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Psychology lecturer is challenging racing drivers to get on track to victory

08 September 2016


A University lecturer is challenging racing drivers and business leaders to get on track to victory.

Dr Phill de Prez, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Wrexham Glyndwr University, is working with the Ciceley Motor Racing team drivers Max Coates and Dan Zelos, star names in the Renault UK Clio Cup.

Max is currently first in the Graduate cup for newcomers and a fantastic third place in the overall race series which takes place alongside the high profile Dunlop British Touring Car Championships events.

Using the theme of his PhD – challenge – Dr de Prez has added a psychological approach to teamwork and individual performance having created a model based on data collected from high level sports professionals and leaders in international companies.

He is also closely monitoring and collaborating with the University’s racing team and Performance Car Technology degree as they rev-up for a tilt at the Formula Student title next year, and believes the methodology would also work successfully in an industry setting.

“Helping Max and Dan prepare ahead of their races has been a privilege and has helped me to exercise the model I originated,” said Dr de Prez.

“Max is a leading contender with several podium finishes already and Dan has found some good form which bodes well for the remaining rounds. 

“Both are keen to add a psychological scientific edge to their already prodigious racing skills to help them win which is proving successful both on and off the track.”

Dr de Prez has broken up the challenge model into four parts: Time, Emotion, Achievement and Motivation.  

“All four parts need to be present so the task or job is considered to be a challenge,” said Dr de Prez, whose theory has been published in The International Coaching Psychology Review Journal.

As well as impacting on the field of sport he hopes to use the methodology to help individuals and teams in other sectors, especially in education and organisations where it can linked positively to recruitment, retention and efficiency.

“I’ve set out the ways in which people can identify their own challenges and put in place a strategy to help them meet them by setting and attaining goals.

“This has been effective with the Wrexham Glyndwr racing team, partly made up of students from our engineering degrees, who are developing a highly-competitive ethos to winning.”

He added: “The end product is all-inclusive team-building programme where everyone works together not in competition but to achieve a shared goal.

“This has three key benefits for both organisation and individual: transferable skills relating directly to the workplace, allows the building of strong bonds between individuals, and, just as importantly, is fun and enjoyable.”

Email for more on the challenge model and Psychology at Wrexham Glyndwr University.

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