With the Commonwealth Games opening in Glasgow today, psychologists can help explain just what it is that the public finds enticing about big sporting events.

Two people in a crowd reacting

The final stages of big football tournaments are often dominated by penalty shootouts. And research presented at our Annual Conference a few years ago may just have given the key to success in them.

A goalkeeper in red making a save

Just before the triumph that was the Grand Depart in Yorkshire, our monthly magazine The Psychologist investigated how psychology touches the participants, spectators and volunteers in the Tour de France:

A cycle race

As Yorkshire awaits the start of the Tour de France, a psychologist is to give a public talk on the psychology behind the event in York on Tuesday 1 July.

The reputation of a coach can be pivotal when it comes to getting the best out of footballers.

This is conclusion of research by a team led by Dr Andrew Manley from Leeds Metropolitan University. Their findings are published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.

A blackboard showing football tactics

With the World Cup in full swing, many youngsters will no doubt be wondering how they too can one day join their country's team and play for glory - and it turns out that mental toughness could be key to making their dreams come true.

Superstitions can help footballers control their anxiety before a game. That was the conclusion of research presented at the British Psychology Society Annual Conference in 2012.

Footballer looking pensive

Chartered Psychologist Dr Jamie Barker from Staffordshire University will be speaking on the psychology of cricket at the Cheltenham Science Festival next week. He will be taking part in a session that also features the journalist and former England batsman Ed Smith.

A cricketer

Sportsmen and women may respond better to female psychologists than they do to male practitioners, new research has suggested.

Leeds Metropolitan University's Rebecca Mitchell carried out a study that is set to be presented at the