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Matt Johnson

Senior Lecturer

Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences


Matt Johnson attained a joint honours degree in sport science, leisure and recreation from Canterbury Christ Church College and then went on to achieve an MSc in sport and exercise psychology from University College Chichester. He was awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2016.

Matt started lecturing in higher education in 2001 and is now a Senior Lecturer in sport psychology and coaching, Course Leader for the MSc in sport science and performance coaching and the Teaching and Learning Fellow for the School of Sport, Health and Social Sciences. Matt prides himself on delivering high quality teaching and excellent career development opportunities for his students. He is also pivotal in developing and supporting teaching excellence across the school.

Alongside his teaching career Matt has developed excellent industry experience as a sport scientist, coach, coach educator and Trustee of a primary Multi Academy Trust. Matt has coached a wide variety of land and water sports, most notably coaching rugby at an International level . He has provided sport science support to a wide range of athletes up to and including Premiership and International standards. As an elected School Governor / Academy Trustee since 2011 Matt has supported excellence in teaching and educational leadership in a range of schools.

Matt has presented research at National and International sport science and teaching and learning conferences and is currently completing a PhD in attitudes towards training in sport.

Taught courses

Further information

Industry experience

In his role as a sport scientist (sport psychology) he regularly works with individuals and teams from a variety of sports up to and including International and Olympic level. He has completed coaching qualifications in a broad range of land and water sports and has developed a wealth of experience coaching both participation and high performance sport. In particular he has enjoyed coaching youth and adult rugby of all levels up to and including England Women’s Rugby. In recognition of this he was short listed for the regional Sports Personality ‘Coach of the Year’.

As a coach educator he believes passionately that to become an excellent coach, the coach must engage in a long developmental journey which includes education, qualification, experience, reflection and mentoring. In line with this, Matt has been instrumental in developing an enviable programme of National Governing Body (NGB) coach education awards, an extensive community coaching programme and a comprehensive coach mentoring programme. Matt is an external examiner for the BSc Sport Coaching Science degree at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Research interests

Matt’s research interests centre on defining, understanding and measuring attitude in sports training and competition. Already he has worked collaboratively with two professional football teams and athletes from the regional talented athlete scheme to investigate the nature and development of a good attitude. In addition to his personal research interests he has recently supervised undergraduate research on sports vision, mental toughness, mental skills training, leadership and coaching behaviour. Some of these students have been invited to present their research at the national student BASES conference.

Recent publications


  • Cooper, J., Johnson, M., Radcliff, J., and Fisher, J. (2018) Optimal emotional profiles for peak performance in strength and conditioning" Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
  • Johnson, M. (2016) Can universities afford not to have personal tutors? Dialogue, 6, 51-60

Oral Presentations

  • Johnson, M. and Bingham, A. (2017) Rebuilding a personal tutoring system. Presentation at NACADA International Conference, Sheffield.
  • Johnson, M. (2017). Personal tutoring in the School of Sport, Health, and Social Sciences. Presentation at the Solent Learning and Teaching Institute Conference, Southampton Solent University
  • Johnson, M., Budzynski-Seymour, E., Gwynne, F., Cunliffe, D., and Davies, P. (2016). Mentoring in sport. Presentation at the Solent Learning and Teaching Institute Conference, Southampton Solent University

Poster presentations

  • Gwynne, F. and Johnson, M. (2018, October) A case study self-reflection in youth hockey. Association for Applied Sport Psychology conference, Toronto.
  • Johnson, M. and Bingham, A. (2017, April) Rebuilding a personal tutoring programme – inspired by UKAT 2016. Poster presented at UKAT Conference, Leeds.
  • Cooper, J., and Johnson, M. (2016, November) Optimal emotional profiles for peak performance in strength and conditioning. Poster presented at BASES Conference, Nottingham.
  • Johnson, M., Gwynne, F., Cunliffe, D., Davies, P., and Budzynski-Seymour, E. (2016, November). Mentoring in sport. Poster presented at BASES Conference, Nottingham.

Invited workshops

  • Johnson, M. and Bingham, A. (2017). Rebuilding a personal tutoring system – Overcoming challenges with the help of the UKAT community. Workshop at the UKAT Conference, Leeds.