Bradley Young
Bradley Young
Full Professor

2005-2006, SSHRC Post-doctoral Fellow, Kinesiology, Queen's/McMaster University
2005, Ph.D., Kinesiology, McMaster University
1998, M.A., Sport Psychology, University of Ottawa 1996, B.Ed., Physical Education (Sec), McGill University

MNT 226
613-562-5800 ext. 3581


Dr. Bradley W. Young is an active researcher in psychology of sport and physical activity, and sport pedagogy. His program has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Sport Canada, and the Coaching Association of Canada. His research converges on two themes related to sport across the lifespan.

The first theme comprises investigations on the social psychological aspects of sport and aging. He researches the psychological aspects of middle-aged and older Masters athletes’ participation in sport, specifically examining strategies to motivate the older athlete, to alleviate barriers to Masters sport involvement, and to enhance the social environment of aging athletes to promote prolonged sport commitment. He has advised the Coaching Association of Canada in their efforts to draft new coaching resources pertaining to Masters athletes, has built partnerships with the Active Living Coalition for Older Adults, and established working relationships with governing associations in Masters sport.

His second theme of research relates to the psychological conditions associated with the development of expert young athletes. He examines the nature of deliberate practice activities that characterize the most highly skilled athletes in high-performance sport. He is specifically interested in the role of self-regulated learning strategies that elite athletes use to ensure high-quality practice and to remain resilient during effortful training over time. He examines the influence of self-monitoring tools (e.g., personal training logs) for promoting changes in sport behaviour and the role of psychological self-control characteristics in youth talent development in sport.

As a teacher, Dr. Young blends his past experiences as a university athletics coach, secondary school teacher and mental skills coach into his lecturing in the area of sport psychology and interventions in sport pedagogy. He received the Faculty of Health Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010.

Research interests

  • Masters athletes and lifetime commitment to sport
  • Sport participation and sport performance at middle and old-age
  • Self-regulated learning strategies and practice behaviour in sport
  • Development of sport expertise and youth talent development

Ongoing research

Dr. Young presently leads a SSHRC grant which, with collaboration from Joseph Baker (York University), examines self-regulated learning strategies that distinguish expert athletes from less-accomplished peers during training. He is working with Bettina Callary (Cape Breton University) on a SSHRC grant that explores coaching practices with Masters athletes and whether traditional strategies need to be re-thought for an aging athletic cohort. He is also part of a group trying to improve knowledge translation between researchers and active aging community stakeholders, as well as practical models of physical literacy in older adults. Dr. Young openly invites applications from interested graduate students.


Books and Journal Articles :

  • Young, B.W., Eccles, D.W., Williams, A.M., & Baker, J. (2021). K. Anders Ericsson, deliberate practice and sport: Contributions, collaborations and controversies. Journal of Expertise, 4(2), 169-189.
  • Young, B.W., Callary, B., & Rathwell, S. (2021). Giving due deliberation to masters athletes: The time has come. SIRCuit Magazine (online).
  • Wilson, S., Young, B.W., Hoar, S., & Baker, J. (2021). Further evidence for the validity of a survey for self-regulated learning in sport practice. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 56. Online ahead of press.
  • Makepeace, T., & Young, B.W. (2021). Mental performance consultants’ perspectives on content and service delivery to Masters athletes. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.
  • Callary, B., Young, B.W., & Rathwell, S. (Eds). (2021). Coaching Masters athletes: Advancing research and practice in adult sport. Book published by Taylor and Francis.
  • Baker, J., & Young, B.W. (2021). Expert performance. In E. Filho & I. Basevitch (Eds.) Sport, exercise, and performance psychology: Research directions to advance the field (pp. 90-103). Oxford University Press USA.
  • Makepeace, T., Young, B.W., & Rathwell, S. (2021). Masters athletes’ views on sport psychology for performance enhancement and sport lifestyle adherence. The Sport Psychologist. Advance online.
  • Currie, C., Young, B.W., & Callary, B. (2021). Mutuality in a coached adult sport team: The Team Sport Model of Interdependence. Sport Coaching Review. Advance ahead of press.
  • Larson, H., Young, B.W., McHugh, T-L., & Rodgers, W. (2021). Participation profiles of current masters swimmers and their (lack of) retrospective associations with youth experiences. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 101878. Online ahead of press.
  • Young, B.W., Rathwell, S., & Callary, B. (2020). Testing a coaching assessment tool derived from adult education in adult sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 47, 101632. Retrievable at:
  • Baker, J., & Young, B.W. (2020). Talent development in sport: Moving beyond nature and nurture. In J. Baker, S. Cobley, J., & J. Schorer (Eds.), Talent identification and development in sport (pp. 19-33). Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-367-46929-0 (hbk)
  • Tedesqui, R.A.B., & Young, B.W. (2020). How coaches see conscientiousness-related traits and their impact on athletes’ training and expertise development. International Sport Coaching Journal, 7(2), 127-138.
  • Baker, J., Young, B.W., Tedesqui, R.A.B., & McCardle, L. (2020). New perspectives on deliberate practice and the development of sport expertise. In R. Ecklund & G. Tenenbaum (Eds.), Handbook of sport psychology (4th edn.)(pp. 556-577): Wiley.
  • Rathwell, S., Young, B.W., Callary, B., Motz, D., Hoffmann, M., & Currie, C. (2020). The Adult Oriented Sport Coaching Survey: An instrument designed to assess coaching behaviours tailored to adult athletes. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 42(5), 368-385.
  • Littlejohn, M., & Young, B.W. (2019). Gain-framed messaging for adult sport: Randomized-controlled trial exploring the effects of efficacy-enhancing information. Frontiers in Psychology: Movement Science and Sport Psychology, 10:431.
  • Larson, H.K., Young, B.W., McHugh, T-L.F., & Rodgers, W.M. (2019). Markers of early specialization and their relationships with burnout and dropout in swimming. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 41(1), 46-54.
  • MacLellan, J., Callary, B., & Young, B.W. (2019). Adult learning principles in masters sport: A coach’s perspective. The Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 31(1), 31-50.
  • Larson, H.K., McHugh, T-L.F., Young, B.W., & Rodgers, W.M. (2019). Pathways from youth to masters swimming: Exploring long-term influences of youth swimming experiences. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 41, 12-20.
  • McCardle, L., Young, B.W., & Baker, J. (2019). Self-regulated learning in sport training contexts: Current status, challenges, and future opportunities. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 12(1), 112-138.
  • Young, B.W., Callary, B., & Rathwell, S. (2018). Psychological considerations for the older athlete. In O. Braddick, F. Cheung, M. Hogg, J. Peiro, S. Scott, A. Steptoe, C. von Hofsten, & T. Wykes. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology (pp. 1-26). Oxford University Press.
  • Young, B.W., & Callary, B. (2018). Doing “more for adult sport”: Promotional and programmatic efforts to offset adults’ psychosocial obstacles. In R. Dionigi & M. Gard (Eds.), Sport and physical activity across the lifespan: Critical perspectives (pp. 263-282). Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Tedesqui, R.A.B., & Young, B.W. (2018). Comparing the contribution of conscientiousness, self-control, and grit to key criteria of sport expertise development. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 34, 110-118.
  • McCardle, L., Young, B.W., & Baker, J. (2018). Two-phase evaluation of the validity of a measure for self-regulated learning in sport practice. Frontiers in Psychology: Movement Science and Sport Psychology, 9, 2641.
  • Tedesqui, R.A.B., McCardle, L., Bartulovic, D., & Young, B.W. (2018). Toward a more critical dialogue for enhancing self-report surveys in sport expertise and deliberate practice research. Movement and Sport Sciences – Science and Motricité, 102, 5-18.
  • Bartulovic, D., Young, B.W., & Baker, J. (2017). Self-regulated learning predicts skill group differences in developing athletes. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 31, 61-69.

Conferences and Presentations:

  • Young, B.W., Rathwell, S., Motz, D., & Callary B. (2021, March). What’s so different about coaching adults? How to create quality Masters sport experiences? Webinar presentation to Coaches’ Association of Ontario. Invited.
  • Bain, L., Wilson, S., Boivin, J., Siekańska, M., Hoar, S., Baker, J., & Young, B.W. (2021, November). Synthesis of the Self-regulation of Sport Practice Survey and its potential for coaching: A case study. International Sport Coaching Journal, 8(Supp), s3.
  • Wilson, S., & Young, B.W. (2021, June). Unpacking the meanings elite athletes give to their recovery from training: Absorbing and preparing, relaxing and attacking. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 43(Suppl.), S96.
  • Larson, H., Young, B.W., McHugh, T-L., & Rodgers, W. (2020, June). Can we take a closer look at this? Challenging dominant developmental models with visual representations of youth sport participation data. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 42(Suppl.), S90.
  • Bain, L., Young, B.W., Wilson, S.G., Hoar, S., & Baker, J. (2020, October). Athletes’ self-organized practice activities: Describing how athletes structure their own practice time. Presented at the annual SPIN conference. Virtual conference.
  • Young, B.W. (2019, March). Intensive immersion: My eight months of participant observation in youth multi-sport. Invited keynote address at the Eastern Canadian Symposium for Sport & Exercise Psychology, Toronto, ON. Invited.
  • Young. B.W. (2019, November). Masters athletes: Integrating empirical evidence into dialogue on successful aging and support for lifelong physical activity. Invited symposium presentation at the annual general meeting of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, Kelowna, BC. Invited.
  • Bain, L., & Young, B.W. (2019). A naturalistic case study of co-regulatory scaffolding with a mature coach-athlete dyad in figure skating. Journal of Exercise, Movement, & Sport: Proceedings of the Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning & Sport Psychology, 51(1), 76.
  • Young, B.W. (2018, April). Considerations of how research on masters athletes informs promotion, programming and curriculum in adult sport. University of British Columbia, Faculty of Education, Vancouver, BC. School of Kinesiology Distinguished Speaker Series. Invited.
  • Young, B.W., & Baker, J. (2017, July). Where are we? Where do we go? Integrating and extending perspectives on key personality and self-regulatory variables for the enhancement of sport practice. Proceedings of the International Society for Sport Psychology 14th World Congress. Seville, Spain.