Bath Rugby commit to long-term investment in performance psychology


Sports Performance Psychologist Joseph Dixon joins Bath Rugby ahead of the 2019/20 campaign on a permanent, part-time contract.

Dixon’s appointment forms part of Bath Rugby’s long-term strategy to develop a systematic environment with strong support structures to deliver successful and consistent performances in both domestic and European rugby.

In his role, Dixon will work with the rugby department and squad members to further develop a high-performance culture, support players directly to develop the mental skills required to perform consistently under pressure and provide psychological support through injury rehabilitation.

Dixon brings significant experience to the Club as a Performance Psychologist in top tier sport. His experience is matched by an impressive level of academic achievement, including two Master of Psychology degrees, multiple professional certificates, in addition to having research published in three academic journals. Most recently he has spent five years with Stoke City Football Club in the Premier League and remains with the Club on a part-time basis whilst they work toward promotion from the Championship.

Commenting on his appointment, Joseph Dixon said: “Success in sport is partly determined by how well athletes deal psychologically with the demands of competition. There are clear links to how an individual’s thoughts influence their physiological response when faced with a meaningful situation such as that of a match day. How we appraise a situation can drive efficient use of our energy. This is incredibly powerful in order to focus on the things that underpin effective performance. Whilst one small piece of the jigsaw, my ultimate aim is to help professional athletes understand who they are so that they can start to control when and how they show up.”

Stuart Hooper, Director of Rugby commented: “We are growing a programme here at the Club which gives our players the very best opportunity to perform in the Blue, Black and White every weekend. Developing our culture and mental skills is core part of this and the Club is committed to investing in this area of the game. Joe was the stand-out candidate from 87 applications and his appointment is a strong statement of intent and a significant increase in our resource.”

Dixon joins Katie Warriner in the Performance Psychology and Mental Skills team at the Club. Over the past 12-months Warriner has been working with rugby staff and players to deliver the first stage of a multi-phase approach to achieving the Club’s ambitions for excellence.

Warriner who is currently on maternity leave, returning to join Dixon towards the end of the 2019/20 campaign said: “We first focussed on what it takes to deliver dominant performances at all levels of the competition from a cultural, team dynamic and leadership perspective. With these building blocks in place, we are now ready to move forward into the next phase of our approach and Joe’s appointment is fundamental to this.”

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