Dr Kacey Neely


Sport Stirling

Dr Kacey Neely

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About me

From a competitive youth athlete playing soccer and basketball, to coaching youth sport, to becoming a sport psychologist, I have always been involved in sport in some capacity. I completed my undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in 2008. I then moved west to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where I completed my Master’s degree and PhD in sport psychology at the University of Alberta. My Master’s thesis focused on positive youth development, and I continued this line of research as a research assistant during my doctoral studies. My PhD dissertation focused on deselection in youth sport; how coaches manage the deselection process, and how athletes and their parents cope with being cut. I stayed in Edmonton for postdoctoral training in the School of Public Health in the area of school-based health promotion, before accepting a position as Lecturer at the University of Stirling and moving to Scotland in 2018.

My research area is psycho-social aspects of youth sport and physical activity. This includes looking at adversity and coping, and positive growth in young athletes, with a particularly interested in experiences of deselection/being released. I also examine positive youth development through sport which looks at the development and transfer of life skills. Lastly, I conduct research on parental involvement in youth sport. I use qualitative research methods to explore these different issues and understand athletes’ experiences.

I am a Chartered Psychologist with The British Psychological Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I work as an applied sport psychology consultant with local, regional, and national sport teams, including the Canadian Women's Para Ice Hockey Team.