Researcher biography

Professor Mallett has enjoyed a distinguished career in elite coaching and academia. Prof. Mallett was an Olympic and World Championship medal-winning coach and won a National university teaching award (2011). In 2017, he was awarded the prestigious August-Wilhelm Scheer Professorial Fellowship at Technische Universität München (TUM) in Germany. He developed a world-renowned online program in sports coaching and consults nationally and internationally to many elite sporting organisations. Prof. Mallett is a leading international scholar in two broad and interrelated research areas - sport psychology and coaching; specifically:

Understanding the person-in-context

  • Multi-layered understanding of the person-in-context (personality profiling of coaches and athletes)
  • Motivation of elite coaches and athletes (Self-Determination Theory - SDT);
  • Autonomy-supportive learning environments in sport (Self-Determination Theory - SDT);
  • Mental toughness in elite sport (coaches and athletes).
  • Players' leadership: A Social Identity Approach (SIA)

High Performance coach learning and development:

  • How high performance coaches learn in the workplace;
  • Coaches as sculptors, architects, performers and leaders.

In 2016, Professor Mallett led and completed an international research project examining what can we learn from some of the world's most successful coaches. Prof. Mallett was Chair and Co-Chair of the Research Committee for the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) from 2010-2019.


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.

Featured projects Duration
Mental performance in competition training program for coaches
Australian Sports Commission
Elevate Coach Program
Australian Sports Commission
Representative Coaches: Quality, impact and learning in the high performance landscape
Australian Sports Commission