Being part of an award-winning sports teaching team
Colleague spotlight | Dr Adam Gledhill
Adam is a course director for Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), a chartered scientist and a BASES accredited sport and exercise scientist.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your work in Sport and Exercise Sciences
I guess, first and foremost on a personal level, I’m a father of a six-year-old boy who is mad about sport and Star Wars! However, on a more professional note, there are a few positions that I currently hold. I have been involved in education for almost 20 years, teaching and holding leadership positions across further and higher education during that time. In my current role at Leeds Beckett University, I am a course director in sport, exercise and health sciences, and the Subject Discipline Lead for Sport and Exercise Psychology.
I am a British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) accredited sport and exercise scientist where I provide sport psychology support for individuals and teams. Most recently, this support has been focused on helping injured athletes understand and navigate their injury rehabilitation experiences and supporting them through their return to sport. I am also the Chair of the BASES Division of Psychology and the Deputy Chair of BASES, where I sit on the Board of Directors and support the organisation’s strategic development. Finally, I also hold several editorial Board positions with different publications, including being the Editor of The Sport and Exercise Scientist, an associate editor with the British Journal of Sports Medicine and an editorial Board member for Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology.
What makes you passionate about your work and why is it important?
It is really difficult to narrow it down to one thing, but the thread that tends to hold all of the work that I do together is this idea around helping people and teams to develop. From completing my MSc and PhD theses in broad areas associated with talent development in football, to working in youth sport talent development environments, to working in education for such a long period of time, that theme of development and helping people to progress is the thread that strings everything together. The most important part for me is trying to work in such a way that helps people and organisations to be happy, healthy and productive in whatever it is they do.
One of my favourite quotes is from Rear Admiral Grace Hopper who once said that the most dangerous phrase in the language is: “We’ve always done it this way”. I guess that really strikes at the heart of what I’m passionate about; how we can keep moving forwards and improving by learning from our experiences, then thinking and behaving differently.
How is collaboration integral to your work, and what are one or two collaborations that have been most meaningful to you?
Collaboration is so important on so many different levels! There isn’t an easy answer to this one! Collaboration is important because it helps us to develop and share ideas that can lead us to answer important questions that matter to people and organisations. Working collaboratively on projects helps everyone involved have a clear sense of purpose and direction to whatever it is we are trying to achieve, but also gives a sense of collective ownership of achievements. That can only ever be a good thing, in my view. I guess, most importantly for me, collaboration brings people together with a real sense of openness, honesty, trust and respect in relationships, all of which are so important for strengthening connections between people.
What acheivements in this area have you been most proud of while working in Carnegie School of Sport?
There are probably a few, but it is difficult to nail down one. The important thing is that these achievements are often as a result of the conditions that the Carnegie School of Sport has created for people to thrive within.
Probably the most important recent achievement for me was being recognised with Fellowship of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences in 2019. This Fellowship is awarded to recognise esteemed professional achievement, skills, knowledge and service to sport and exercise science. Being the recipient of the BASES Applied Practitioner Award in 2020 was also a recent highlight as I recognised the way in which I approach my applied work with clients in individual and team environments. Lots of the work that contributed to these awards was in part supported through the Carnegie School of Sport, notably through the excellent research and enterprise environment we have within the School.
I think the final recent achievement that I’m very proud of for different reasons is when our Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences staff team was recognised in the annual student union awards for the support we give to students and quality of course provision we provided. Our team works extremely hard to provide an excellent learning and teaching environment for the students who access our courses so for the team to be recognised in that way was a very proud moment.
What led you to work at the Carnegie School of Sport?
I was fortunate to meet a number of colleagues from the Carnegie School of Sport through different professional networks, and the things that always struck me in my interactions with everyone I met was primarily how kind and welcoming everybody was, and also how driven and ambitious lots of people were. That kindness is something that stuck with me and was really the first thing that made me seriously think that Carnegie School of Sport would be a great place to work. After that, I started to join some informal networking opportunities within the School; I quickly also learned how driven, ambitious and committed to their work lots of people were. It was no surprise that the School has so many people who are nationally and internationally recognised in their areas in that respect. All those values – from being kind, through to producing excellent work, to being ambitious and committed to helping people develop – are things that resonate and align with my own values. I knew I wanted to work in the Carnegie School of Sport from that point on. Thankfully, not too far down the line, a couple of opportunities came up. The rest, as they say, is history!
Adam is a Course Director: Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), a Chartered Scientist and a BASES Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist.