Researcher biography

Professor Mallett has developed a strong research program in two broad and interrelated research areas - sport psychology and coaching.

The specific areas of interest within sport psychology and coaching are:

Motivation within the framework of self-determination theory (SDT)

  • Coaches of elite athletes and elite athletes;
  • Autonomy-supportive learning environments in sport;

Understanding the person-in-context

  • Multi-layered understanding of the person (profiling of coaches and athletes)
  • Mental toughness in elite sport (coaches and athletes).

High Performance coach learning and development:

  • How high performance coaches learn in the workplace;
  • Developing coaching practice using action research; and
  • Leadership and management in high performance coaching.

Professor Mallett recently led and completed an international research project examining what can we learn from some fo the world's most successful coaches. Prof. Mallett is Co-Chair of the Research Committee for the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) and the Associate Editor for the International Sport Coachig Journal.


Professor Cliff Mallett joined the School of Human Movement Studies in 2000 after a career in physical education and also in elite coaching as a National High Performance Coach in track and field with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS). He teaches undergraduate and graduate students and actively researches in the area of elite sport. Prof. Mallett regularly consults with elite coaches and athletes as well as coach developers in several national sporting organisations and international organisations.