Phil Kearney

Phil Kearney
University of Limerick | UL · Physical Education and Sport Sciences Department

PhD

About

54
Publications
21,039
Reads
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273
Citations
Introduction
I am passionate about skill acquisition, and inspiring the next generation of sport scientists and coaches to apply the core principles of skill acquisition in the development of athletes. A Fellow of the Higher Education Authority, I am committed to excellence and innovation in teaching. My research focuses on developing coaches and athletes, and enhances my practice as a sport scientist and the quality of my teaching.
Additional affiliations
August 2009 - August 2017
University of Chichester
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (54)
Article
Full-text available
Developing players who are adept at using both sides of the body (i.e., bilateral skill) is a challenge for coaches in many sports. With players being required to execute a range of skills with hand and foot on both sides of the body, Gaelic football provides an ideal natural laboratory for the study of laterality. Previous quantitative research ha...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to provide a rich description of team sport coaches’ planning practices and to evaluate these practices in light of the Game-Based Approach literature and Complex Learning Theory. Twelve Gaelic football coaches operating in a high-performance setting were recruited to participate in semi-structured interviews. Coaches prep...
Article
Full-text available
This study set out to gain insight into the practices adopted by elite level Paralympic swimming coaches and to shed light on the knowledge and rationale underpinning their approaches. Coaching sessions were delivered by nine senior coaches from the British Para swimming (BPS) World Class Programme. A coaching session was observed from each coach a...
Article
Purpose: The aim of this study was to provide an in-depth analysis of the prevalence and consequences of within-sport specialization in track and field in the United Kingdom. Method: The competition histories of top 100 ranked athletes from four representative events (100 m, 800 m, long jump, and shot put) were recorded from a publically-accessible...
Article
Full-text available
Players and athletes often make use of mental skills, such as relaxation exercises, imagery, self-talk and focusing attention, to enhance their performance. Most commonly observed as part of pre-performance routines during competitions, these mental skills may also be applied to accelerate learning during practice (termed learning strategies). This...
Thesis
This programme of research had two aims which organised the research into two distinct phases. Phase one explored the coaching pedagogy being applied by coaches in the sport of Gaelic football at inter-county level. Informed by phase one, phase two examined the effects of a Game Based Approach (GBA) intervention in an academy inter-county Gaelic fo...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To summarize risk factors for injury in elite women’s soccer. Methods: Ten electronic databases were searched for studies that explored risk factors for injury in elite women soccer players. Study cohorts were required to consist of adult (?18 years) elite players defined as ‘the best performers in their country in a certain sport who ar...
Article
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This study examined track and field coaches’ and parents’ knowledge of (a) the relationship between adolescent and later success, (b) factors contributing to adolescent success, particularly in relation to relative age effects, and (c) optimal athlete development practices, such as the timing of sport specialisation. Fifty-two coaches and 116 paren...
Article
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The last decade has seen a dramatic rise in sports science research due to the ever-increasing professionalization of sport. As a result, many alternative training methodologies that challenge traditional training philosophies have emerged. In the sport of swimming, ultra-short race-pace training (USRPT) was recently proposed. The aim of this artic...
Poster
Full-text available
INTRODUCTION There is growing concern that the youth sport experience is evolving in ways that are ultimately harmful for the young person (Bergeron et al., 2015). United Kingdom Athletics’ Athlete Development Model proposes that youth athletes’ involvement in the sport should gradually increase from approximately six months of the year at Under...
Article
Full-text available
The relative age effect (RAE) is a common phenomenon observed in youth sports and is characterized by a significant over-representation of athletes born close to the date of selection. However, there is a lack of research on RAE in world-class track and field athletes and it is not clear if this effect persists into adulthood. Thus, this study exam...
Article
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Game Based Approaches (GBAs) have been advocated as pedagogies that positively impact athletes’ personal and social development, decision-making, tactical awareness and physical fitness. Despite the growing support for GBAs in the academic literature, evidence is currently lacking regarding the application of GBAs across different sports and develo...
Article
This paper forwards the position that the adventure sports coaching environment contains features that are accentuated in comparison with traditional sports coaching contexts, and that these accentuated features are conducive to the development of sophisticated epistemic beliefs. We consider the manner in which physical, social and temporal factors...
Poster
Full-text available
While the benefits of participating in multiple sports (i.e., diversification) is well- established (Bergeron et al., 2015), there is a paucity of research investigating within-sport diversification/specialisation. Examples of within-sport specialisation include only participating in a single position within a team sport, or in a single event withi...
Article
Objectives: Dance exposure and determinants of wellness in Irish dance (ID) and contemporary dance (CD) are under-investigated in pre-professional, collegiate cohorts. This study prospectively investigated these variables in ID and CD participants for one year. Design: Prospective study. Setting: University-level institutes of dance, United Ki...
Article
Full-text available
Enhancing our understanding of athlete development would be valuable for coaches, parents and administrators to set realistic performance expectations and to advance youth sport policy. To this end, a database of track and field performances was examined. Records of 134,313 performances by athletes aged between 12 and 35 years in sprinting, throwin...
Article
Full-text available
The self-regulation of practice behaviour has repeatedly been shown to distinguish between novice and expert performers, however interventions designed to encourage self-regulation by novice musicians have shown limited effectiveness. Guided by successful research in sporting contexts, the present study investigated the behaviours of beginner (novi...
Article
Full-text available
The relative age effect (RAE) is a common phenomenon in youth sport, whereby children born early in the selection year are more likely to experience success and to sustain participation. There is a lack of research investigating variables which influence RAEs within track and field athletics. Such information is vital to guide policies in relation...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
Background: Recent research in a French context suggested that relative age effects (RAEs) in rugby union may be influenced by playing position; specifically, that RAEs may be more pronounced in back row players who do not have as extreme an anthropomorphic profile as other forward positions. Methods: In the present study, dates of birth of 6 663...
Article
A number of companies are marketing general eye–hand coordination training devices, which are purported to enhance performance on the device and in a sporting domain. An act comprising eye–hand coordination involves the complex combination of a number of distinct functions, and an investigation of what tasks share this common factor has not been co...
Article
Background: Recent research in a French context suggested that relative age effects (RAEs) in rugby union may be influenced by playing position; specifically, that RAEs may be more pronounced in back row players who do not have as extreme an anthropomorphic profile as other forward positions. Methods: In the present study, dates of birth of 6 663 p...
Article
Full-text available
http://hrcak.srce.hr/187468
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated whether secondary school students who were taught a motor learning strategy could transfer their knowledge of the strategy to learning a novel task. Twenty adolescents were randomly allocated to a strategy or control group. The strategy group was taught Singer's five-step learning strategy, while the control group received i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background Within the music domain specifically, the advantages of applying sophisticated self-regulatory strategies when practicing have been repeatedly demonstrated (Bartolme, 2009; Bonneville-Roussy & Bouffard, 2015; Hallam, 2001; Miksza, 2006; Nielson, 1999; Rohwer & Polk, 2006). Additionally, novice performers have been shown to lack key self...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to examine how leader communication inspires athletes in a team sport context. Footage of elite rugby coaches and athlete leaders delivering genuine speeches were used as a stimulus. Team sport athletes (n = 20) watched this footage and identified which aspects of the communication inspired them. Follow up interviews w...
Article
The aim of this research was to further the literature on the identity and practices of adventure sports coaches (ASCs). Current research indicates that these coaches hold well-defined epistemic beliefs that underpin their approaches to coaching. We sought to explore whether these findings applied to a more diverse sample and to examine their worki...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The recognition and management of concussion has become a major health concern within rugby union. Identifying misconceptions and attitudes regarding concussion is valuable for informing player education. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the knowledge of, and attitudes towards, concussion in subgroups of youth rugby...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To establish whether playing position influenced the existence of the relative age effect (RAE) in senior rugby union. Summary of facts and results: The birth dates and playing position of 1991 senior French rugby union players registered during the 2014/15 season were obtained from an on-line statistics database. The distribution of pla...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Objectives: While research has identified the value of adopting an external focus of attention during the performance of a range of sport skills, there is a lack of research investigating the actual focus adopted by sports performers. Developing our understanding of current knowledge and practice is essential to guide player development. As such, t...
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...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The presence of an RAE in professional rugby union is influenced by both player nationality and playing level. The existence of an RAE in senior professional rugby suggests an underpinning problem at the youth level in selected countries.
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this experiment was to determine the optimal focus of attention for novice golfers performing a putting task. Previous research has advocated that novices should adopt a proximal external focus, but this advice has been drawn from research on a relatively complex task (i.e. pitch shot). Research examining golf putting specifically ha...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While robust RAEs were evident in the general populations studied, elite junior samples demonstrated a consistent violation of the RAE for forward players. While the emphasis in explaining peer effects has focused on advances in technical and/or tactical development, explanations which include physical conditioning, self-regulatory skills or psycho...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined whether achievement goal priming effects would be observed within an overtly competitive setting. Male soccer players (N = 66) volunteered to participate in a soccer penalty-kick taking competition during which they took 20 penalty-kicks on 2 occasions. Following a pretest, participants were allocated to 1 of 5 priming condition...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study explored the transfer of strategic thinking and self-regulated learning in practice with musicians by observing seven undergraduate music students in practice sessions on both a newly learned instrument and their primary instruments. Students chose how to structure the sessions and they were presented with the music, a pencil, and a pian...
Article
The spanning set technique quantifies intertrial variability as the span between polynomial curves representing upper and lower standard deviation curves of a repeated movement. This study aimed to assess the validity of the spanning set technique in quantifying variability and specifically to determine its sensitivity to variability presented at d...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The ability to perform skills bilaterally (that is, with both the dominant and non-dominant foot and/or hand) is thought to be a key characteristics of skilful players in many ball sports. The sport of Gaelic football is an ideal “natural laboratory” for the study of bilateral skill due to players having the potential to perform skills involved in carrying, passing or scoring with either hand or foot on both sides of the body. This project will study the development of two-sided players in Gaelic football as a means to understand laterality and plasticity in human motor performance.
Project
This research will focus on the current practices and knowledge around Growth & Maturation in Youth Male Gaelic football. Who are coaches selecting and identifying? How are they developing early and late maturing players? How can we help coaches develop their knowledge and practices around these areas which in turn should aid long term player development?
Project
The Development of Youth Track & Field Athletes Project is a multi-phase investigation of aspects of young athletes’ developmental experiences within track and field. My aim in conducting this research is to gather information which can be used to advise coaches and coach educators about the messages that they communicate to athletes, coaches and parents to enhance children's experience in youth sport.