Philip Kearney


Contact Details

Lecturer
Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences
University of Limerick
Limerick
Ireland
E: philip.kearney@ul.ie
 
researcher

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.

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
2021 'Nurturing young distance runners'
Blagrove, R. C., Kearney, P. E., & Drew, K. (2021) 'Nurturing young distance runners' In: Richard C. Blagrove, Philip R. Hayes (eds). The Science and Practice of Middle and Long Distance Running. London: Routledge. [Details]
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 Link] [Details]
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. [Details]
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. [Details]
2015 'Coaching tools for adventure sports'
Christian, E; Kearney, P (2015) 'Coaching tools for adventure sports' In: Adventure sports coaching. London: Routledge. [Details]
2015 'Coaching the advanced performer'
Kearney, P; Christian, E (2015) 'Coaching the advanced performer' In: Adventure sport coaching. London: Routledge. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
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'. Research Quarterly For Exercise And Sport, [DOI] [ULIR Link] [Details]
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'. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, [DOI] [ULIR Link] [Details]
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'. Journal Of Adventure Education And Outdoor Learning, [DOI] [ULIR Link] [Details]
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'. Frontiers in psychology, 10 [DOI] [ULIR Link] [Details]
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'. Journal Of Sports Sciences, 36 :2502-2509 [DOI] [ULIR Link] [Details]
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'. Journal Of Sports Sciences, 36 :2282-2288 [DOI] [ULIR Link] [Details]
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'. Journal Of Sports Sciences, 36 (10) [DOI] [ULIR Link] [Details]
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'. Physical Therapy In Sport : Official Journal Of The Association Of Chartered Physiotherapists In Sports Medicine, 34 [DOI] [Details]
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'. Psychology Of Sport And Exercise, 39 :81-89 [DOI] [Details]
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'. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 13 :213-224 [DOI] [Details]
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'. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 13 :687-693 [DOI] [ULIR Link] [Details]
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'. Perceptual and motor skills, 124 (5) [DOI] [Details]
2017 'Enhancing practice through gradual increases in contextual interference'
Kearney, PE (2017) 'Enhancing practice through gradual increases in contextual interference'. Kinesiology, [ULIR Link] [Details]
2017 'Misunderstandings of concussion within a youth rugby population'
Kearney PE;See J; (2017) 'Misunderstandings of concussion within a youth rugby population'. Journal Of Science And Medicine In Sport, 20 (11) [DOI] [ULIR Link] [Details]
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'. Science & Sports, [DOI] [ULIR Link] [Details]
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'. Journal Of Adventure Education And Outdoor Learning, [DOI] [Details]
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'. International Journal Of Sport And Exercise Psychology, 13 :371-381 [DOI] [Details]
2014 'Can Achievement Goals be Primed in Competitive Tasks?'
Greenlees, I;Figgins, S;Kearney, P (2014) 'Can Achievement Goals be Primed in Competitive Tasks?'. Journal Of Human Kinetics, 40 :245-250 [DOI] [Details]
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'. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, [Details]

Other Journals

  Year Publication
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' South African Journal of Sports Medicine, 29 (1) :1-4. [DOI] [Details]

Reviews

  Year Publication
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. Reviews [DOI] [Details]

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:

-       Connect with the individual

-       Work in partnership

-       Create something tangible

-       Develop through affirmation

-       Celebrate growth

 

International Collaborators

  Name Organisation / Institute Country
Philip Hayes Northumbria University England
Edward Christian University of Chichester England
Gennaro Boccia University of Turin Italy
Craig Pulling University of Chichester England
Paul Ellison Edge Hill University England
Matt Berry University of Chichester England
David Marchant Edge Hill University England