Dr John Mills

School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences
Dr John Mills



John P. Mills PhD is a Lecturer in Sport Psychology and Coaching within the School of Sport, Rehabilitation, and Exercise Sciences (SRES) at the University of Essex. John specialises in leadership ethics, implicit bias, and using sport as a vehicle to develop psychosocial competencies. His primary methodological expertise lies in the indirect assessment of bias (i.e., Implicit Social Cognition). John is currently focusing on how best to support coaches, sports organisations, and charities to positively develop the young people they work with. He also conducts research around athletes' attitudes towards prohibited forms of performance enhancement, and how biases affect the selection and recruitment of both athletes and coaches. John is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS), a member of the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (DSEP), and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). He leads up the Developing Young People through Sport (DYPS) Research Group within SRES and is also the Founder of SportRχiv: The world’s first open access subject repository for sport, exercise, performance, and health.


  • PhD University of Birmingham,

  • BSc University of Suffolk,


Other academic

  • Lecturer, University of Essex (10/7/2017 - present)

  • Senior Lecturer, University of Chichester (10/8/2015 - 9/6/2017)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Transformational Leadership

Open to supervise

Positive Youth Development

Open to supervise


Open to supervise

Moral Development

Open to supervise


Open to supervise


Open to supervise

Current research

Assessing the Effects of Permitted Forms of Performance Enhancement on Determinants of Doping in UK Student-Athletes

More information about this project

Development of a Conceptual Model for the Study of Moral Character in Sport.

Examining the Influence of Skin Tone on Playing Position in Football

Ongoing project with the computer games studio, Sports Interactive.
More information about this project

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Professional Skills and Development 1 (SE101)

  • Sport and Exercise Psychology (SE104)

  • Introduction to Coaching (SE107)

  • Professional Skills and Development 2 (SE201)

  • Sport and Performance Psychology (SE207)

  • Psychology of Coaching (SE209)

  • Strength and Conditioning: Application and Theory (SE210)

  • Issues in Sport and Exercise Science (SE305)

  • Research Project and Skills in Sports Science (SE309)

  • Research Project (SE740)

  • Professional practice in sport and exercise psychology (SE741)

  • Social psychology in sport and exercise (SE743)

  • Applied techniques in sport and exercise psychology (SE742)


Journal articles (10)

Mills, JP. and Ing, C., (2019). “Hey, look at me” An {auto}ethnographic account of experiencing ADHD symptoms within sport.. Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise. 11 (2), 274-283

Mills, J., (2019). When the Managerial Merry-go-round Stops: A Case Study of how Disconfirming Episodes Affect the Identities of Expert Football Managers. The Psychologist-Manager Journal. 22 (1), 46-64

Mills, JP., Ing, C., Markham, T. and Guppy, F., (2018). It is Not Black and White: A Comparison of Skin Tone by Playing Position in the Premier League and English Football. International journal of Sports Science and Coaching. 13 (3), 398-404

Boardley, ID., Smith, AL., Mills, JP., Grix, J., Wynne, C. and Wilkins, L., (2018). Development of Moral Disengagement and Self-Regulatory Efficacy Assessments Relevant to Doping in Sport and Exercise. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 36, 57-70

Mills, JP. and Boardley, ID., (2017). Development and initial validation of an indirect measure of transformational leadership integrity. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 32, 34-46

Mills, JP. and Boardley, ID., (2017). Advancing Leadership in Sport: Time to ‘Actually’ Take the Blinkers Off?. Sports Medicine. 47 (3), 565-570

Boardley, ID., Smith, AL., Mills, JP., Grix, J. and Wynne, C., (2017). Empathic and Self-Regulatory Processes Governing Doping Behavior. Frontiers in Psychology. 8 (SEP)

Mills, JP. and Boardley, ID., (2016). Expert Premier League soccer managers’ use of transformational leadership behaviours and attitude towards sport integrity: An intrinsic case study. International journal of Sports Science and Coaching. 11 (3), 382-394

Mills, JP., (2015). An [AUTO]ethnographic account of constructing, deconstructing, and partially reconstructing a coaching identity. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health. 7 (5), 606-619

Mills, JP., (2015). A Review of “Social Psychology in Sport & Exercise: Linking Theory to Practice”. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action. 6 (2), 121-122

Conferences (7)

Mills, JP. and Boardley, I., Expert Premier League soccer managers' use of transformational leadership behaviours, and attitude towards sport integrity: An intrinsic case-study.

Mills, JP., Measuring leaders’ implicit biases towards authentic and pseudo-transformational leadership values.

Mills, JP., Caliskan, G. and Winstanley, C., A retrospective exploration into the impact of career transitions on the identities of expert soccer managers.

Mills, JP. and Boardley, I., An auto ethnographic account of constructing, deconstructing, and reconstructing a coaching identity.

Mills, JP. and Boardley, I., Coach ethical virtues and integrity as predictors of amateur football participants sport commitment

Mills, JP., Zenko, Z. and Boardley, I., SportRχiv Hackathon

Mills, JP. and Boardley, I., Development and validation of indirect measures of athletes' attitudes towards controlled and uncontrolled forms of performance enhancement in sport

Reports and Papers (2)

Boardley, I. and Mills, JP., (2017). Response to: Cruickshank and Collins (2017) ‘Response to Mills and Boardley “Advancing leadership in sport: time to ‘actually’ take off the blinkers?”’

Mills, JP., (2017). When the managerial merry-go-round stops: An intrinsic case-study into how disconfirming experiences affect the managerial identities of expert football managers

Grants and funding


Under the radar: Examining Sub-National-level athlete�s attitudes towards prohibited forms of performance enhancement

British Academy

Age Grade Rugby: Half Game Voluntary Role Out

Rugby Football Union

Attitudes towards higher education: An evaluation of the Jump Higher project

Make it Happen

+44 (0) 1206 873619


ESA.3.11, Colchester Campus

More about me