Improving performance through the management of mood
Submitting InstitutionUniversity of Wolverhampton
Unit of AssessmentSport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism
Summary Impact TypeSocietal
Research Subject Area(s)
Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Psychology and Cognitive Sciences: Psychology
Summary of the impact
This case study focuses on the development and usage of self-help
material designed to aid people in feeling and performing better. It has
achieved impact through raising awareness via mass media and professional
outlets. Research informed self-help materials are available for open
access via media links, academic organisations, service organisations
(NHS), commercial organisations (London Marathon), national governing
bodies (Research Councils), and professional bodies (British Association
of Sport and Exercise Sciences). An on-line project, run in conjunction
with BBC Lab
UK, developed and tested self-help interventions with 75,000 users
each receiving personalised feedback from former Olympian Michael Johnson.
RCSEP research has focused on developing and testing theory that
addresses applied questions (Beedie & Lane, 2012; Lane & Terry,
2000). The has led to two
expert statements with practical guidelines, one on emotion
regulation and one on using music in sport and exercise. Underpinning this
work, RCSEP research has developed valid and reliable measures to enable
rigorous testing of theory in different areas. These include a measure
of mood validated across cultures (BRUMS: Terry et al., 1999; Terry
& Lane, 2010), a measure that distinguishes mood from emotion (Beedie
et al., 2011), and a brief measure of emotional intelligence (Davies et
al., 2010). RCSEP have developed tools to help guide intervention work
including a measure that assesses the motivational effects of music during
exercise (Karageorghis et al., 2012).
RCSEP have examined the effectiveness of self-regulation strategies used
to help people perform and feel better. For example, studies have
investigated relationships between mood and performance among athletes
(Devonport & Lane, 2009; Friesen, Devonport, Sellars et al., 2013;
Lane, 2009). We have also examined how athletes cope during endurance
events such as running (Lane et al., 2001; Lane & Wilson, 2010;
Stanley et al., 2012), cycling (Beedie et al., 2012) and ultra-endurance
in extreme conditions (Devonport & Lane, 2011; Lahart et al., 2013).
Work with industry has entailed examination of products such as natural
light simulation (Lumie
Lights) for athletes who train early in the morning (Lane, 2011),
and music designed (AudioFuel)
to aid performance (Karageorghis et al., 2012). In conjunction with "Runner's
World", we examined the use of cognitive strategies such as
self-talk and if-then planning to help runners manage emotions and improve
performance (Lane et al., 2010). A recent project in collaboration with BBC Lab UK
investigated the effects of brief interventions on emotions and
performance. In this project, participants received one of three possible
interventions before competing in a concentration grid test designed for
the study. On completion, participants received personalised feedback
addressing emotions associated with best performance, effectiveness of the
intervention, and guidance on transferring this knowledge to everyday
The research group has received considerable external financial support.
This includes a 4-year ESRC grant to fund the Emotion Regulation of Others
and Self project (£485,000), support to deliver an end-user event during
the Festival of Science (Research Councils UK: RCUK, £1000), and support
to present at the Research Councils UK, Cutting Edge series with Olympic
diver, Tom Daley. The group received a grant from the British Association
of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES: £1500) to produce an expert
statement on emotion regulation (Lane et al., 2012). A Knowing Sport Pilot
scheme funded a workshop on emotion regulation as part of a campaign to
make science more accessible through sport. The research group have also
received a great deal of funding in-kind, for example support from BBC Lab
UK including production costs for the on-line platform, filming costs, and
Key researchers: Professor Andy Lane: School Professor,
2000-present. Dr Tracey Devonport: Reader in Sport and Exercise
Psychology, 2001 -present. Dr Chris Beedie: Research fellow, 2010-2011. Dr
Damian Stanley: Research fellow, 2010 -2012. Chris Sellars, Head of
Department, Mat Wilson, Senior Lecturer, 2005-2009.
References to the research
1. Beedie, C. J., Lane, A. M., Wilson. (2012). A possible role for
emotion and emotion regulation in physiological responses to false
performance feedback in 10 mile laboratory cycling. Applied
Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 37, 269-277. DOI 10.1007/s10484-
012-9200-7. (Impact Factor = 1.54; citations, N = 6).
2. Beedie, C. J., & Lane. A. M. (2012). The role of glucose in
self-control: Another look at the evidence and an alternative
conceptualization. Personality and Social Psychology Review.
DOI:10.1177/1088868311419817. (Impact Factor = 8.19; citations, N = 21).
3. Lane, A. M., & Terry, P. C. (2000). The nature of mood:
Development of a conceptual model with a focus on depression. Journal of
Applied Sport Psychology, 12, 16-33. Impact Factor = 1.16; citations, n =
4. Lane, A. M., Beedie, C. J., Jones, M. V., Uphill, M., & Devonport,
T. J. (2012). The BASES Expert Statement on emotion regulation in sport.
Journal of Sport Sciences, 30, 1189-1195. DOI:
10.1080/02640414.2012.693621. (Impact Factor = 2.08; citations, n = 5).
5. Lane, A. M., Beedie, C. J., Devonport, T. J., & Stanley, D. M.
(2011). Instrumental emotion regulation in sport: relationships between
beliefs about emotion and emotion regulation strategies used by athletes.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 21,
e445-e451. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2011.01364.x (Impact Factor = 2.89;
citations, n = 6).
6. Terry, P. C., Lane, A. M., Lane, H. J., & Keohane, L. (1999).
Development and validation of a mood measure for adolescents: POMS-A.
Journal of Sports Sciences, 17, 861-872. DOI:
10.1080/026404199365425. (Impact Factor = 2.08, citations, n =178).
Details of the impact
The impact of research produced by this research group can be evidenced
in three key ways:
a) Reach: Raising public awareness
The strategy to gain wide scale impact has been focused on work designed
to raise public awareness. The reach of the research's social impact has
been aided by worldwide exposure via the BBC Lab UK, the London Marathon
Website, international magazines such as Runner's World, and commentary in
national and international newspapers. This coverage has led to further
exposure via Reuters and other worldwide media agencies. A high-profile
example being promotion to recruit participants to the BBC Lab UK project
featuring on the prime time television show the `One-Show' where Michael
Johnson narrated the video clips in the research. More recently, a film
commissioned by Copa 90, an independent television channel, on dealing
with stress during soccer penalty shooting has been viewed over 55,000
b) Usage of self-help materials
In an experiment that was conducted in conjunction with Runner's World
Magazine and Audiofuel, RCSEP compared the effects of training
interventions assigned to 1050 runners. We provided individualised
feedback regarding intervention outcomes, and summarised results on YouTube.
Resources developed from the group's research, designed to support runners
have been openly available on the London Marathon website since 2010. Tips
are also posted via email to all entrants (> 50,000 per year) as part
of the build-up to the event and runners can sign up for monthly
training tips. Building on this work, the research group hosted a
weekend workshop for runners (Knowing Sport Pilot scheme; January, 2011)
that introduced a series of self-help interventions focussed on
performance enhancement. We have also delivered self-help interventions on
mass. In an online experiment run in collaboration with BBC Lab UK
(2012-2013), 75,000 people worldwide used brief interventions (imagery,
self-talk, and planning) to facilitate performance during a competitive
online game. Olympian Michael Johnson delivered the training and narrated
the computer-generated individualised feedback. The feedback highlighted
the relationship between emotions and performance, and how to change
emotions. Comments posted by users were very positive, including accounts
of how participation had helped individuals perform better in a range of
roles (e.g., musician, exam student, driving instructor, chef, etc). As a
result of such initiatives, Professor Lane featured as an expert on the
popular weekly podcast "Marathon
Talk", speaking about psychological control for marathon runners.
The group have been involved in three externally funded (RCUK; ESRC)
events to disseminate findings to the general public. Research Councils UK
funded a workshop on emotion regulation for runners intended to
disseminate sports sciences to the general public (January, 2011).
Participant feedback following this event was positive with a number of
runners reporting completing personal best performances in the weeks
following the workshop. Second, the group also presented a workshop on
emotion and emotion regulation in sport at the Festival of Science
(November, 2011). Third, Professor Lane presented at the "Cutting Edge"
series on emotional control in diving, June 2012, a presentation that
included both Tom Daley and his coach Andy Banks. All three events were
popular, attracting over 500 delegates and receiving media coverage, which
ensured a wider reach. The cutting edge series is available to view via
Councils video page.
c) Direct benefit of being involved in the research
Participants have been the immediate beneficiaries of the groups research.
For example, participants in the BBC Lab UK project were not only taught
how to use an intervention, but also received immediate feedback on their
responses to questionnaires and performance in the test. Previously, in
the project developed in conjunction with Runner's
World, each participant (N= 1050, Lane et al., 2010) received
personalised feedback and advice on how to improve their mental approach
to running. A further example of benefits to participants can be
illustrated by RCSEP's research partnership with NHS West Midlands. A
project aimed at improving health and well-being among NHS staff resulted
in the development of e-resources
on health, well-being and their measurement. These were provided to
all NHS employees via open access on the internet. RCSEP also provided
self-help material for the NHS
live well project on how to use music when running on the couch to
A strategy to maximise awareness of our underpinning research has been to
work with high-profile athletes who engage in extreme sports. For example,
we worked with Sport Relief in preparation for TV presenter
Christine Bleakley's water-ski crossing of the English Channel (March,
Sources to corroborate the impact
a) Raising Public Awareness; examples include:
If I wish to perform better then how should I feel? This was a 2
hour on-line presentation commissioned by Human Kinetics in
conjunction with BASES that included an opportunity for question and
answers. A 40-minute
Psychology of penalties. A film produced by Copa
90 examining how to control unwanted thoughts and feelings when taking
penalties (55,000 views)
Performing under pressure. Ricky Gervais and Michael Johnson
introduce the BBC
Lab UK project on the One-Show
ESRC research featuring in BBC Lab UK project. The BBC Lab UK
project featured on the ESRC website as an example of research achieving
high profile public dissemination: News
Lane on the ESRC database
BBC webpages: `Raise
your Game'. Article on preparing for marathon running
How to use music when running. NHS
live well project
Professional papers for athletes and coaches in Peak
b) Usage of self-help materials; examples include:
London Marathon: Downloads > 50,000. Freely accessible resources
produced by Professor Lane are available on the London
Marathon website to assist with preparation for marathon running.
Rough guide to running. A
free 16-page download that covers motivation, music and the
psychological benefits of running
Listen Live. Five
audio files on mental preparation, beating anxiety, motivation and
music AudioFuel. AudioFuel provided free samples of AudioFuel
music to participants in a running study. Many participants found
these samples to improve performance and consequently purchased further
products from AudioFuel.
Runner's World. The publication Runner's World has a worldwide
circulation in print version (Europe, The Americas, Africa, and
Australasia). Runner's World helped recruit participants for an online
study. See below for evidence of the recruitment article and an example of
a subsequent publication:
Runner's World, November 2009:
`Running Psychology: Improve Your Performance'.
Runner's World, November 2010:
`Sound Mind, Sound Body: How to Beat Pre-Race Nerves'.
The Emotion Regulation of Others and Self website.
This website hosts a number of self-help resources provided by the
research team. The ESRC
annual report could be used to provide verification of this
International use of the mood measure: BRUMS. This self-assessment
resource is available online and provides self-help guidance to
c) Direct benefit of being involved in the research; examples include:
Research Councils UK. Excellence
with impact series and Cutting Edge 2012, RCUK.
The Knowing Sport scheme. A one day workshop for runners funded by
the Knowing Sport Scheme and awarded the `Inspire'
Economic and Social Research Council Festival of Social Science.
Emotion regulation activities for the general public were produced for the
of social science in Manchester on the 4th November
British Cycling Annual Coaching Conference. A lecture and workshop
on emotion regulation of others and self and its application to cycling.
National Health Service: West Midlands. Professor Lane and Dr
Devonport were members of a project team undertaking funded research
(£389k) in partnership with NHS West Midlands exploring `A strategic
partnership approach to improving health and well-being in NHS staff'. One
outcome of this project was the provision of e-resources
on health, well-being and their measurement.