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Slice of PIE

Author: Pete Jackson

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What is a Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE)? And what does it look like across the worlds of sport, business and other performance fields? With 13 years working in marketing strategy for blue chip companies and 5 years training towards Sport Psychologist chartership, Pete is seeking to find what each domain can learn from the other. To do so, he’s speaking to high performance experts, psychologists and those at the forefront of leadership, teamwork and organisational psychology research.
20 Episodes
In this episode I speak to Cath Bishop. A speaker, consultant, executive coach and author on developing success in leadership. Cath is also a former diplomat and former elite rower for Great Britain, representing at 3 Olympic games, achieving World Champion status twice as well as an Olympic Silver Medal in partnership with Dame Katherine Grainger in the coxless pair in Athens.A cursory glance at Cath’s Wikipedia or LinkedIn might give you the impression of one word… SUCCESS. Yet it’s the notion of what is defined as success which sits at the heart of her new book The Long Win. Is success the outcome or the journey towards it? Is it the medals and quarterly targets or the skills and growth you gain along the way? And why is our culture obsessed with winning?I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing Cath and getting deeper into some of the topics within the book. If you are interested I’ve left a link to the book in the description below, along with a host of other books I've read and have been recommended in the world of psychology, organisation culture, wellbeing and performance.In our conversation we jump straight into the themes from the book and the implications for building psychologically informed environments. We only lightly touch upon Cath's own Olympic and athletic journey, but if you’d like to find out more I’d invite you to listen to Cath's interviews with Simon Mundie on Don’t Tell Me the Score and Steve Ingham on The Supporting Champions podcast to learn more. Again, see these links below:The Long Win: books: Bishop on Don't Tell Me The Score: Bishop on Supporting Champions:
In the spirit of speaking to different types of experts I have been wanting to a) speak to people in the world of consulting that help companies improve team effectiveness and develop leaders, and b) speak to people that have worked in teams in the furnace of the military environment. With this episode's guest Richard Waddell, I am fortunate to get 2 for the price of 1 … !After passing through officer training at Sandhurst, Richard was in the UK one moment, and 48 hours later on the ground in Basrah commanding a troop of soldiers, some of whom were far older and more experienced in the military. After navigating this and many other challenges, Richard eventually came out of the military and entered the world of consulting - working for large firms and starting his own businesses in talent identification, recruitment and leadership development amongst other things.In this episode we talk about leadership styles in different contexts, military insights applied to sport and business, recruitment, talent identification and consultancy, psychometric profiling tools… You can find Richard in the following places:LinkedIn: Encounter
In episode 4 of season 2, we speak to Jenna Woolven.Jenna has got a very impressive list of experiences across many environments, both as an athlete and a sport psychology consultant. She played national level and junior international level hockey before transitioning into sports marketing, and then into her sport and exercise psychology. Jenna then went on to work for sports and management consultancy Lane4, where she worked with various businesses and sports organisations, including a year where she was embedded into the Football Association and based at St George’s Park. She’s now an independent consultant and passionate about helping people to realise their potential, achieve their goals and live more fulfilled lives. In this conversation we talk about consulting with sporting or business teams, being embedded in organisations, and how to help bring about meaningful engagement with sport or work.You can find Jenna 
In the third episode of Season 2 I get to talk to Pathway Scientist at the English Institute of Sport (EIS) - Elliott Newell. Elliott's conversation with Dan Abrahams on The Sport Psych Show was the first time I had heard of the 'PIE' so you can largely credit Elliott with the title of the podcast.Elliott is a sport and performance scientist (BASES Accredited/Science Council Chartered) with specialism in psychological support. He works in high performance sport with a focus on talent development, and using talent development knowledge and strategies to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of performance pathways. He's a huge advocate of personal growth and development, and this is evident in our conversation. Elliott racks up a lot of miles collaborating with athletes, coaches and talent pathway coaches, traveling far and wide to connect the dots within his sphere of the high performance system - hence the title, 'sport psychology on the road'.This is part one of a two part conversation with Elliott, so look out for part two when it is out.You can find Elliott here:Elliott's Twitter: - Performance Pathway Learning Hub:
In the second episode of season two we talk to Sport Psychologist in Training Louise Byrne. As well as training towards psychology chartership, Louise also works in finance, and we touch upon the interesting cross-application of performance psychology and wellbeing strategies in the corporate sector.The first 30-35 minutes is also a great deep-dive in to that mystical notion of 'balance' we're all striving for. Training as a psychologist whilst working another job is no mean feat, and this context provides a great backdrop with which to discuss what balance actually is, what it means to different people, what it means at different points in our lives, as well as strategies for trying to achieve or maintain it.It was a great conversation. You can find Louise online here:Twitter: Web: Her study into organisational stressors: Other links from the episode:Frontiers in Psychology: 
Season TWO of the Slice of PIE podcast kicks off with former chair of the British Psychological Society's (BPS) Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (DSEP) and 'Pracademic' with over 20 years of experience. That's experience in consultancy, lecturing, research, presenting and working in all manner of domains from premier league football and academy cricket to supporting the British Paralympics team in Rio, and from working in sport to business to the military and many other performance environments. Jamie is also the author of multiple books including The Psychology of Soccer: More Than Just a Game which came out this year (2020) in partnership with Joe Dixon, Richard Thelwell and Ian Mitchell (see link below).Jamie is also one of the nicest blokes around, and kindly gave enough time to fill two episodes’ worth of insight and experience. This is 'part one' of our conversation. You can follow Jamie here:Social networks: University Profile: Psychology of Soccer: More Than Just a Game
Ahead of Season 2 of Slice of PIE, I thought it would be first worth looking back and reflecting on the recurring themes in Season 1. If you want to read the associated blog post, you can find that here: you want to follow the guests mentioned in this end of season summary, you can find them here: you have any thoughts, comments or feedback please get in touch with me via the website:
In this last episode of Season 1 we put the Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) under the microscope with Dr Jonathan Katz. He's a former fencer turned fencing coach, a former counselling psychologist turned sport psychologist, and a veteran of 4 Paralympic games, Team England Head Coach for the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Fencing Championships, BPS accredited supervisor and Business & Executive Coach as well. That’s some CV.It was great to hear a first-hand perspective from someone who has worked through the first wave of interest and adoption of psychology in sport, and has an insightful and panoramic view on how the profession and industry has evolved over the last decade or so. We discussed the impact of Tokyo Olympics moving to 2021 in forensic detail - examining the implications for younger and older athletes, those closer to retirement, the access to training and preparation facilities, and the communication web between NGBs, the BOA and IOC. We also chatted about depth and breadth of consultant experience, the importance of integrating psychology within multi-disciplinary teams and how to prepare for situations with a host of unknowns.You can find Jonathan here:Twitter: 
Hannah Stoyel is a HCPC registered Sport & Exercise Psychologist, and the founder of Optimise Potential, a sport psychology consultancy based in London. She wears many hats: As well as doing her PHD at University College London looking at athletes and eating disorders -  She is also the lead sport psychologist for Swim England, she works as a sport psychology consultant for Millfield school, delivers sport psychology content for UK Athletics, and is a Sport Psychologist for the Reading FC Academy. Pretty impressive resume. In my conversation with Hannah her passion for all things psychology is evident, in any age any competitive level or any sport, however I was particularly struck by her enthusiasm for developing young people and her insights in to how elite academies, NGB pathways, parents, coaches and other support staff can support our young athletes as they navigate the whirlwind rollercoaster of childhood, puberty, adolescence and young adulthood. Therefore if you’re a coach, parent, support staff or even a young athlete this episode will be particularly interesting for you.You can find Hannah here:Consultancy website: social media: social media: Swimming - Optimal Athlete Development Framework (OADF): 
Dr. Matt Slater from Staffordshire University and Chris Hartley from the University of Stirling spend a lot of time thinking about groups, identity and leadership. Dr. Matt Slater is Associate Professor of Sport & Exercise Psychology at Staffordshire University, a chartered Psychologist and an active researcher with interests in the psychology of leadership and team functioning in performance contexts. He is also the Author of the book ‘Togetherness: How to Build a Winning Team’, published in 2019. Chris Hartley is also a chartered and HCPC registered practitioner in sport and exercise psychology, and a Lecturer in sport psychology at the University of Stirling (Scotland, UK). His PHD research adopts a social identity theory perspective, where he is aiming to understand how a social identity and the self-categorisation process underpins the provision and receipt of social support. Chris has also previously worked in performance academies, University Scholarship programmes, and consulted with several sport NGBs and a range of individual clients. He’s helped organise the 2nd International Conference on Social Identity in Sport (ICSIS) which took place in June of last year in Stirling, and you can find a link to information on the next conference below.Matt and Chris join me for the FIRST ever Slice of PIE group discussion - and we talk about identity, leadership, the transience of groups and the powerful wellness impacts of social groups amongst many other topics.This is Part 1 of the discussion so make sure to look out for Part 2 when it is released in Season 2.You can find more about Matt and Chris here:Dr Matt Slater's book: Hartley New Psychology of Sport & Exercise: conference 2021:
Paul McVeigh left his home town of Belfast at the age of 16 to sign for Tottenham Hotspur. He made his first start for Spurs up front with Teddy Sheringham, scoring on his debut in 1997, and going on to represent Tottenham as well as Norwich City, Burnley, Luton Town and Northern Ireland. Since then he has worked in the media for the BBC, SkySports, BeinSports and TalkSport amongst many others… he’s authored a book ‘The Stupid footballer is dead’, got his Masters in Sport & Exercise Psychology from Staffordshire University, and has been a performance psychology coach at a premier league football academy. Now he spends his time as a global keynote speaker, delivering keynotes and corporate training for the likes of Barclays, PWC, Microsoft and a truck load of other blue chip companies. Paul shares his insights on mindset, teamwork and leadership - both from his playing days and also from his perspective as a coach and consultant. He is also a big advocate for perspective, values and striving for balance in life. You can find Paul here:Website: on gratitude:
Dr. Emma Vickers is the research lead for TASS – (The Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) …an organisation at the heart of supporting athletes managing dual careers, but also at the heart of developing and pulling together research to understand how these different demands impact, affect, conflict or compliment each other. Emma was an elite student-athlete herself, amongst the top 3 nationally in her sport by the age of 15, and soon competing in junior Olympics and international senior competitions… she was a TASS sponsored athlete herself and has first hand experience of juggling all the training, travelling and performing along with the small matter of completing a university degree. The perfect guest then to give us an insight in to this world, as well as discuss the broader topics of dual careers, building a broad self-identity, managing multiple endeavours and the support needed to take on these challenges. You can find out more about Emma and TASS here:TASS Website: Twitter:'s Twitter: Happiness Trap:
Kris Soutar. He’s coached tennis for 27 years. He's a coach consultant for tennis Scotland and a performance tutor for the LTA…  he runs his own consultancy called the Service Box and produces his own podcast The Tennis Journal ... he's also a project manager for the Judy Murray foundation – which aims to bring tennis into rural and disadvantaged areas in Scotland. In between all of this he's also managed to take his skills in to other industries like Oil and Gas. What a perfect guest then, to talk about the systemic challenges of governing bodies, how to work with coaches and what factors at the organisational level can help promote performance and wellbeing across the system. You can find Kris here:Twitter: on Facebook: website:' podcast:
S1 - Mid season review

S1 - Mid season review


Halfway in to the first season of Slice of PIE it's time for a pause and reflection on what we've heard so far. Please feel free to reach out with any questions, ideas, reflections, challenges, or anything you'd like to discuss. You can find me in the following
Helen worked in education for 25 years, before a mixture of itchy feet, curiosity, passion for sport... and some chance discussions with elite level athletes at her triathlon club - prompted her to pivot into her new career. Now Helen is a fully chartered and HCPC registered Sport Psychologist, working with Swim England, the Cambridge Women's University Rowing Team and various commonwealth and Paralympic medalists. Together with collaborator Lucy Gossage, Helen has also developed IRON-MIND, a 6-week online master class focusing specifically on psychology for Iron Man and other endurance athletes. We discuss her career pivot and the insightful parallels between the classroom of 30 kids and a boat crew of 9 women… the demands of an elite student athlete, and the lightbulb moments when you’ve managed to ‘get through’ to someone – whether a student in school or an elite swimmer in the consulting room. You can find Helen here:Website:
Marc Jones is a Professor of Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University, as well as a consultant and researcher in performance settings working in both sport and business. He also runs a very helpful website called Sporting Bounce, which aims to connect sport psychology support with the world's sport performers and teams. Marc has done lots of work around the impact of stress on health, wellbeing and performance, and this is where we focus the majority of our conversation - as well as discussing what insights and learning can be applied across different performance contexts. You can find Marc here:Sporting Bounce website: Metropolitan profile: mentioned in the podcast:
Dr. Josephine Perry worked in journalism, marketing, public relations and crisis communications across private corporations and government - before making the career transition to qualifying as a chartered Sport Psychologist. She now runs her own consultancy, Performance in Mind, as well as being a columnist, speaker and author. Her first book 'Performing Under Pressure' was published last year (2019) by Routledge, and contains 64 strategies with evidence as to why they work and instructions on how to implement them. We traverse a number of topics including wellbeing, career transitions, light bulb moments, managing multiple agendas, publishing, and the trade off between the rise in to management, and getting further away from what made us fall in love with the job in the first place. You can find Josephine here:Social: book: resources mentioned in the podcast:
Leon Lloyd dreamt of playing for Coventry City, but winded up playing rugby for Leicester Tigers and England. Now, he's a CEO, author and speaker, as well as in the final stages of completing an MBA. As a former athlete that has moved from 'boot room to boardroom' he's the perfect man to skipper the Switch the Play Foundation - the UK's only charity dedicated to supporting all sportspeople to successfully transition into life outside of sport. We discuss the trade-off between focusing on your primary performance area and building interests and skills outside of it - from the All Blacks and the German football team, to Jamie Roberts and Beth Tweddle. You can find Leon here:Social: book: The Play:
Based in sunny Canberra, Richard is a sport psychology practitioner, researcher, speaker and author. In 2015 he wrote 'Being a Sport Psychologist' - a book found on the shelves of every sport psychology trainee. This episode is about building careers. We dig deeper into a keynote I saw him deliver last year entitled 'The Heartless Mercenary Career Path: Authenticity, Resilience and Strength-in-Diversity'. Whilst focused on sport psychology, Richard's insights can be applied across many industries - highlighting the ever present challenge of change and uncertainty, and how to future proof ourselves in a dynamic world. You can find Richard here:His book:
Mustafa is one of sport psychology's foremost researchers and speakers on resilience. He somehow managed to find time in between lecturing, consulting and presenting at international conferences - to speak to me about some of his experiences. We talk about resilience at the individual versus the organisational level, whether insights can be applied across performance contexts, and why we need to move away from the notion that resilience is an ability to endure on your own. You can find Mustafa here:
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