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Coaching Pedagogy and Practice

The structure and management of learning to support individuals in their learning of sport-specific skills is a well debated topic within sports coaching across all levels of performance. The learners’ needs within sport are both complex and personal therefore, different practices to enable fulfilment of these needs by each individual will result in more and better quality participation in sport. Coaches have a prominent role in the athletes’ development as a sports person and therefore, identifying and engaging in good and effective coaching practice is vital for continuation of participation and success in competition within sport.



Dr Julia West (Chair) Julia currently lectures in the area of sport and exercise science and coaches football, more specifically goalkeepers, in her spare time. Julia’s research interests stem mainly from her experiences whilst coaching and include: motivation and performance; issues and experiences relating to gender and coaching and; football goalkeepers in general. Her coaching experience has also been used effectively in the work place setting where Julia has successfully worked with many individuals to help develop and enhance their performance. Her journey includes mentoring coaches from various sports and in particular providing development opportunities for goalkeeper coaches.

Dr Andy Cale - Andy completed his PhD at Loughborough University in Sports Psychology and has worked as an applied sports psychologist, football coach and Coach Educator with The Football Association with all of the England Youth Teams. He applied his knowledge base and to coach education and development and now works extensively with a range of National Governing Bodies. He is particularly interested in the role of mentoring and the coach learning journey.

Polly Christian - Polly is a course leader for Cricket coaching and management degree pathway. She has just started a PhD at the University of Birmingham to investigate the pedagogic inferences associated with the professional development of coaches with disabilities. Polly’s research interests lie in the field of sports coaching comprising a variety of contemporary perspectives surrounding under-represented groups in coaching. In addition, Polly has also examined cultural aspects within an educational setting.

Chris Cattell - Chris is a course leader for HND in Sport, Coaching and Physical Education. He is an experienced lecturer in both FE and HE on a range of sports-related courses. His areas of interest include physical activity and health; sports coaching; disability sport and inclusive practice. He has a passion for endurance sports and in particular triathlon. Chris’s current coaching research interests specifically relate to the process and provision of endurance-based disability sports.

Hannah Crowther - Hannah currently works as the Sports Performance Coordinator at UW, whilst also undertaking a MSc Sports Coaching Science. In her role, she works with 12 performance teams along with managing a team of coaches for the respective sports. Linking with this, she has an interest in mentoring and coach development. Hannah also works with UW’s scholarship athletes and TASS athletes, from this she has an interest in athletes managing dual careers and supporting them in succeeding in both academia and performance. Current research involves the impact of an embedded formal coach education qualification in higher education as part of her MSc independent study.

Rebecca Foster - Rebecca Foster is PE Course Leader and Senior Lecturer in Adapted Physical Education.  Throughout her time at Worcester Rebecca has delivered on all disability modules offered by the Institute of Sports and Exercise Science. More recently she has produced the ‘Busy Lecturer’s Guide to Inclusive Practice’ to assist colleagues in developing their inclusive pedagogy. Her research profile is based around disability issues, specifically Deaf issues and that of PE school experiences through to elite Deaf sport. She has written a paper alongside colleagues on the value of High Quality PE in schools. Rebecca is also the Deaflympics Athletics Team Manager who is underway with selecting the team for the forthcoming Deaflympics in Samusn, Turkey in 2017.

John Francis - John Francis is currently completing his PhD at the University where he is examining the impact of performance analysis in elite men’s wheelchair basketball during the Rio Paralympic Cycle. John has previously explored coaches and players perceptions regarding the use of performance analysis within elite rugby union and the implications the sport science discipline has on training and match preparations.

Jaime Guinan – Jaime is currently a Teaching Fellow in Sport, Coaching & Physical Education and has worked with a female football academy team for the past 10 years. She holds professional qualifications in football, netball and fitness instructing and hopes to pursue research within coach education to broaden her knowledge within these disciplines. The main research focus that Jaime is interested in is the underrepresentation of females within football coaching, examining the barriers, participation levels and social influences that cause this. Other aspects include the underrepresentation and perceptions of female coaches and instructors within the sport and fitness industry identifying women’s experiences and challenges within a male dominated industry.

Glyn Harding – Glyn’s role at the university can be summarised through working with and supporting students to develop their coaching skills alongside their academic achievement. Glyn’s success within this role is very clear with students attaining level 3 coaching awards, first class honours degrees, MSc degrees and a high percentage of student employment in coaching environments. As a UEFA A licence coach and FA Coach Educator over the last 10 years Glyn has acted as Mentor to a wide range of elite and grass roots coaches in a number of sports. He has taken a lead role in developing coaches and teachers in a range of “disability sport careers”. His research interests include coach mentoring, disability coaching and a strong interest in sport and dementia.

Michelle Morgan - Michelle is currently a Lecturing Practitioner in Sports Coaching Science and is a Level 3 Netball Coach. Michelle has recently undertaken a project with UW colleagues looking at the coaching software ‘Coach Logic’ and its use to facilitate athletes learning. Michelle’s additional areas of interest sit within the impact of sport on education and the effect coaches’ gender has on athletes’ perceptions.

David Mycock - David is course leader for Sports Coaching Science with disability sport and is link tutor with universities in the Czech Republic. David was the first successful Masters International Coaching Science Studentship for ISES. David consults and researches in the field of coaching science and coaches externally in elite level football. His particular areas of research interest include: skill acquisition of international male elite youth academy players; psycho-social and psycho-physio aspects of disability sports players and approaches to coaching; and blind and visually impaired football players and coaches. He has helped evolve the game of blind futsal and is a qualified FA Tutor. David is the Head Coach of Worcester Blind FC and also coaches the England and Great Britain Blind Futsal teams. David has a variety of NGB Awards and as an ex-professional football player is a member of the Professional Footballers Association.

Dr Don Vinson - Don Vinson is currently engaged in a number of projects concerning coaching pedagogy and coach learning.  Don is currently researching the impact of the Aspire III talent and development coach development programme which is designed and facilitated by Sports Coach UK.  Additionally, Don is currently working with the Football Association to investigate the professional learning of senior mentors and coach educators within the organisation.  Alongside this, Don is also leading several projects concerning the development of nonlinear coaching practice including research involving Coach Logic and further work which will be launched as part of the Worcester Online Sports Coaching Portal in 2017.

Craig Williams - Craig successfully blends his passion for student learning, sports coaching science and employability in his dual role as the University Coach Education & Development Manager and as a University tutor on a variety of Work Based Learning and Sports Coaching Science Modules within the Institute of Sport & Exercise Science. Craig has successfully created a vocational coach education programme for University students and community coaches to secure accredited coach education and relevant coaching and officiating CPD. These qualifications and opportunities are seen as essential to securing coaching and officiating opportunities. Craig is an FA Accredited Coach Educator and a coaching mentor within the Universities Performance Sports Programme. Craig’s research interests include effects of vocational awards into degree level programmes and a focus on student coach’s formal and informal learning experiences.

Current Projects:

  • Professional coach education learning environments - UEFA B women’s only course project. 
  • Exploring the nature of Communities of Practice with an elite Coach Development programme (FA)/ Professional Learning in Landscapes of Practice (coach educators and mentors in football).
  • Coach Logic and athlete learning.
  • Aspire III talent and performance coach development programme evaluation (Sports Coach UK).
  • The Worcester Online Sports Coaching Portal.


Allison, W., Abraham, A. and Cale, A. (2016) Advances in Coach Education and Development: From Research to Practice. Routledge, New York.

Cale, A. and Abraham, A. (2016) ‘Future Directions in Coaching Research’. In Advances in Coach Education and Development: From Research to Practice. Routledge, New York.

Francis, J and Jones, G. (2014) ‘Elite rugby union players perceptions towards performance analysis’. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 14, pp.188-207

Vinson, D., Brady, A., Moreland, B. and Judge, N.(2016) ‘Exploring Coach Behaviours, Session Contexts and Key Stakeholder Perceptions of Non-linear Coaching Approaches in Youth Sport’, International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 11 (1). pp. 54-68. ISSN Print: 1747-9541

Vinson, D., Cale, A., Christian, P., Huckle, V., Faulkner, C., and Jones, G. (2016) ‘An Evaluation of the Aspire III Talent and Performance Coach Development Programme’, Leeds: National Coaching Foundation.

Vinson, D., Christian, P., Jones, V., Matthews, J., Williams, C. and Peters, D. M. (2015) ‘Investigating the culture of coach education in the UK: The supporting and promoting inclusive coach education (SPICE) project’, Leeds: National Coaching Foundation.

Vinson, D., Christian, P., Jones, V., Williams, C. and Peters, D.M. (2016) ‘Exploring How Well UK Coach Education Meets the Needs of Waomen Sports Coaches’, International Sport Coaching Journal, 3 (3). pp. 287-302. ISSN Print 2328-918X Online 2328-9198

Vinson, D. and Peters, D.M. (2016) ‘Position-specific Performance Indicators that Discriminate between Successful and Unsuccessful Teams in Elite Women’s Indoor Field Hockey: Implications for Coaching’, Journal of Sports Sciences, 34 (4). pp. 311-320. ISSN Print: 0264-0414 Online: 1466-447X 

Conference Publications

Christian, P., De Martin Silva, L., Legge, T., & Chadwick, R. (2015) Significant Moments and People in Female Coaching Journeys, 3rd International Coaching Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe, 9th-10th September.

Francis, J., Molnar, G., Donovan, M. & Peters, D.M. (2015) Trust within a high performance sport: A performance analyst’s perspective. British Association of Sport and Exercise Science Conference 2015, St Georges Park, UK

Muir, A., Vinson, D., Beeching, K., Morgan, M., and Jones, G. (2015) Investigating the use of the Coach Logic platform to facilitate collaborative evaluation of individual and team performance in training and match environments amongst athletes and coaching staff, 10th International Conference of the International Council for Coaching Excellence, Vierumäki, Finland, 23rd-25th August.

Vinson, D., Watson, N., and Parker, A. (2016) Servant Leadership and sports coaching, Inaugural Global Congress for Sport and Christianity, York St John University, 24th-28th August 2016.Vinson, D., (2016) A five-year action research project investigating coach and athlete perceptions of a games-based coaching approach in high-performance domestic women’s field hockey, 6th International Teaching Games for Understanding Conference, Sport University of Cologne, Germany, 25th-27th July 2016.

Vinson, D., Beeching, K., Morgan, M., and Jones, G. (2015) Investigating the use of the Coach Logic platform to facilitate collaborative evaluation of individual and team performance in training and match environments amongst athletes and coaching staff, 3rd International Coaching Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe, 9th-10th September.

Vinson, D., Christian, P., Jones, V., Matthews, J., Williams, C., and Peters, D. (2015) Investigating the culture of coach education in the UK: The Supporting and Promoting Inclusive Coach Education (SPICE) project, 3rd International Coaching Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe, 9th-10th September.

Williams, C. (2013) (invited speaker). University and Community Club Development Strategies within Wheelchair Basketball. Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Coaching Conference. Loughborough

Williams, C. (2009) Developing Creativity in Teaching Physical Education, Competencies of a Physical Education Teacher in 21st Century, 5th FIEP European Congress, Niš, Serbia, 23rd- 26th September