Rory is a sport and exercise psychologist in training, and current PhD student at Sheffield Hallam University. Rory has experience working in both sport and exercise settings, and as a lifestyle advisor. His main areas of interest include athlete well-being and the ‘therapeutic alliance’, maximising sport performance and facilitating pro-health behaviour change.
Rory has worked in over 15 sports since graduating from his Masters degree, but has a particular interest in combat sports. Rory finds the psychology of combat sports fascinating, because these provide an arena to test the limits of physical and mental functioning, and of what it means to be human – drive, fear, resilience, self-sacrifice, and instincts. Combat sports, particularly boxing, offer contests than can be decided in a split second. It is crucial therefore that when your split second chance arrives, you are ready to take it.
As an athlete, Rory played county level rugby and squash, and was an international volleyball player, representing Northern Ireland at junior and senior levels, and playing in Junior College in the USA. He then transferred to strength sports, competing in powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting at university level, and currently competing as an amateur strongman.
This requires lifting big rocks and pulling vans – just your everyday activities. Rory will be discussing anxiety control, preparation and confidence in his Boxing Science – Sport Psychology articles.