Philip Kearney

Lecturer PhD BSc

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
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. [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
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] [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] [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] [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] [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] [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]
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] [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]
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]

Conference Publications

  Year Publication
2017 7th Meeting of the Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network
Kearney, P (2017) A database analysis of the youth sport system in United Kingdom track and field athletics 7th Meeting of the Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network [Details]
2009 The 27th International Symposium of Biomechanics in Sport
Kearney, P, Smyth, PJ & Anderson, R (2009) Skill Level and Participation of University Students in Recreational Sport The 27th International Symposium of Biomechanics in Sport , 17-AUG-09 - 21-AUG-09 , pp.336-339 [Details]
2008 Relationship between fundamental movement skill and sport skill level of young adults
Kearney, P; Smyth, PJ; Anderson, R (2008) Relationship between fundamental movement skill and sport skill level of young adults , pp.S47-S48 [Details]
2008 2nd International Congress of Complex Systems in Sport
Kearney, P., Smyth, P. J. & Anderson, R. (2008) Methods to measure functional changes in the trunk action in over arm throwing 2nd International Congress of Complex Systems in Sport , 05-NOV-08 - 08-NOV-08 [Details]
2007 International Society of Motor Control, Progress in Motor Control VI conference
Kearney, P. & Smyth, PJ. (2007) Variability in the initiation of trunk rotation in the overarm throw . In: Nichols, T.R eds. International Society of Motor Control, Progress in Motor Control VI conference , 09-AUG-07 - 12-AUG-07 , pp.96-96 [Details]
2007 12th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science
Kearney, P., Smyth, P. J. & Anderson, R. (2007) Quantifying Change in Movement Patterns: A proposed Amendment to NoRM-D 12th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science , 11-JUL-07 - 14-JUL-07 [Details]
2007 The Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science
Kearney, P., Smyth, P.J. and Anderson, R. (2007) Quantifying change in movement patterns: a proposed amendment to NoRM-D . In: Kallio, J., Komi, P., Komulainen, Avela, J eds. The Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science , 11-JUL-07 - 14-JUL-07 , pp.497-497 [Details]
2017 International Symposium on Performance Science
Ritchie, L; Kearney, P (2017) Effects of a self-regulation worksheet on the self-regulatory behaviour, self-efficacy and performance of novice adult musicians International Symposium on Performance Science [Details]
2016 British Psychological Society Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology Conference
Kearney, P; Godwin, C. (2016) The focus of attention adopted by golfers during a competitive round British Psychological Society Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology Conference [Details]
2016 International Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise
Kearney, PE; Carson, HJ; Collins, D (2016) Implementing technical change in elite-level athletics: Exploring the knowledge schemas of field event coaches International Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise [Details]
2015 1st Scientific Conference on Motor Skill Acqusition
Kearney, PE (2015) The influence of competition level and playing position on the relative age effect in French rugby union 1st Scientific Conference on Motor Skill Acqusition [Details]
2014 5th Annual Meeting of the Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network
Kearney, P; Smyth, PJ (2014) Not always a disadvantage: No relative age effect in elite junior ice hockey forwards 5th Annual Meeting of the Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
2018 PEPAYS Conference,
Kearney, P. E., Comyns, T. M., & Hayes, P. R. (2018) The influence of within-sport specialisation on performance and retention in track and field athletics in the United Kingdom. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], PEPAYS Conference, Limerick, Ireland [Details]
2018 European College of Sport Sciences Conference,
Kinnerk, P. Harvey, S., Kearney, P., MacDonnacha, C., & Lyons, M. (2018) Inter-county gaelic football coaches’ perceptions of their practice activities, session sequence and coaching behaviours. [Oral Presentation], European College of Sport Sciences Conference, Dublin, Ireland [Details]
2018 Adventure Sports Coaching Conference,
Christian, E., Berry, M., & Kearney, P. E. (2018) The identity, epistemology and developmental experiences of high-level adventure sports coaches. [Oral Presentation], Adventure Sports Coaching Conference, Plas y Brenin, UK [Details]
2018 International Association for Dance Medicine & Science Annual Conference,
Cahalan, R., Kearney, P., O’Sullivan, K. (2018) Injury in student contemporary and Irish dancers: A one year prospective study. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], International Association for Dance Medicine & Science Annual Conference, Helsinki, Finland [Details]
2018 Movement & Skill Acquisition Ireland Conference,
Armstrong, S., Arnott, P., & Kearney, P. E. (2018) What is your coaching narrative?. [Poster Presentation], Movement & Skill Acquisition Ireland Conference, Cork, Ireland [Details]

Non Published Reports

  Year Publication
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. Non Published Reports [Details]
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. Non Published Reports [Details]
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. Non Published Reports [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