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Chris Saward

Christopher Saward

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)


Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Chris's main research interests relates to talent identification and development in sport. Chris is the Module Leader for Talent Development in Sport at Level 6. Chris is the course leader for MRes Sport Science Courses.

Career overview

Chris obtained a BSc (Hons) in Sport Science from Brunel University in 2007 and a MSc in Sport Science from Loughborough University in 2008. He was awarded his PhD in 2016 by Nottingham Trent University. He was previously Head of Sport Science at Nottingham Forest FC Academy.

Research areas

Chris is part of the Sport Performance Research Group, within the Sport, Health and Performance Enhancement Research Centre ( His research interests lie within the area of talent identification and development in team sports. Applying a multidisciplinary approach to understanding talent and its emergence is a major aim of his research. This includes examining the development of psychosocial, physical, and technical characteristics in young talented team-sport athletes.

Previous PhD students:

  • Dr Athalie Redwood-Brown (awarded in January 2020) - Effects of Score Line on Match Performance in Professional Soccer Players

Current PhD students:

  • Tom McGlinchey - Experiences of Release from Professional Academy Football
  • David Harrison - Resilience in Extreme Environments
  • Ben Ashdown - Resilience in Academy Football

Opportunities arise to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD in the areas identified above. Further information may be obtained on the NTU Research Degrees website

External activity

Dr Saward reviews articles submitted to internationally-recognised journals, across his research interests.

Dr Saward  is a member of the course advisory committee for the BSc Sport Sciences course at the University of Technology, Jamaica.

Sponsors and collaborators

Current and recent research is being conducted with the collaboration, funding and/or support of:


HARRISON, D., SARKAR, M., SAWARD, C. and SUNDERLAND, C., 2021. Exploration of psychological resilience during a 25-day endurance challenge in an extreme environment. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (23): 12707. ISSN 1661-7827

SAWARD, C., HULSE, M., MORRIS, J.G., GOTO, H., SUNDERLAND, C. and NEVILL, M.E., 2020. Longitudinal physical development of future professional male soccer players: implications for talent identification and development? Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 2: 578203. ISSN 2624-9367

SAWARD, C., MORRIS, J.G., NEVILL, M.E., MINNITI, A.M. and SUNDERLAND, C., 2020. Psychological characteristics of developing excellence in elite youth football players in English professional academies. Journal of Sports Sciences, 38 (11-12), pp. 1380-1386. ISSN 0264-0414

GOTO, H. and SAWARD, C., 2019. The running and technical performance of U13 to U18 elite Japanese soccer players during match play. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. ISSN 1064-8011

REDWOOD-BROWN, A.J., O’DONOGHUE, P.G., NEVILL, A.M., SAWARD, C. and SUNDERLAND, C., 2019. Effects of playing position, pitch location, opposition ability and team ability on the technical performance of elite soccer players in different score line states. PLOS ONE, 14 (2), e0211707. ISSN 1932-6203

SAWARD, C., MORRIS, J.G., NEVILL, M.E. and SUNDERLAND, C., 2019. The effect of playing status, maturity status, and playing position on the development of match skills in elite youth football players aged 11–18 years: a mixed-longitudinal study. European Journal of Sport Science, 19 (3), pp. 315-326. ISSN 1746-1391

REDWOOD-BROWN, A.J., O'DONOGHUE, P.G., NEVILL, A.M., SAWARD, C., DYER, N. and SUNDERLAND, C., 2018. Effects of situational variables on the physical activity profiles of elite soccer players in different score line states. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 28 (2), pp. 2515-2526. ISSN 0905-7188

SAWARD, C., MORRIS, J.G., NEVILL, M.E., NEVILL, A.M. and SUNDERLAND, C., 2016. Longitudinal development of match-running performance in elite male youth soccer players. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 26 (8), pp. 933-942. ISSN 0905-7188

See all of Chris Saward's publications...