Staff Profile of Dr Vicky Gottwald

Dr Vicky Gottwald
Lecturer, Motor Learning, Director of Undergraduate Studies
01248 38 2824
George Building, Normal Site


As an elite coach, currently working with the Wales U12 Girls Programme as Head Coach, Vicky has a keen interest in coaching science and manipulating the practice environment to enhance performance (e.g. through conveying information, structuring practice and the delivery of feedback).

Qualifications and Training

PhD Skill Acquisition (Bangor University)

PGCE Secondary Physical Education (Southampton University)

BSc (Hons) Sports Science (University of Wales, Bangor)

Senior Fellow of the HEA

UKCC Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Basketball

Vicon Motion Analysis

Dartfish Certified Technologist

Research Interests

As a member of the Institute for Psychology of Elite Performance (IPEP), Vicky’s research interests centre around motor control and learning; more specifically, the utilisation of verbal instructions in directing attention effectively and the processes underlying human movement to improve motor performance and skill acquisition in applied settings. She is currently an active researcher in the following areas; focus of attention, practice with anxiety, talent identification and physical literacy.

Teaching Modules

JXH2020 Motor Control and Learning

JXH2022 Psychology of Sports Performance

JXH3050 Skill Acquisition

JXH4009 MSc Independent Study and JXH4021 MA Dissertation Proposal

JXH4900 MSc Research Project and JXH4901 MA Dissertation


Please visit the publications page of Dr Vicky Gottwald to view recent publications

Peer Review

Currently a peer reviewer for the following international journals:

  • Journal of Applied Sport Psychology
  • International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
  • SciTechnol International Publisher of Science
  • Medicine and Technology
  • The Sports Psychologist

Conference Presentations and Invited Addresses

  • Gottwald, V.M., & Lawrence, G.P. When vision is impaired, what should athletes focus on? Research presented at SCAPPS Conference, Edmonton, AB (October, 2015).
  • Gottwald, V.M. Invited discussant, "Instruction and Feedback: Does yours help or hinder?” Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network Conference. English Institute of Sport (May, 2015).
  • Gottwald, V.M., & Lawrence, G.P. Systematically increasing contextual interference is beneficial for learning, but how long for? Research presented at Psychology of Sports Coaching Conference, London South Bank University (October, 2014).
  • Gottwald, V.M., Lawrence, G.P., & Khan, M.A. Can learning under an external focus of attention counteract negative effects of choking under pressure? Research presented at NASPSPA, Tucson, AZ (June, 2010).
  • Gottwald, V.M., Lawrence, G.P., Khan, M.A., & Hardy, J. Examining an internal and external focus of attention in a novice form sport. Research presented at the 12th World Congress of Sport Psychology, Marrakech, Morocco (June, 2009).
  • Gottwald, V.M., & Lawrence, G.P. The Use of the Specificity of Learning Principle to Reduce Choking Under Pressure. Research presented at SCAPPS, Canmore, BC (November, 2008).

Grant Capture and External Funding

  • Gottwald, V.M., Macdonald, J., Thomas, E.M., Coetmor-Jones, R., & French, G. Piloting a Physical Literacy Programme for Schools. Sport Wales. £55,000 (May, 2016).
  • Gottwald, V.M., Lawrence, G.P., & Roach, S. Talent Identification in Weightlifting. European Social Fund; Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS II). £66,063 (February, 2016).

Membership of Professional Organisations

  • British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)

  • North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA)

  • International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP)

  • Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sports Psychology (SCAPPS)

  • Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network (ESAN)

  • Basketball Wales, Sports Coach UK


As well as a keen interest in elite coaching, Vicky also enjoys basketball, Crossfit and Olympic Weightlifting.