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Dave Collins

Prof. Dave Collins

Chair and Director, Institute of Coaching and Performance

School of Sport and Wellbeing

Greenbank Building, GR154

+44 (0) 1772 89 5719

Dave heads the Institute of Coaching and Performance (ICaP) which focuses on a broad spectrum of human challenge. The majority of this work is in high level sport, encompassing training and preparation, expertise in coaching and support science disciplines, skill development and refinement, and talent development. He also addresses policy in these areas, together with broader elements of performance and coaching in business, military/emergency services and adventure education.

Dave is research active within the area of sport and exercise science and is a member of the Institute of Coaching and Performance.

Full Profile

In addition to his University post, Dave is also Director of Grey Matters Consultants. He holds a BEd in PE and Maths from Borough Road College (1978), an MS in Sport Psychology from Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Surrey (1990). Dave is also a Chartered Psychologist, registered supervisor (RAPS) and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a registered practitioner with the HPC and a Chartered Scientist. He is a Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences and holds a High Performance Sport accreditation as a Sport Scientist. Dave was also elected a founding fellow of the Society of Martial Arts.

As an academic, Dave has over 130 peer-review publications and over 40 books and book chapters. To date, he has attracted over £2.5M in external funding to his various University posts and has served on Government Committees at regional and national level. Dave has supervised over 30 postgraduate research degrees, and currently directs studies for another nine PhD and 15 Professional Doctoral students.

Dave has worked in various roles within high performance sport since 1985, attending eight Olympic and over 40 World Championships with various sports. Previously, as Performance Director of UK Athletics, he directed the programme which progressed the team from 24th to 5th (World then Olympic) 21st to 3rd (World Indoors) and 12th to 1st (European Team). 

Dave has worked with over 60 World or Olympic medallists plus professional sports teams, dancers, musicians, and executives in business and public service. Dave is currently a performance consultant with a variety of professional sports organisations, including British Ski and Snowboard, the Chelsea FC Academy and Motor Sports Team UK. He has consulted around the world, including Fiji, Japan and Singapore, Canada and the USA, and various national sports bodies in Europe. Dave has coached rugby to national level, including visiting coaching posts in the USA and Japan.

Dave had an article published on The Conversation in February 2018 about the use of psychological tools in freeskiing and snowboarding at the Winter Olympics entitled ‘How freestyle skiers and snowboarders learn to pace their fear’.


Collins, David John (2013) Does Priming Really Put the Gloss on Performance? Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 35 . p. 299. ISSN 0895-2779

Collins, David John and MacNamara, Aine (2012) The Rocky Road to the Top. Sports Medicine, 42 (11). pp. 907-914. ISSN 0112-1642

MacNamara, Aine, Button, Angela and Collins, Dave (2010) The Role of Psychological Characteristics in Facilitating the Pathway to Elite Performance. Part 1: Identifying mental skills and behaviours. The Sport Psychologist, 24 (1). pp. 52-73. ISSN 0888-4781

MacNamara, Aine and Collins, David (2010) The role of psychological characteristics in managing the transition to university. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11 (5). pp. 353-362. ISSN 1469-0292

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