Lecturer in Football Business and Research

Helen has a background in sport and exercise science, with a particular focus on sport and exercise psychology. Helen received a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science from Aberystwyth University in 2011, followed by an MSc in Sport and Exercise Science from Leeds Beckett University in 2012, and a PhD in Sport Psychology from Leeds Beckett University in 2018.

Her primary area of research focuses on the expectations constructed and reported by the media of elite athletes (e.g. media expectation). In particular, she is interested in understanding the content associated with media expectations, the consequences of these media expectations for athletes and their support network (e.g. coaches and the athlete’s family), and the complexities of performance expectations in elite sport.

Helen also has experience of conducting research around innovative teaching methods. She has been involved in research exploring the influence of problem based learning as a tool for increasing student engagement and in developing students’ enterprising skills. Whilst she has experience in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, Helen’s expertise sits within qualitative research methods.

Find out more about Helen
Area of expertise
  • Sport and exercise psychology;
  • Interpersonal expectations;
  • Qualitative research methods.
Teaching & research interests
  • Psychology;
  • Research methods;
  • Academic skills;
  • Research project;
  • Interpersonal expectations;
  • Media effects;
  • Innovate methods of teaching and learning.
Accreditation & memberships
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA);
  • Graduate member of the British Psychological Society and has been granted Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership.
Qualifications
  • PhD Sport Psychology Research, Leeds Beckett University;
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP), Leeds Beckett University;
  • MSc Sport and Exercise Science, Leeds Metropolitan University;
  • BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, Aberystwyth University.
Publications & research
  • Heaviside, H. J., Manley, A. M., Didymus, F. F., Backhouse, S. H. & Staff, H. R. (2021) '“By the time I got to London I was like a coke bottle that had been shaken up and was about to explode!” A case study of performance expectations with a retired athlete', Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 57. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2021.102022
  • Heaviside, H. J., Manley, A. M. and Hudson, J. (2018) ‘Bridging the gap between education and employment: A case study of problem-based learning implementation in Postgraduate Sport and Exercise Psychology’, Higher Education Pedagogies, 3, pp. 463-477;
  • Hudson, J., Heaviside, H. J. and Manley, A. M. (2017) ‘Student engagement through problem-based learning: A contemporary solution in Higher Education?’, Higher Education Academy STEM conference. Manchester, UK. 2 February;
  • Heaviside, H. J., Staff, H. R. and Donnan, K. J. (2017) ‘Riding out the storm: The challenges faced and strategies used when balancing teaching commitments and a PhD’, Sport and Exercise Psychology Review, 13(2), pp.32-38;
  • Heaviside, H. J. (2017) ‘Detangling the web of methodology: A doctoral student’s perspective on chaos and contradiction’, Sport & Exercise Psychology Review, 13(1), pp. 73-79;
  • Staff, H., Heaviside, H.J. and Didymus, F. (2017) ‘“The world and his wife are expecting us to achieve”: A Shared Approach to Coping During the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games’, Association for Applied Sport Psychology.
  • Heaviside, H. J., Manley, A. M., Backhouse, S. H. and Didymus, F. F. (2017) ‘“You’re gonna win and you’re gonna win it easy”: World-class athletes’ experiences of media expectations’, International Society of Sport Psychology Congress. Seville, Spain. 14 July;
  • Heaviside, H. J. (2016) ‘FEPSAC International Congress: Sport Psychology – Theories and Applications for Performance, Health and Humanity: A doctoral student’s reflection’, Sport & Exercise Psychology Review, 12(1), pp.94-98;
  • Heaviside, H. J., Hudson, J. and Manley, A. M. (2016) ‘Student engagement through problem-based learning: A contemporary “solution” for Higher Education?’, Developing Excellent Academic Practice 2016 Conference. Leeds, UK. 29 June;
  • Heaviside, H. J., Manley, A. M., Backhouse, S. H. and Didymus, F. F. (2015) ‘“Put up there on a pedestal and expected to be the star…But nobody really knows how difficult it is”: An in-depth analysis of media-constructed expectations within elite sport’, Division of Sport and Exercise Science 2012 British Psychological Society Conference. Leeds, UK. 14 December;
  • Heaviside, H. J. (2015) ‘“Ten percent of athletes could buckle under the weight of expectation which would mean 54 nightmares”: The influence of media-constructed expectations on elite athletes’, Life Beyond the PhD conference. Cumberland Lodge, UK. 17 August;
  • Brown, H. J. (2013) ‘The influence of media expectations on elite athletes: An explorative study’, Division of Sport and Exercise Science British Psychological Society Conference. Manchester, UK. 16 December;
  • Brown, H. J. (2012) ‘The Influence of media expectations on elite athletes’, Division of Sport and Exercise Science British Psychological Society Conference. Manchester, UK. 16 November;
  • Brown, H. J., Hazlett, J. and Wright, C. (2012) ‘The Practical challenges of adapting a workshop approach when working with high level youth athletes’, Division of Sport and Exercise Science 2012 British Psychological Society Conference. Manchester, UK. 16 November;
Expertise in industry
  • Delivery of educational psychology workshops to elite athletes;
  • Over six years of experience working in higher education.
Contact Helen
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