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Dr. Philip Kearney

Biography

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.

Research Interests

My research examines human motor behaviour; that is, how humans control their movements and develop their skills across the lifespan. My recent research has concentrated on youth sport, in particular within the context of track and field athletics.Working under the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences' Sport and Human Performance theme, my current research agenda consists of three strands:

(1) Maturation and youth sport.
(2) Coaches' knowledge and practices.
(3) Enhancing practice quality.

Strand 1: Projects within this strand have centred on the analysis of a database of track and field performances to determine: (i) the relationship between maturation (as indicated by relative age) and ranking, (ii) the relationship between success at different age grades in youth competition, and between youth and adult success, and (iii) the prevalence and consequences for participation of early specialisation within athletics. Additional projects within this theme have explored the influence of maturation on development in rugby union.

Strand 2: Specific projects include examining coaches perceptions of the importance of visual exploratory activity (aka scanning) in football, and how coaches refine well-learned techniques which are sub-optimal because of injury-risks or limiting performance. In addition, recent research has focused on how coaches design effective learning environments in an adventure sport context.

Strand 3: Specific projects include athletes' use of attentional focus in a range of sports, designing interventions to enhance musician's self-regulatory skills, and an industry report for the England and Wales Cricket Board examining coaches' perceptions of the practice behaviours of academy cricketers.

Teaching Interests

I teach to make a difference. I believe that a better understanding of skill acquisition amongst coaches, teachers, and sport scientists can make a meaningful difference to the participation of young people in sport and physical activity, and to their broader development. As an educator, I have the opportunity to have that influence if, through my teaching, I inspire the students who will be the coaches, the teachers, the sport scientists, to learn more about skill acquisition and how this knowledge can enhance their practice. It is therefore my goal to get students excited about the difference they can make by applying their knowledge of skill acquisition.

As such, my teaching philosophy has five central tenets:

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Connect with the individual

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Work in partnership

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Create something tangible

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Develop through affirmation

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Celebrate growth

Research Collaborators

Publications

Book Chapters

2021

Nurturing young distance runners
Blagrove, R. C., Kearney, P. E., & Drew, K.
(2021) Nurturing young distance runners
In The Science and Practice of Middle and Long Distance Running; Richard C. Blagrove, Philip R. Hayes(Ed.) London : Routledge pp. 291-305

2018

Skill change in elite-level kickers: Interdisciplinary considerations of an applied framework
Carson, HJ; Collins, D; Kearney, P
(2018) Skill change in elite-level kickers: Interdisciplinary considerations of an applied framework
In Football biomechanics; London : Routledge
[ULIR]

2015

Coaching tools for adventure sports
Christian, E; Kearney, P
(2015) Coaching tools for adventure sports
In Adventure sports coaching; London : Routledge

2015

Setting the scene: A framework for coaching practice in adventure sports
Kearney, P; Christian, E
(2015) Setting the scene: A framework for coaching practice in adventure sports
In Adventure sports coaching; London : Routledge

2015

Theoretical underpinnings of developing skill and their implications for the adventure sports coach
Christian, E; Kearney, P
(2015) Theoretical underpinnings of developing skill and their implications for the adventure sports coach
In Adventure sports coaching; London : Routledge

2015

Coaching the advanced performer
Kearney, P; Christian, E
(2015) Coaching the advanced performer
In Adventure sport coaching; London : Routledge

Peer Reviewed Journals

2020

The Prevalence and Consequences of Within-Sport Specialization in Track and Field Athletics
Kearney P.E.;Comyns T.M.;Hayes P.
(2020) The Prevalence and Consequences of Within-Sport Specialization in Track and Field Athletics
In Research Quarterly For Exercise And Sport;
DOI: 10.1080/02701367.2020.1776819
[ULIR]

2020

Coaches and parents hold contrasting perceptions of optimal youth development activities in track and field athletics
Kearney P.;Comyns T.;Hayes P.
(2020) Coaches and parents hold contrasting perceptions of optimal youth development activities in track and field athletics
In International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching;
DOI: 10.1177/1747954119900052
[ULIR]

2019

It's not what, but where: how the accentuated features of the adventure sports coaching environment promote the development of sophisticated epistemic beliefs
Ed Christian, Christopher I. Hodgson, Matt Berry & Phil Kearney
(2019) It's not what, but where: how the accentuated features of the adventure sports coaching environment promote the development of sophisticated epistemic beliefs
In Journal Of Adventure Education And Outdoor Learning;
DOI: 10.1080/14729679.2019.1598879
[ULIR]

2019

Relative age influences performance of world-class track and field athletes even in the adulthood
Brustio P.;Kearney P.;Lupo C.;Ungureanu A.;Mulasso A.;Rainoldi A.;Boccia G.
(2019) Relative age influences performance of world-class track and field athletes even in the adulthood
In Frontiers in psychology;
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01395
[ULIR]

2018

Investigating inspirational leader communication in an elite team sport context
Smith, MJ;Figgins, SG;Jewiss, M;Kearney, PE
(2018) Investigating inspirational leader communication in an elite team sport context
In International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching; LONDON : SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD pp. 213-224
DOI: 10.1177/1747954117727684

2018

Faster, higher, stronger, older: Relative age effects are most influential during the youngest age grade of track and field athletics in the United Kingdom
Kearney, PE;Hayes, PR;Nevill, A
(2018) Faster, higher, stronger, older: Relative age effects are most influential during the youngest age grade of track and field athletics in the United Kingdom
In Journal Of Sports Sciences; ABINGDON : TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD pp. 2282-2288
DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1449093
[ULIR]

2018

Further evidence against eye-hand coordination as a general ability
Ellison, PH;Kearney, PE;Sparks, SA;Murphy, PN;Marchant, DC
(2018) Further evidence against eye-hand coordination as a general ability
In International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching; LONDON : SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD pp. 687-693
DOI: 10.1177/1747954117747132
[ULIR]

2018

Excelling at youth level in competitive track and field athletics is not a prerequisite for later success
Kearney, PE;Hayes, PR
(2018) Excelling at youth level in competitive track and field athletics is not a prerequisite for later success
In Journal Of Sports Sciences; ABINGDON : TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD pp. 2502-2509
DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1465724
[ULIR]

2018

Dance exposure, wellbeing and injury in collegiate Irish and contemporary dancers: A prospective study.
Cahalan R;Kearney P;Ni Bhriain O;Redding E;Quin E;McLaughlin LC;O' Sullivan K;
(2018) Dance exposure, wellbeing and injury in collegiate Irish and contemporary dancers: A prospective study.
In Physical Therapy In Sport : Official Journal Of The Association Of Chartered Physiotherapists In Sports Medicine;
DOI: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2018.09.006

2018

Football coaches' perceptions of the introduction, delivery and evaluation of it visual exploratory activity
Pulling, C;Kearney, P;Eldridge, D;Dicks, M
(2018) Football coaches' perceptions of the introduction, delivery and evaluation of it visual exploratory activity
In Psychology Of Sport And Exercise; AMSTERDAM : ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV pp. 81-89
DOI: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2018.08.001

2018

Implementing technical refinement in high-level athletics: exploring the knowledge schemas of coaches.
Kearney PE;Carson HJ;Collins D;
(2018) Implementing technical refinement in high-level athletics: exploring the knowledge schemas of coaches.
In Journal Of Sports Sciences;
DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2017.1358339
[ULIR]

2017

Playing position influences the relative age effect in senior rugby union
Kearney, PE
(2017) Playing position influences the relative age effect in senior rugby union
In Science & Sports;
DOI: 10.1016/j.scispo.2016.06.009
[ULIR]

2017

Enhancing practice through gradual increases in contextual interference
Kearney, PE
(2017) Enhancing practice through gradual increases in contextual interference
In Kinesiology;
[ULIR]

2017

Misunderstandings of concussion within a youth rugby population.
Kearney PE;See J;
(2017) Misunderstandings of concussion within a youth rugby population.
In Journal Of Science And Medicine In Sport;
DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2017.04.019
[ULIR]

2017

Successful Transfer of a Motor Learning Strategy to a Novel Sport.
Kearney PE;Judge P;
(2017) Successful Transfer of a Motor Learning Strategy to a Novel Sport.
In Perceptual and motor skills;
DOI: 10.1177/0031512517719189

2017

The identity, epistemology and developmental experiences of high-level adventure sports coaches
Christian, E; Berry, M; Kearney, PE
(2017) The identity, epistemology and developmental experiences of high-level adventure sports coaches
In Journal Of Adventure Education And Outdoor Learning;
DOI: 10.1080/14729679.2017.1341326

2015

A distal focus of attention leads to superior performance on a golf putting task
Kearney, PE
(2015) A distal focus of attention leads to superior performance on a golf putting task
In International Journal Of Sport And Exercise Psychology; ABINGDON : ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD pp. 371-381
DOI: 10.1080/1612197X.2014.993682

2014

Can Achievement Goals be Primed in Competitive Tasks?
Greenlees, I;Figgins, S;Kearney, P
(2014) Can Achievement Goals be Primed in Competitive Tasks?
In Journal Of Human Kinetics; KATOWICE : ACAD PHYSICAL EDUCATION-KATOWICE pp. 245-250
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2014-0026

2012

Kinematic variability in running: a caution regarding use of the spanning set measure.
Hanlon, M; Condell, J; Kearney, P
(2012) Kinematic variability in running: a caution regarding use of the spanning set measure.
In Journal of Applied Biomechanics;

Other Journals

2017

The influence of nationality and playing position on relative age effects in rugby union: A cross-cultural comparison
Kearney PE
(2017) The influence of nationality and playing position on relative age effects in rugby union: A cross-cultural comparison
In South African Journal of Sports Medicine; South Africa : pp. 1-4
DOI: 10.17159/2078-516X/2017/v29i0a1886

Conference Publications

2017

7th Meeting of the Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network
Kearney, P
(2017) 7th Meeting of the Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network

2017

International Symposium on Performance Science
Ritchie, L; Kearney, P
(2017) International Symposium on Performance Science

2016

British Psychological Society Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology Conference
Kearney, P; Godwin, C.
(2016) British Psychological Society Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology Conference

2016

International Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise
Kearney, PE; Carson, HJ; Collins, D
(2016) International Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise

2015

1st Scientific Conference on Motor Skill Acqusition
Kearney, PE
(2015) 1st Scientific Conference on Motor Skill Acqusition

2014

5th Annual Meeting of the Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network
Kearney, P; Smyth, PJ
(2014) 5th Annual Meeting of the Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network

2009

The 27th International Symposium of Biomechanics in Sport
Kearney, P, Smyth, PJ & Anderson, R
(2009) The 27th International Symposium of Biomechanics in Sport
pp. 336-339

2008

2nd International Congress of Complex Systems in Sport
Kearney, P., Smyth, P. J. & Anderson, R.
(2008) 2nd International Congress of Complex Systems in Sport

2007

12th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science
Kearney, P., Smyth, P. J. & Anderson, R.
(2007) 12th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science

2007

International Society of Motor Control, Progress in Motor Control VI conference
Kearney, P. & Smyth, PJ.
(2007) International Society of Motor Control, Progress in Motor Control VI conference
Nichols, T.R(Ed.) pp. 96-96

2007

The Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science
Kearney, P., Smyth, P.J. and Anderson, R.
(2007) The Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science
Kallio, J., Komi, P., Komulainen, Avela, J.(Ed.) pp. 497-497

Conference Contributions

2018

International Association for Dance Medicine & Science Annual Conference
Cahalan, R., Kearney, P., O'Sullivan, K.
(2018) International Association for Dance Medicine & Science Annual Conference
Helsinki, Finland.

2018

PEPAYS Conference
Kearney, P. E., Comyns, T. M., & Hayes, P. R.
(2018) PEPAYS Conference
Limerick, Ireland

2018

Movement & Skill Acquisition Ireland Conference
Armstrong, S., Arnott, P., & Kearney, P. E.
(2018) Movement & Skill Acquisition Ireland Conference
Cork, Ireland

2018

Adventure Sports Coaching Conference
Christian, E., Berry, M., & Kearney, P. E.
(2018) Adventure Sports Coaching Conference
Plas y Brenin, UK

Other Publications

2020

Injury in elite women’s soccer: a systematic review
Alahmad T.;Kearney P.;Cahalan R.
(2020) Injury in elite women’s soccer: a systematic review
In Physician And Sportsmedicine;
DOI: 10.1080/00913847.2020.1720548

2017

Coaches' views on the self-regulatory behaviours of Emerging Players Programme/Academy cricketers in an indoor practice context
Kearney, P; Figgins, S; Graham, D; Leggat, F; and Smith, J
(2017) Coaches' views on the self-regulatory behaviours of Emerging Players Programme/Academy cricketers in an indoor practice context

2015

Examining lifeguard expertise: The impact of shift duration and rotation times on the effectiveness of hazard detection
Smith, J; Birch, P; Jewiss, M; Kearney, P; Turner, M; Tipton, M
(2015) Examining lifeguard expertise: The impact of shift duration and rotation times on the effectiveness of hazard detection

2013

Eye tracking of elite rugby union goal kickers during practice penalty kicks
Kearney, PE
(2013) Eye tracking of elite rugby union goal kickers during practice penalty kicks