAndy Bradshaw on Twitter: @APBraddersUK Coaching Website: ukcoaching.org
2.02 - How do we get team culture right?
If you’re part of a team, you do not want to miss this episode. Dr Pete and Hugh talk to two absolute legends to find out how to get team culture right.
Performance psychologist, Rebecca Levett, and culture coach, author, and Global Chief Culture Officer at Right to Dream, Dr Pippa Grange, talk about defining success, the benefits of creating an environment where people can freely express themselves, and the potential dangers of romanticizing ‘winning’ cultures.
There’s something for everyone here, so whether you’re an athlete, coach, psych, or just someone who’s interested in how to do team culture well, get this episode in your ears!
Rebecca Levett on Twitter: @SportingSuccessRebecca’s website: sporting-success.comRight to Dream website: righttodream.com
2.01 - How to think straight about psychology (and the problem of toxic positivity)
In the opening episode of Series 2, Dr Pete and Hugh talk to chartered sport and exercise psychologist and lecturer, Dr Darren Britton, and registered sport and exercise psychologist, Matt Cunliffe to find out how to think straight about psychology.
In a world full of Instagram experts and 'media psychologists', we explore how we might separate the pseudoscience from the evidence-based practice, and talk about how to tackle the problem of the relentless positivity that seems to invade our social media feeds.
Dr Darren Britton on Twitter: @DrDarrenBrittonDarren’s website: fronttootpsychology.comMatt Cunliffe on Twitter: @MattCunliffe24
1.13 - EPM Sidecast - Burnout and dropout - with the No Lift Powerlifting Podcast
Dr Pete and Hugh were invited onto the No Lift Podcast, hosted by Arthur Lynch, to discuss burnout and drop out in athletes specifically powerlifting athletes.
Arthur Lynch is a bit of an enigma. Having competed at multiple IPF World Championships representing Ireland, he knows a thing or two about strength. But he's not just a very strong dude; he has a PhD in muscle physiology and BSc in Sport and Exercise science. Arthur coaches’ competitive lifters and those interested in just getting stronger as well as being a thoroughly inquisitive fellow. Arthur is well respected in the field of strength and we thoroughly recommend you take a look at the No Lift Podcast.
Arthur Lynch on Instagram: @arthurlynchNo Lift Podcast on Instagram: @noliftpodcast Nolift podcast on spotify
Danny Lennon claims on his Instagram to be an expert at nothing and curious about a lot. We think only one of those things is true. Founder of Sigma Nutrition and head of content creation for the company, Danny hosts top-ranked podcast, Sigma Nutrition Radio, and is a respected educator in the field. Dr Pete and Hugh were invited onto the Sigma Nutrition Radio Podcast to discuss Dr Pete’s specialist research area, burnout and coaches.
Find more on Danny Lennon and check out the coaching and nutrition services services offered by him and his employees at Sigma Nutrition.
1.11 - Ho Ho Holiday Special!
In this festive edition of Eighty Percent Mental, Dr Pete and Hugh look back at Series One, look forward to Series 2, and try to spread some festive cheer at the end of what has been... well let's just say a memorable 2020.
EPM Extras - Winning Mindset
Welcome to EPM Extras! In this mini-podcast episode, you can hear some of the extra bits from Episode 1.02, where Dr Pete and Hugh talked to Prof. Dave Collins, Director at Grey Matters Performance Ltd., about the controversial idea of a 'Winning Mindset'
Dave Collins on Twitter: @DCGreyMattersUK Grey Matters: www.greymattersuk.com
1.10 - What's the deal with mindfulness?
In this, the final episode of Series 1, we talk to one of the world’s leading experts on Mindfulness, Joe Mannion, to find out just what all the fuss is about. What is mindfulness really, and perhaps more importantly, what is not mindfulness? What’s the theory, and is there actually any evidence to show that it’s helpful? Who shouldn’t do it? We answer all of these questions and more on Episode 10 of EightyPercentMental.
Joe Mannion on Instagram: @dr_overcomer and Twitter: @JoeMannion Joe’s publications: www.researchgate.net/profile/Joe_Mannion2 Book recommendation: Hayes, S (2019). A Liberated Mind