Lab Director / Head Coach
Dr. Gordon Bloom
Dr. Gordon Bloom is a Professor of Sport Psychology at McGill University who has worked with the world’s leading coaches and athletes as both a researcher and sport psychology practitioner for over 20 years. He is currently the director of the McGill Sport Psychology Research Laboratory, where there are currently two inter-related themes of research that have important implications for maximizing the benefits that Canadians accrue through sport participation:
- The knowledge, strategies and behaviours of coaches
- The psychosocial aspects of post concussion rehabilitation in athletes
The majority of research has taken place under theme one, and involves identifying effective knowledge, strategies, and behaviours employed by coaches in terms of leadership practices, mentoring, and team building to develop successful and well-balanced athletes. This research has led to a number of conclusions and applied recommendations that explain what differentiates effective coaches from ineffective ones. Related to this, he has received numerous invitations from academic and sport coaching associations to present his research to scientists, administrators, and coaches at various levels of sport in many different countries. He currently works for the United States Olympic Committee as part of their National Team Coach Leader Education Program. He has also been invited to present his practical coaching knowledge and research in countries like Singapore, Finland, South Africa, Ireland and Japan.
On the second theme, his research program has answered questions pertaining to the psychological and social factors that affect and improve recovery from concussions. For example, the results have identified the serious emotional responses (depression, attempted suicide) and reduced academic performance that athletes with this injury experience. The results of this research highlight the need for practitioners to incorporate social and psychological components for treating concussed athletes, particularly those with long-term symptoms. His 2004 publication in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Sport psychology and concussion: New impacts to explore) remains one of the first empirical publications to link sport psychology and concussions.
In addition to his teaching and research responsibilities at McGill, Dr. Bloom is a member of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association. In his professional practice, Dr. Bloom has consulted with amateur, professional, Olympic, and Paralympic athletes and taught them how to use mental skills to accelerate their level of performance in sport and life.