Pressure Training: From Research to Applied Practice

William R. Low*, Mike Stoker, Joanne Butt, Ian Maynard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)


Pressure training (PT) strategically increases pressure during training to improve athletes’ abilities to cope with pressure in competition. Although evidence suggests that PT can improve performance under pressure, implementation of PT can be challenging in applied settings. The purpose of this article is to guide sport psychology practitioners and coaches in conducting PT at both elite and lower levels of sport. We first outline basics of PT, including who will benefit from the intervention and when to conduct it. We also clarify the purpose of PT and distinguish it from other forms of coaching that may seem similar. The next section includes steps for conducting PT effectively. Based on research and applied practice, these recommendations address how to create pressure and how to establish training environments that are conducive to PT. Each recommendation describes a principle that can guide practitioners and coaches as they tailor PT to specific sports and levels of competition. We argue that the use of negative consequences, an existing or “baseline” level of pressure, and involvement of coaches are key ingredients for conducting PT that promotes athletes’ development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-18
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Sport Psychology in Action
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2024


  • Applied interventions
  • coping
  • performance anxiety
  • performance under pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology


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