Movement and Skill Acquisition Ireland hosts its second webinar series – Dr. Phil Kearney

Movement and Skill Acquisition Ireland are hosting their second online webinar series with the theme of: ‘Women who have changed the discussion’. Dr Phil Kearney from the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Limerick is one of the co-founders of this organisation and also one of the organisers of the series. In this blog, he tells us more about skill acquisition, and about the series.

What is Movement & Skill Acquisition Ireland?

Movement and Skill Acquisition Ireland was formed in 2017 by Dr Ed Coughlan (Cork Institute of Technology), Oliver Logan (British Swimming), Dr Phil Kearney (University of Limerick) and Alan Dunton (Student representative; Cork Institute of Technology) to raise awareness of the science of skill acquisition within Ireland.

What is your latest webinar series about?

Due to Covid, our planned second conference was converted at late notice to a webinar series. Our first speaker in that series was former Ireland field hockey captain and current England U18s coach Sarah Kelleher. In the lead up to the conference, Sarah spoke passionately about the need for greater efforts to raise the profile of female coaches in an interview with the Irish Examiner: “We need more stories, more voices”. In response to Sarah’s call, we chose the theme ‘Women who have changed the discussion’ for our second series. The series will feature one webinar a week for 8 weeks, with guests delivering a 30 minute presentation and then engaging in a Q&A with the online audience.

Who is speaking in the series?

We have a really exciting line up, including researchers and coaches, from Ireland and abroad.

Session One

Our first session hosted Professor Gabrielle Wulf and Dr Rebecca Lewthwaite, who provided a detailed insight into how providing choice, and subtle changes in the language used in instruction, can accelerate learning within the context of sports performance or rehabilitation. You can watch their presentation below.

Session Two

Our second session featured Professor Nicola Hodges, whose work ranges from laboratory studies of how observation enhances learning, to analyses of the role of organized practice and free play in the development of expertise in soccer players. You can see Professor Hodges full presentation below.


Upcoming sessions include:

  • Dr Laura Finnegan, leader of the Football Research Group at Waterford Institute of Technology,
  • Niamh Buffini, former Taekwondo World Champion who is now coaching Olympic and Paralympic athletes;
  • Melanie Marshall, three time Olympian and three time British Coach of the Year, coach to World record holding swimmer Adam Peaty
  • A Panel Discussion on Women in Coaching

Where can I find out more?

Registration information for each talk is released on the Movement & Skill Acquisition Ireland Twitter and Facebook pages in the week ahead of each session. Register for the 3rd of the MSAI2020 Women Who Changed the Discussion Series below. 

You can catch up on missed sessions on our YouTube channel.

Phil Kearney round
Dr Phil Kearney is the Course Director of the MSc Applied Sports Coaching within the PESS Department here at the University of Limerick. View Phil’s profile  Contact:

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