Coach Developers and Performance Analysts

The Coach Developer and Performance Analyst Research Group focuses on contributing to the professional education and role development of these emerging professions.  The group draws on a range of educational and social psychology theories to facilitate sport coaches’ and performance analysts’ learning. 

About the group


Through generating collaborative research with some of the UK’s most influential National Sport Organisations (e.g., UK Sport, UK Coaching), National Governing Bodies (e.g., The Football Association, British Rowing) and professional clubs (e.g., Severn Stars, Wolverhampton Wanderers), this research group also seeks to shape how sport coaches’ and performance analysts’ roles evolve with the ever-changing nature of contemporary sport.

Research themes

Professional learning of coaches and Coach Developers

Research within this theme explores value creation in coaches' and Coach Developers' Landscapes of Practice.  Group members work with a wide range of external partners to explore the planning, delivery and evaluation of formal, informal and non-formal experiences. Recent research has included the contemporaneous evaluation of UK Sport's Coaching in High Performance Sport (CiHPS) programme which sort to enhance the practice of some of Great Britain's leading coaches as they prepare for Paris 2024 and Milano-Cortina 2026.   


Over the last five years, we have also planned, delivered, and evaluated a learning programme for Coach Developers within the Football Association.

In both of these projects we have sought to utilize the latest (fourth) iteration of Wenger-Trayner and Wenger-Trayner’s (2020) social theory of learning, drawing explicitly on the concepts of identity and boundary interactions. 

By exploring the concepts of framing and learning loops within the Value Creation Framework we are privileged to help facilitate the ongoing professional development and practice of a wide range of coaches and Coach Developers across the UK.

The role and function of Performance Analysts

This theme explores an array of applied research in performance analysis with elite able-bodied and disabled sports teams.  

Track runners getting ready to run

Group members have provided support to a variety of teams across the English Football League and during six European Championships, three World Championships, one World Cup and a Paralympic Games.

Our research in performance analysis falls into two themes: “Profiling and Predicting Performance” and “Application of Performance Analysis into Practice”. Over the last five years, we have looked to profile and predict a range of performances in both able-bodied and disability sports. The knowledge gained, regarding the key technical and tactical determinants of success, has directly impacted on how teams prepare strategically for competition on the world stage.

More recently, we have also turned our attention to how the objective data and information gained from performance analysis is perceived and used by coaches, athletes, and member of the wider support team. This work has explored the importance of relationships, trust, micro-politics, and power in delivering an effective performance analysis provision that enhances learning and decision-making. By connecting these two broad themes, we have helped strengthen the awareness of performance analysis and lead to strategic changes at both national and international level.

Key Publications

Professional learning of coaches and Coach Developers

The role and function of Performance Analysts


  • Professor Don Vinson - Lead of 'Professional learning of coaches and Coach Developers'
  • Dr John Francis - Lead of 'The role and function of Performance Analysts'
  • Dr Andy Cale - AC Consulting, Worcester
  • Professor Derek Peters
  • Dr Christian Edwards
  • Michelle Morgan
  • Dan Such
  • Mike Bateman
  • Tom Corden
  • Richard Pepperell
  • Professor Diane Culver - University of Ottawa
  • Dr Michel Milisteted - Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
  • Polly Lasota - Oxford Brookes University
  • Dr Harley-Jean Simpson - Anglia Ruskin University
  • Victoria Huckle - Postgraduate Research Student
  • Nick Clark - Postgraduate Research Student
  • Ian Ridge - Postgraduate Research Student
  • Tim Dudding - Postgraduate Research Student
  • Beth Burgess - Postgraduate Research Student




Current opportunities 

  • Fully-funded PhD studentships with the Coach Developer and Performance Analyst Research Group will be advertised here.

    Approaches from self-supporting PhD students are accepted all year round. Please contact Dr Matthew Cook for an informal discussion.

 Get in touch

For more information on our research or opportunities please get in touch with Don at: