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The Sport and Social Sciences Research Group

The research group stands behind few benchmarks for sport coaching in Norway and internationally, such as the largest worldwide profiling study of coaches, the role of national culture in staging and delivering high-performance coaching, and the demanding transition from life in elite sport to the coaching profession.

Our projects have inspired more research, have influenced process and practices on coach education, development and support for the coaching job as well as the uplifting of the position of women in coaching.

The SpSS research group was formally established in 2020. We started as a small group of two working together in 2015 and grew steadily adding member by member to capitalize on the multiplicity of social sciences that characterize sport and sport coaching in particular.

Our ID and purpose

Social sciences lay at the backbone of sport coaching as a profession and scientific arena under development considering the impact coaches and coaching have on individuals, organizations, and the society-at-large. Our multi-level and multi-disciplinary research on people and institutions within the natural setting of sport and coaching through the lens of psychology, sociology, organization theory, pedagogy and social psychology captures fundamental disciplines of human sciences.

The SpSS research group aims to be established as a central actor in sport and coaching through innovative high-quality research through the lens of social sciences. We aspire to become the preferred partner of regional, national and international bodies with regard to quality research, sport development and the professionalization of sports coaching.

Through our systematic and strategic work, we create an arena for interaction with leading academics and practitioners in sport and social sciences to address and deliver innovative research and application -- within such arena knowledge-transfer that impacts us all is facilitated.

Our team

Sport coaching is more complex than it seems. Competent and content athletes on a field of play is an end-result supported by diverse knowledge and skills from the coach. The diversity of our members in scientific background, research and applied experience, culture, ethnicity, race, gender, age captures all stages of the academic journey and is the strength of our group as we complement each other, challenge and develop with each other.

Leader and contact person

Bilde av Stiliani Chroni
+47 62 43 01 21


  • Eivind Skille – HiNN professor
  • Per Øystein Hansen – HiNN associate professor
  • Thorsteinn Sigurjonsson – HiNN associate professor
  • Frank Abrahamsen – NiH associate professor, 20% with HiNN
  • Liv Hemmestad – USN associate professor, Olympiatoppen elite coaches’ section leader
  • Dag Vidar Hanstad – NiH professor, 20% with HiNN
  • Sigurd Pettersen – HiNN lecturer
  • Kristen Dieffenbach – West Virginia University associate professor (USA)
  • Peter Olusoga – Sheffield Hallam University senior lecturer, 20% with HiNN (UK)
  • Marketa Simova – PhD student at Sheffield Hallam University (UK), (Olusoga is the supervisor with Chroni)
  • Dag Andre Nilsen – PhD student at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, (Sigurjonsson is the supervisor)
  • Jannicke Nikolaisen – PhD student at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, (Chroni is the supervisor)

Find more information about the members.

Current work at HiNN

  • The transition from children to youth sport in Norway - Jannicke Nikolaisen (PhD candidate)
  • Mindsets in youth sport; the coach's role for athletes’ resilience and belief in sport abilities - Dag Andre Nilsen (PhD candidate)
  • Coach talent mindset and talent identification – Dag Andre Nielsen with Thorsteinn Sigurjonsson, Anne Marte Pensgaard and Ani Chroni
  • Exploring the psychological well-being of elite sport coaches – Marketa Simova (PhD candidate)
  • Methodology for capturing real-world phenomena in a naturalistic setting – Thorsteinn Sigurjonsson
  • Physical activity and recreation in nature environments among young Norwegians – Trine Bjerva with Thorsteinn Sigurjonsson
  • Embedded multi-level leadership in elite sports – Per Øystein Hansen, Barrie Houlihan (University of Loughborough, UK), and Svein S. Andersen (Oslo Business School)
  • How leadership influences quality of training – Per Øystein Hansen
  • Indigenous sport and nation building – Eivind Å. Skille
  • Sámi sport across Sápmi – Eivind Å. Skille with Kati Lehtonen (LIKES Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health, Finland) and Josef Fahlén (Umeå university)
  • Gatekeeping in sports federations – Eivind Å. Skille with Cecilia Stenling, Josef Fahlén (Umeå university) and Anna-Maria Strittmatter (Norwegian School of Sport Sciences)
  • Keep it simple: Dynamic system theory and motor control – Sigurd Pettersen with Thorsteinn Sigurjonsson and Tor Solbakken
  • Developing you coaching identity course – Ani Chroni with Sigurd Pettersen
  • The absence of safeguarding for an Olympic gold medalist: From cultural silence to speaking up about abuse – Ani Chroni with Anna Kavoura (University of Brighton, UK)
  • Dealing with death in the death zone of Everest – Ani Chroni with Eric Brymer (Southern Cross University, AU)
  • What learning is valued and by whom? Athletic experience, accreditation, tertiary study – Steven Rynne (University of Queensland, AU) with Alex Blackett (Staffordshire University, UK) and Ani Chroni
  • Case studies for building consulting skills for sport and performance psychology – Sarah Castillo with Chelsea Wooding, Douglas Barba (USA) and Ani Chroni
  • Case studies in sport coaching: Stories of coaches for coaches – Ani Chroni with Kristen Dieffenbach (USA), Peter Olusoga (UK) and Goran Kentta (SWE)
  • European Commission high-level group on gender equality in sport – Ani Chroni.
  • Launching the Women & Sport Global Observatory in Lausanne – Ani Chroni with City of Lausanne, Canton of Vaud, University of Lausanne and UNESCO Sport Sector.
Publisert 22. okt. 2021 13:01 - Sist endret 27. juli 2022 11:13