Dr Chris Sellars

Deputy Director for the Institute of Sport and Head of Outreach & Development

Email address: c.sellars@wlv.ac.uk Phone number: 01902 323172 Location: Walsall Faculty: Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing School/Institute: Institute of Sport & Human Science Areas of expertise: Applied Sport Science, General Public Sport, Outreach


Dr Christopher Sellars is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and a British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist (psychological support, also Supervised Experience supervisor and assessor) with nearly 20 years applied practice with international sportspeople (mostly track and field athletics) and professional football teams. Chris is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). He also has over 10 years’ experience working in sports development and coach education.

A former Head of Department (Department of Sport & Physical Activity), Chris is now Head of Outreach and Development in and Deputy Director of the Institute of Sport. With a role now largely focused on outward looking partnerships, Chris has attracted numerous full and part industry-funded bursaries for PG students and is creating curriculum-focused placement and longer-term applied opportunities in the UK and overseas.  Chris has also taught on overseas sport programmes.

Chris’ research interests are focused around psychology applied to coaching and leadership, sports development interventions, as well as aspects of teaching and learning in HE.

Research interests

  • Applied Sport Science and Applied Sport Psychology
  • General public sport interventions and their evaluations
  • Outreach
  • International student placements
  • Leadership in sport


BSc (Hons) Psychology (First class honours)  Open University 2009

PhD (Attributional compatibility in coach-athlete dyads)  Loughborough University 2001

Cert H.E. Counselling skills  Leeds Metropolitan University 1999

MSc Sport Science  Loughborough University 1991

BA (Joint Hons) Sport Studies / Educational Studies  Brunel University (West London Institute) 1986


M.J. Smith, S.G. Figgins, and C.N. SellarsAntecedents and impacts of effective and inspirational

coach communication in R. Thelwell, C. Harwood & I. Greenlees (eds) The Psychology of Sports Coaching: Research and Practice. (In press)


Figgins, S., Smith, M., Sellars, C.N., Greenlees, I., Knight, C., (2016). You really could be something

quite special”: A qualitative exploration of athletes’ experiences of being inspired in sport, Psychology of Sport & Exercise doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2016.01.011.


Friesen, A.P., Devonport, T.J., Lane, A.M. and Sellars, C.N. (2015). Interpersonal emotion

regulation: An investigation case study with a professional ice hockey team, Athletic Insight Volume 7, Number 2 129-143


Friesen, A.P., Devonport, T.J., Sellars, C.N. and Lane, A.M.(2015).Examining interpersonal

emotion regulation strategies and moderating factors in ice hockey, Athletic Insight Volume 7, Number 2, 143-160


Sellars, C.N. How did I become an ’old jogger’? In A.M. Lane (ed.) (2014). A Runner’s Guide to Sport Psychology and Nutrition. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.


Friesen, A. P., Devonport, T. D., Sellars, C. N., & Lane, A. M. (2013). A narrative account of decision-making and interpersonal emotion regulation using a social-functional Approach to emotions. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. DOI:10.1080/1612197X.2013.773664



Friesen, A., Lane, A., Devonport, T., Sellars, C.N., Stanley, D., & Beedie, C. (2013). Emotion in sport: Considering interpersonal emotion regulation strategies. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology.doi:10.1080/1750984X.2012.742921

Previous professional experience

Head of Department, Sport & Physical Activity, University of Wolverhampton   2008 - 2014

Senior Lecturer Sport Science, University of Huddersfield   1999 - 2008

Senior Lecturer, Sport Science and Coaching, University of Staffordshire   1997 - 1999

National Coach Education Officer, National Coaching Foundation   1993 - 1997

Regional Coach Education Officer (Yorkshire), National Coaching Foundation   1992 - 1993

Researcher, Loughborough University   1991 - 1992

Further information

As Deputy Director for the Institute of Sport and Head of Outreach and Development, my role is to promote and develop the work of the Institute especially in relation to external partners – for example, schools and colleges, employers, sports organisations and potential funders. I develop placement and other work-based learning opportunities in the UK and internationally. I have secured a number of full- and partial-PG bursaries and have secured course endorsements from employers/professional bodies for a number of undergraduate courses. I also oversee Institute of Sport recruitment activity, manage annual Sportfest activity and a number of ‘special’ events.