Dave Collins

Dave Collins
The University of Edinburgh | UoE · Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences

41.3
 · 
Doctor of Philosophy

About

309
Publications
203,519
Reads
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8,039
Citations
Research Experience
November 2009 - present
University of Central Lancashire
Position
  • Professor and Director
September 1998 - March 2005
The University of Edinburgh
Position
  • Chair of Sport and Head of Department
September 1993 - September 1998
Manchester Metropolitan University
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (309)
Article
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Recent developments have seen a growth in coaching, with an associated boom in interest on how it may be optimised. Clearly, we applaud this evolution. This growth has been paralleled by an explosion in the availability of information, driven through internet access and the phenomenon of social media. Unfortunately, however, this juxtaposition of i...
Article
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There appears to be general agreement that interaction with significant challenge should be a central feature of the development pathways for future high performers. There is, however, far less clarity about how such programs should be designed and delivered against core psychological principles. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to offer g...
Article
Coaching can be seen, in large part, as a decision-making game in which coaches must decide on and then deploy an optimum blend of tools to best meet the needs of performance and context. Examining this concept through a lens of professional judgement and decision making, research has shown positive benefits for this approach to understanding and e...
Article
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Background: Coaching researchers have stressed the need for critical reflection in practitioners, as an important tool to facilitate development. In parallel, however, coaches' preference for more informal development methods are well documented. The increased impact of social media and other online applications offers new ways to pursue these impo...
Article
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Although there is an established body of research on twins within the wider social science domain, scarce attention has been applied to this relationship within sport coaching practice. Specifically, this is apparent during talent development, despite a growing empirical interest toward the developmental impact of age-gapped siblings on sporting su...
Article
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The present study investigated the prevalence and influence of psychosocial factors amongst a sample of highly-skilled athletes who had previously attempted to refine their technique. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with eight tennis players to gain an in-depth understanding of their experiences during the process. Results rev...
Article
Background: We present a unique study of adventure sports coaches teaching lead climbing. Expanding existing work on judgement and decision making, we examine the coaching process and the decision making employed to manage the pedagogical and security needs of climbers when they are being introduced to lead climbing. Research design and data collec...
Article
This study explored talent-development coaches’ experiences of athletes having faced mental health issues (MHIs). A second objective was to allow participants to share their opinion on how sport environments could improve the support offered to coaches and athletes encountering MHIs. A thematic analysis was performed on 11 verbatim-transcribed inte...
Article
Purpose/Rationale: Sport Science and Medicine practitioner delivery is clearly of interest, with numerous anecdotal insights to good practice and research focussing on the evaluation of competence in delivery. However, little research has explicitly examined perceptions of the skills sets, process and mechanisms that lead to good practice. Accordin...
Article
ABSTRACT Using an interdisciplinary approach, we examined the baseline variation in biological maturity status, training experience, body size, functional capacities (Line Drill test and Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery level 1 test) and motivation for achievement, competitiveness and deliberate practice of youth basketball players according to their p...
Article
Background: Over the past 10 years, research has started to investigate the pedagogic practices of instructors and coaches working in adventure sports settings. Outdoor instructors face particular challenges regarding the impact the dynamic environment has on the coaching process and their students. This challenging combination of factors obliges t...
Article
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Anecdotal evidence suggests that futsal can aid talent development for 11 a-side soccer through the potential for transfer of the game’s skills and constraints. However, additional scientific research is necessary to enhance understanding of the technical and physical demands of futsal and the potential returns for soccer player development. Accord...
Article
The purpose of this study was to explore professional soccer coaches’ interpretations of features suggesting players’ game understanding across the age phases of professional academy youth soccer in England, with particular attention paid to the role of strategic understanding. Semistructured interviews were conducted with coaches ( n = 19) of play...
Article
Applied psychology is characterised by a variety of theoretical models, informing distinct approaches to classification, explanation, and intervention in service-delivery. Such theoretical or psychological models include behavioural, biological, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic, and social paradigms, with exposure to these models and attitude f...
Article
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This paper expands work on professional judgment and decision-making and examines the coping strategies used by adventure sports professionals to manage the cognitive loads of decision-making. Amixed methodology was employed in which asample of participants completed aPro Active Coping Inventory and asub-group then completed an Applied Cognitive Ta...
Article
The study sought to ascertain academy coaches’ perceptions regarding commitment in their developing athletes. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 coaches, across a range of sporting environments, whom worked full time with elite youth performers. Inductive thematic analysis identified the following overarching themes: a) what do we wa...
Article
Little is known about the coping strategies used by elite athletes suffering from mental health issues. Therefore, this study examined coping strategies implemented by elite athletes’ facing clinical depression. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four elite athletes and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Resu...
Article
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Objectives To date, research concerning analogy and explicit instruction has focused on motor learning (i.e., change or development over many learning trials) with limited attention directed toward acute performance considerations. Accordingly, the present study examined the short-term, differential effects of analogy and explicit instructions on m...
Article
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It is an anomaly to hear of a Maltese athlete who earns a living solely from sport. Culturally, it is almost considered nonsensical for an athlete to consider pursuing sport as a profession. In contrast, Cyprus, Iceland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein are four comparable countries that form part of the European Small States and are all under the one...
Article
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A key feature of any coach’s role is to decide on the most appropriate approach to develop player learning and performance at any given time. When coaching games, these decisions are even more challenging due to the interactive nature of games themselves and, in team games, this interactivity is heightened. Therefore, proponents of various approach...
Article
Validated assessment tools for movement competence typically involve the isolation and reproduction of specific movement forms, which arguably neglects individuals’ ability to combine and adapt movements to overcome constraints within a dynamic environment. A new movement assessment tool, the General Movement Competence Assessment (GMCA), was devel...
Article
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Given the nonlinear nature of talent development, there is a lack of research investigating those who do not “make it.” Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to explore the reasons that performers of high potential did not meet their expected performance level. Participants, who were experienced talent developers in high-level academies...
Article
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Recent research has demonstrated that there is considerable inter-individual variation in the response to aerobic training, and that this variation is partially mediated by genetic factors. As such, we aimed to investigate if a genetic based algorithm successfully predicted the magnitude of improvements following eight-weeks of aerobic training in...
Article
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This study addressed several inconsistencies and omissions in golf putting research by testing the performance impact of target focused aiming. Participants were 22 high-level and experienced golfers, currently using ball focused aiming. Participants were allocated in a quasi-random fashion to ball or target focused aiming conditions and each perfo...
Article
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Sport has become increasingly aware of the challenges associated with Mental Disorders and, to a greater extent, mental health issues (MHIs). This study sought to explore in depth the subjective experiences of elite athletes who suffered from a specific clinical MHI, namely depression. In addition, we explored their perceptions of the prevalence an...
Article
Given sport’s ever-increasing value and competitiveness, the race to identify and develop the next generation of sporting talent has never been more intense. Accordingly, in an effort to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of talent development, and recognising the critical role that psychology plays in these processes, this paper seeks to de...
Article
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Action sports usually include some danger and personal challenge. The levels of both are often further increased when the sport is placed in a competitive environment. In this paper, we consider the Olympic disciplines of freeskiing and snowboarding in park and pipe. We consider some pertinent theoretical perspectives, then offer some insights on t...
Article
At present, training in applied sport psychology chiefly targets and accelerates professional competence. However, theory and evidence suggests that our clients would experience significant benefit if our training targeted and accelerated professional expertise rather than just competence. Specifically, we argue that expertise-based training can (a...
Article
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Understanding and exploiting the synergy between theory and practice lies at the heart of effective education for outdoor professionals. Accordingly, and in an attempt to stimulate debate, this paper conceptualizes the interaction between theory and practice in the context of the education of outdoor professionals. We identify issues specific to th...
Article
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A contemporary issue in soccer talent development is the potential use of futsal as a training tool. This paper utilised survey methods to quantitatively assess the perspectives of high-level coaches working in youth player education, and players of futsal and 11-a-side soccer (n = 77). Respondents completed surveys before and following a showcase...
Article
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Heutagogy is the focus on self-determined learning by the learner. In a recent Insights paper, Stoszkowski and Collins offered a critical overview of heutagogy, highlighting the potential advantages for coaching and coach education, as well as some concerns with its use. The aim of the present study was to offer insight into student-coaches’ experi...
Article
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Tse, Wong, and Masters (2017) recently published a study that indicated that analogy instruction may help older adults acquire resilient motor skills that require reduced cognitive processing compared to traditional explicit instruction. Although we do not dispute that analogy learning may prove useful for this population, in this commentary, we co...
Article
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Although there has been considerable growth in talent identification and development research in sport over the last 20 years, in this commentary we argue that the mixed quality (for example, the uncritical employment of retrospective and autobiographical data) and lack of applied focus of much of this research, together with organisational inertia...
Article
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Recent studies have begun to explore the potentially positive impact of siblings on sporting talent development. This study aimed to explore potential mechanisms through which siblings impact on this process. Bi-monthly interviews were conducted with four families over a 1 year period (parents and siblings; N = 14) during the talent development pro...
Article
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This paper utilised a two-part mixed-methodology to examine the value placed on judgement and decision making by a sample of qualified mountain leaders in the UK. Qualified leaders (N = 331) completed a web-based survey and a smaller sample (N = 8) were then interviewed. Survey data showed that mountain leaders place greater value on their judgemen...
Article
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Perhaps as a consequence of increased specialism in training and support, the focus on engendering and maintaining agility as a generic quality has diminished within many contemporary sports performance programmes. Reflecting this, we outline a rationale suggesting that such a decreased focus represents an oversight which may be detrimental to maxi...
Article
In Motorsport, due perhaps to a lack of empirical evidence, it is not always clear what fitness training is required and what roles specific fitness components play, particularly outside the elite levels. Consequently, drivers and their trainers are often left to their own devices, placing reliance on anecdotal information. Accordingly, using a lar...
Article
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Musicians need to deal with a range of challenges during their performance career and in response to these have reported a number of conditions that impact on their performance. Although social support from peers and teachers has been identified as part of the process of dealing with these challenges, little is understood about musicians' coping me...
Article
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This paper explores the approaches adopted by high-level field athletics coaches when attempting to refine an athlete's already well-established technique (long and triple jump and javelin throwing). Six coaches, who had all coached multiple athletes to multiple major championships, took part in semi-structured interviews focused upon a recent exam...
Article
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The identification and development of talented players is a priority within elite soccer clubs and national governing bodies. Small-sided games training methods are commonly used in aiding player development. Yet the potential role for futsal (indoor 5 a-side equivalent to 11 a-side soccer) as part of contemporary youth player conditioning and skil...
Article
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Purpose: To examine the current state of empirical research, theoretical explanations and applied importance of selected physical fitness parameters in Olympic clay target and related shooting disciplines. Method: Four online databases (EBSCOhost, Pub Med, Emerald Insight and Google Scholar) served as data sources for the study. Multiple combinatio...
Article
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Over the past decade, there has been ongoing debate relating to the use of suitable pedagogical approaches for designing learning environments to develop skillful games players. There has, however, been little consideration of the “digital age of learning” and the global success of the digital video game industry. Using the educational work of Jame...
Article
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Heutagogic learning is characterized by the notion of human agency. Power and autonomy are placed firmly in the hands of the learner, who takes responsibility for, and control of, what they will learn, when it will be learnt and how it will be learnt. As a result, if sufficiently reflexive, heutagogic learners are said to acquire both competencies...
Article
Decision making in elite sport has long been of interest, however only recently have the decision making processes of coaches gained an increase in attention. Whilst a number of decision making models have been proposed, it still remains unclear as to how these models may interact with one another as opposed to them being individual, discrete and i...
Article
Recent retrospective research has identified effective meso-level thoughts and behaviors for high level golfers (i.e., those deployed between shots and holes). However, how such thoughts and behaviors are actually used during this phase of performance and, or if, they vary in different contexts is unknown. Accordingly, real-time observations follow...
Article
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Over the past 15 years there has been much research into the PETTLEP model of motor imagery, originally designed to improve the quality and impact of imagery interventions on sport performance. This article reviews the most recent trends within this research. Despite a suggested change of underpinning mechanisms involved, there is much support for...
Article
The interaction of multiple influences on the path to sport success is not yet fully understood by sport scientists. In this study, we examined variation in body size, functional capacities and motivation for achievement, competitiveness and deliberate practice of youth basketball players associated with differences in biological maturity status, c...
Article
Full-text available
As the prevalence of target focused aiming in golf putting increases among professionals and amateurs alike, it is important to understand its operation if the synergy between research and practice is to be optimized. Therefore, the current paper’s aims were firstly to review and critique existing empirical literature. Although our observations of...
Article
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This paper addresses the rapid growth, popularity, and structure of US Golf Academies. Specifically, we highlight a phenomenon from a non-US golfing community’s perspective; namely, that of the “talent tourist” (i.e., youth golfer) seeking to develop their playing skills and academic ability within a foreign talent pathway. With so much of these go...
Article
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In our 2016 paper (Collins et al., 2016a), we proposed that superchamps (athletes who have achieved the highest level in their sport) were differentiated from their less successful counterparts by their use of positive proactive coping and a “learn from it” approach to challenge. This skill-based focus to talent development (TD) is supported extens...
Article
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Scottish children are reported to be among the least active in the world, additionally Scotland has previously been labelled ‘the sick man of Europe’ on account of its poor health record. In response, the Scottish Government has implemented a range of policies with a strong focus on increasing physical activity (PA), Physical Education (PE) and the...
Article
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Observation of performance forms a critical part of the complex coaching process. A professional judgment and decision making (PJDM) framework enables optimum decisions to be made under time pressure and with limited information that derive from that observation. Observation and the associated decision making can be particularly affected by heurist...
Chapter
Psychometrics, or at least the use of metrics to measure psychological aspects that are (presumed) pertinent to performance, has a rich history in sport. This chapter offers some guidelines for effective practice in both the development and the application of psychometrics in sport. It presents good and not so good features of usage, design and und...
Article
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While current research has begun to address parental influences on talent development in sport, sibling interaction remains relatively under-examined. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the underpinning mechanisms through which sibling interaction impacts on talent development. Retrospective phenomenological interviews were conducted with four...
Article
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Elite athletes are not immune to mental health issues. Yet, quality research on mental health in elites has so far been limited. Thus, while research on mental health emphasises the prevalence and nature of disorders in the general population, its extent in elite performers remains unclear. Indeed, the prevalence of mental conditions cannot be accu...
Chapter
Our response to the Great British Medallist (GBM) study focuses on three concerns. First, we discuss the extent to which the findings presented are actually novel and offer practitioners genuine guidance and information about how to structure talent development pathways. Second, we suggest that a lack of critical consideration of the findings again...
Article
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Purpose Accumulating life stress is a driving factor underlying the most pervasive, incapacitating health conditions in 21st century, First World societies. The most widely supported strategy, for remediating the negative health consequences of elevated life stress, is physical activity (PA). Evidence also suggests accumulating life stress impedes...
Article
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This paper explores the complexity of developing decision-making (DM) skills in team sports. Research from the domains of motor control, perception and pedagogy (Teaching Games for Understanding and Game Sense) has significantly enhanced our knowledge of DM in sport. However, such studies although contributing knowledge, have explored elements of D...
Article
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This study offered a first examination of skill development within freeskiing and snowboarding, using semistructured interviews to examine trick progression. Participants were purposefully recruited as performing at world top 8 level in 2014, the most recent Winter Olympic Games. A semi structured interview protocol, using a personalized progress c...
Chapter
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The criteria used by coaches to judge their peers are extremely pertinent to the study and enhancement of coach development. The aim of this two-part study was to offer insight into how a sample of British sub-elite coaches judged coaching prowess and perceived the nature of the expertise possessed (or perceived to be possessed) by their own self-s...
Article
Despite the wide spread employment of Performance Analysis (PA) within the football coaching process to enhance augmented feedback, until recently little consideration has been given to the context in which PA delivery takes place at elite levels and subsequently impacts on players receiving such information. The aim of this investigation was to ex...
Article
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There is increasing evidence for the significant contribution provided by sport psychologists within applied coaching environments. However, this rarely considers their skills/knowledge being applied when refining athletes' already learned and well-established motor skills. Therefore, this paper focuses on how a sport psychologist might assist a co...
Conference Paper
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This paper discusses the Human Factors issues surrounding naval ships designed with modular capabilities. Modularity is not a new concept, but the training and personnel implications of modularity on a ship’s core company are not well understood. With vessels such as the Type 26 frigate, the adverse impact on the core crew, and the infrastructure t...
Article
This article continues a theme of previous investigations by the authors and examines the focus of in-action reflection as a component of professional judgement and decision-making (PJDM) processes in high-level adventure sports coaching. We utilised a thematic analysis approach to investigate the decision-making practices of a sample of high-level...
Article
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Despite substantial research in golf on preshot routines, our understanding of what elite golfers are or potentially should be focusing on beyond this phase of performance is limited. Accordingly, interviews were conducted with elite-level golfers and support practitioners to explore what golfers are and should be attending to before competition an...
Article
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There seems to be general agreement on the importance of challenge for effective development on the athlete pathway. What seems less coherent, however, are ideas on how much, when and how this challenge should be used. Reflecting our own experience as applied practitioners and our ongoing research, we offer a perspective on this work from a practit...
Article
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Previous research has emphasised the dynamic nature of coaching practice and the need to consider both individual performer needs and necessary contextual trade-offs in providing optimum solutions. In this regard, a Professional Judgment and Decision Making framework has been suggested to facilitate an optimum blend of actions against these complex...
Article
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To date, multiple hypotheses have been proposed for the Scottish effect and, more specifically, Glasgow's high mortality rate and the associated Glasgow effect. Previous authors have highlighted the improbability of a single factor as responsible for this effect with seventeen possible hypotheses presented. These have ranged from socio-economic fac...
Conference Paper
While much research has focused on athletes learning and performing skills, there has been considerably less research to address and inform coaching practice intended to refine (or tweak) already long-practiced and well-established skills at the elite-level (for an exception, see the Five-A Model, Carson & Collins [2011] International Review of Spo...
Article
This investigation examined the planning and decision-making processes in adventure sports coaching. We utilised a thematic analysis approach to investigate the planning decision-making practices of a sample of high-level adventure sports coaches over a series of sessions. The investigation discovered that, in planning coaching activity, high-level...
Article
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This paper focuses on raising concern that anxiety–performance relationship theory has insufficiently catered for motoric issues during, primarily, closed and self-paced skill execution (e.g., long jump and javelin throw). Following a review of current theory, we address the under-consideration of motoric issues by extending the three-dimensional m...
Article
It has recently been argued that performers benefit from trauma (i.e., memorable challenges) during development. To deepen knowledge in this area, we explored perceived traumas in the development of twenty senior-international performers with a multi-methods, temporal-based design. Results showed perceived traumas were primarily sports-based, recog...
Article
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Running is a pervasive activity across human cultures and a cornerstone of contemporary health, fitness, and sporting activities. Yet for the overwhelming predominance of human existence running was an essential prerequisite for survival. A means to hunt, and a means to escape when hunted. In a very real sense humans have evolved to run. Yet curiou...