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Dr Sean Figgins

Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology and Research Methods

s.figgins@chi.ac.uk | 01243 81 6357

Sean is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology and Research Methods. He started this role in September 2017 having obtained his undergraduate (BSc Sport Coaching Science) and postgraduate (MSc Psychology of Sport and Exercise; PhD Sport Psychology) degrees from the University of Chichester.

Sean has various professional qualifications and experience in sport. For instance, he has been a qualified Cricket coach for 12 years and has obtained qualification up to the ECB Club Coach award. 

Professional

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Education:

2010 – BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching Science, University of Chichester.

2011 – MSc Psychology of Sport and Exercise, University of Chichester.

2018 – PhD in Sport Psychology, University of Chichester.

Teaching:

Sean is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He currently is responsible for leading the following modules:

  • Social Psychology (SPL229)
  • Group Dynamics in Sport (SPL307)
  • Social Processes in Sport (MSCBPS07)
  • Researching Sport – Qualitative Enquiry (SDM500)

Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles:

Figgins, S.G., Smith, M.J., Knight, C.J., & Greenlees, I.G. (2019). A grounded theory of inspirational coach leadership. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 29(11), 1827-1840. doi: 10.1111/sms.13513 

Leggat, F., Smith, M.J., & Figgins, S.G. (2019). Talented but disruptive: An exploration of problematic players in sports teams. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, doi: 10.1080/10413200.2018.1549621 

Smith, M.J., Figgins, S.G., Jewiss, M., & Kearney, P.E. (2018). Investigating inspirational leader communication in an elite team sport context. International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching, 13(2), 213-224. doi: 10.1177/1747954117727684

Smith, M.J., Young, D., Figgins, S.G., & Arthur, C.A. (2017). Transformational leadership in elite sport: A qualitative analysis of effective leadership behaviours in cricket. The Sport Psychology, 31, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.2015-0077.

Figgins, S.G., Smith, M.J., Sellars, C.N., Greenlees, I.A., & Knight, C.J. (2016).  “You really could be something quite special”: A qualitative exploration of athletes’ experiences of being inspired in sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 24, 82-91. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2016.01.011.

Greenlees, I.A., Figgins, S., & Kearney, P. (2014). Can achievement goals be primed in competitive tasks? Journal of Human Kinetics, 40, 1, 245-250. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2014-0026.

Edited Works Contributions:

Smith, M.J., Figgins, S.G., & Sellars, C.N. (2016). Antecedents and impacts of effective and inspirational coach communication. In R. Thelwell, C. Harwood & I. Greenlees (Eds.). The Psychology of Sports Coaching: Research and Practice. Oxon: Routledge.

Conference contributions, refereed:

Figgins, S.G., Smith, M.J., Knight, C.J., & Greenlees, I.A. (2016). Laying the foundations for inspirational leadership: Establishing mutual trust, respect, and loyalty. Paper presented at the British Psychologyical Society’s Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology Conference, Cardiff, UK, December 2016.

Figgins, S.G., Smith, M.J., Knight, C.J., & Greenlees, I.A. (2016). Grounded theory: Developing the theoretical underpinning of inspirational leadership. Paper presented at the 5th International Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, Chichester, UK, August 2016.

Figgins, S.G., Smith, M.J., Greenlees, I.A., Sellars, C., & Knight, C. (2015). Inspiration in sport: Where does it come from and how can it be influenced. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology Conference, Leeds, UK, December 2015.

Figgins, S.G., Smith, M.J., Greenlees, I.A., & Knight, C. (2015). Using grounded theory to explore the process of inspirational leadership in sport. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology Conference, Leeds, UK, December 2015.

Figgins, S.G., Smith, M.J., Greenlees, I.A., & Knight, C.J. (2015). Towards a grounded theory of inspirational leadership. Paper presented at the Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group Annual Conference, Glashow, July 2015.

Figgins, S., Greenlees, I.A. & Kearney, P. (2013). The effects of subliminal and supraliminal priming on soccer penalty taking performance and self-efficacy. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology Conference, Manchester, UK, December 2013.

Figgins, S.G., Carter, J., & Roberts, G. (2011). The effect of a centering intervention on performance and anxiety in a golf putting task. Paper presented at the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Annual Student Conference, April 2011.

Figgins, S.G., & Greenlees, I.A. (2010). Cricket bowlers’ gaze patterns influence how they are perceived and the confidence of opposing batsmen. Paper presented at the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Annual Student Conference, March 2010.

Research

Sean’s research focusses on the social psychology of groups in sport and exercise contexts, with a particular focus on leadership and group dynamics. To date, Sean’s research has primarily focussed on how leaders inspire groups and individuals, as well as the personal and contextual factors that impact on this process. In addition, Sean researches: how leaders develop trust; social identity in groups; and the impact and management of talented-problematic players in groups.

Sean has previously explored the impact of subconscious priming on performance and the effect of nonverbal communication on perceptions of sport performers. Also, Sean has collaborated on projects with researchers from Staffordshire University, the University of Stirling, and with professional bodies (e.g, the English Football Association and the England and Wales Cricket Board) to explore a variety of research interests.