Dr. Howie Carson

Research Fellow in Coaching and Skill Development

School of Sport and Wellbeing

Greenbank Building, GR250


Subject Areas: Psychology, Performance

Howie is an active researcher within the areas of motor skill development and coaching expertise. As part of this role he is a member of the Institute of Coaching and Performance with main duties of conducting research and supporting post-graduate student supervision.


Full Profile

Howie’s research broadly addresses the control of human movement in relation to different applied coaching outcomes; namely, skill acquisition, refinement and performing under pressure. One of his main goals is to provide comprehensive frameworks, measures and advice to coaches/practitioners which promote an increasingly integrated application of motor control (e.g., practice scheduling) and sport psychology (e.g., mental imagery) principles. In addition, he is interested in the development and implementation of expert coach decision making which lead to intended coaching outcomes.

From an applied perspective, Howie is an Advanced PGA Professional golf coach, Accredited BASES Sport and Exercise Scientist and Chartered Scientist (the Science Council). Reflecting these roles, he has coached and/or provided consultancy across several sports including; golf, archery, motor sport, cricket, rugby union and clay pigeon shooting.



  • BA (Hons.) Applied Golf Management Studies, University of Birmingham, 2010
  • Ph.D. Elite Sports Coaching, University of Central Lancashire, 2014


Carson, H.J., & Collins, D. (2016). The fourth dimension: A motoric perspective on the anxiety–performance relationship. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 9(1), 1–21. doi:10.1080/1750984X.2015.1072231

Collins, L., Carson, H.J., & Collins, D. (2016). Metacognition and professional judgement and decision making: Importance, application and evaluation. International Sport Coaching Journal, 3(3), 355–361. doi:10.1123/iscj.2016-0037

Carson, H.J., & Collins, D. (2016). Implementing the Five-A Model of technical change: Identifying and outlining roles for the sport psychologist. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 28(4), 392–409. doi:10.1080/10413200.2016.1162224

Carson, H.J., & Collins, D. (2015). Tracking technical refinement in elite performers: The good, the better and the ugly. International Journal of Golf Science, 4(1), 67–87. doi:10.1123/ijgs.2015-0003

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Membership of Professional and Learned Bodies

  • The Professional Golfers’ Association (Advanced Member)
  • British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Research Projects

  • Motor skill acquisition and refinement
  • Professional judgement and decision making expertise
  • Performance under pressure
  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • Movement analysis in golf
  • Talent development



Research groups

  • Institute of Coaching and Performance


Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

Supervision to PhD, Professional Doctorate (DProf) and Professional Masters (MProf) students

External Activities

External marker for The Professional Golfers’ Association foundation degree in Professional Golf Studies (FdSc) – Coaching and Sport Science topics.


Carson, H.J. (2018). Adaptive automaticity in adventure sport: Contemporary views and implications. Paper presented at the 1st Plas y Brenin Coach Education for Adventure Sports Performance, Betws-y-Coed, Wales.

Carson, H.J. (2016). Implementing skill refinement in elite-level athletes: Systems and procedures, critical success factors and challenges. Presentation at the ‘Biomechanics research and motor control & learning principles: A call for more collaboration’ workshop hosted by CONI and the Italian Winter Sports Federation (FISI), Modena, Italy.

Carson, H.J. (2016). Framework and progress indicators. Paper presented as part of the symposium “Technique change in experienced golfers: Coaching considerations for maximizing long-term permanence and pressure resistance” at the 7th World Scientific Congress of Golf, St. Andrews, Scotland.

Carson, H.J., & Collins, D. (2014). Enabling technical change in already well-established skills. Paper presented at the 5th Annual Conference of the Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network, Sheffield. [Presentation and expert panel member]

Carson, H.J., Collins, D., & Richards, J. (2013, September). Working inside the black box: Refinement of already established skills. Paper presented at the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Annual Conference, Preston.