Richard Light



Richard Light is a Professor of Sport Coaching at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and is an international leader in the development of innovative, athlete-centred approaches to coaching. He is an Australian with a background of school teaching, managing a martial arts business and competing at the highest levels in karate and kickboxing. He was also a professional rugby coach in Japan, which led him to undertake a PhD at the University of Queensland (1996-1999) to understand the challenges he faced as a coach in Japan. He has a twenty-year career in academia with appointments in Australia, the UK and New Zealand and as an Invited Professor in Japan and France. He has published over 200 peer reviewed papers and nine research books since 2013. His work in sport pedagogy challenges the Western separation of mind from, and elevation above, the body and the ways in which this discourages recognition of the central importance of thinking in and through sport. Influenced by Eastern philosophic traditions, he adopts a holistic approach that recognizes the inseparability of mind from body.

Recent books

 Light, R. L. & Harvey, S. (Eds) (in press-2020) Applications of Positive Pedagogy for sport coaching: International cases. London and New York: Routledge.

Light, R., & Harvey, S. (2019) Positive Pedagogy for sport coaching,2nd edn. London & New York: Routledge.

Light, R. L., & Evans, J. R. (2018).  Indigenous stories of success in Australian sport: Journeys to the AFL and NRL. London: Palgrave MacMillan. 10.1007/978-3-319-66450-7. See,

Light, R. L. (2017). Positive pedagogy for sport coaching: Athlete centred coaching for individual sports. London & New York: Routledge.  See,

Light, R. L. (2016). Children, young people and sport: Studies on experience and meaning. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press. See,

Light, R. L., Evans, J. R., Harvey, S., & Hassanin, R. (2015). Advances in rugby coaching: An holistic approach. London & New York: Routledge.