Dr Ed Cope


  • Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching

Ed graduated with a BSc degree in Sport Coaching (2009) and an MSc in Sports Coaching Science (2011) from Leeds Beckett University and the University of Worcester respectively. In 2014, he completed his PhD entitled “The Pedagogical Practices of Children’s Sports Coaches and their formation” at the University of Bedfordshire, which was supervised by Professor Stephen Harvey and Professor David Kirk. Ed has had lecturing positions in Sports Coaching at Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Hull. Most recently Ed worked at the English Football Association, where he was responsible for the design and development of their education courses. Ed took up the role of Lecturer in Sports Coaching at Loughborough University in 2019, becoming a Senior Lecturer in January 2024.

Ed’s main research interest is centred on understanding the coaching practices and behaviours of sports coaches and the impact these have on athlete learning and development. As well as this, Ed is interested in the role of the coach developer and how they best support coaches’ development. Ed’s other significant research area explores the design and development of coach education and learning in supporting coaches’ learning. 

Research Projects

  • £45,000: British Wheelchair Basketball. January 2021 – January 2024. An evaluation of the Inspire a Generation programme. Role: Co-Investigator.
  • £6,000: The Professional Footballers Association. March 2020 – June 2020. The perspectives of coaches and senior coaches to inform the development of the PFA UEFA B course. Role: Principle Researcher.
  • £3,621: Anglia Ruskin University. June 2017 – December 2017. How critical reflection develops in an online distance learning community of sports coaching students. Role: Co-Principle Investigator.
  • €488,375.04: Anti-Doping Values in Coach Education (ADVICE). (January 2017- December, 2019; Funding Body = Erasmus+, Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, and the European Union Call on Sport. Role: Co-Investigator).
  • £19,681: Sport England: Review of research and evidence on factors that impact on children’s sport and physical activity behaviours and attitudesRole: Principal Author
  • £20,000: Hull City Football Club. A season long investigation into the practice and competition behaviours of academy football coaches. Role: Principal Author
  • £8,000: An evaluation of an online learning platform on coaches’ practice funded by Sports Coach UK (scUK). Role: Principal Author
  • £4,500: Football Consultant in Coaching Pedagogy and Reflective Practice funded by Anglia Ruskin University. Role: Principal Author
  • £3,500: ‘Children’s perceptions of the benefits and outcomes of taking part in sport in physical activity’ funded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Role: Principal Author
  • The Premier League – Research Consultant evaluating and reviewing their School Sports and PE programme
  • A member of an expert panel for Nike’s sports participation projects
  • The Professional Golf Association (PGA) – ‘Why do children take part in, and remain involved in sport: implications for children's sport coaches’
  • Youth Sport Trust (YST) - National Impact Evaluation of the Gifted and Talented Physical Education and Sport Programme
  • University of Lincoln (2015 – 2018) – BSc Sports Development and Coaching
  • Liverpool John Moores University (2016 – present) – BSc Sports Coaching
  • Staffordshire University (2019 – Present) – MSc in Sports Coaching

Featured publications

  • Hall, J., Cope, E., Townsend, R., & Nicholls, A. (2020). Investigating the alignment between coaches’ ideological beliefs and academy philosophy in professional youth football. Sport Education and Society. DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2020.1856061
  • Dempsey, N.M., Cope, E., Richardson, D.J., Littlewood, M.A., & Cronin, C. (2020). Less may be more: How do Coach Developers Reproduce Learner-Centred Policy in Practice? Sports Coaching Review. DOI: 10.1080/21640629.2020.1866851
  • Dempsey, N.M., Richardson, D.J., Cope, E., & Cronin, C.J. (2020). Creating and Disseminating Coach Education Policy: A case of Formal Coach Education in Grassroots Football. Sport, Education and Society. DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2020.1802711
  • Cope, E. & Cushion, C. (2020). A move towards reconceptualising direct instruction in sport coaching pedagogy. Impact, issue 10, pp. 70-73.
  • Cope, E., Cushion, C.J., Harvey, S., & Partington, M. (2020). Investigating the impact of a Freirean informed coach education programme, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, DOI: 10.1080/17408989.2020.1800619
  • Chapman, R., Richardson, D., Cope, E., & Cronin, C. (2020). Learning from the past: a Freirean analysis of FA coach education since 1967. Sport, Education and Society. DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2019.1654989
  • Cope, E., & Partington, M. (Eds.) (2019). Sports Coaching: A Theoretical and Practical Guide. London: Routledge.
  • Chapman, R., Richardson, D., Cope, E., & Cronin, C. (2019). Learning from the past: a Freirean analysis of FA coach education since 1967. Sport, Education and Society. DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2019.1654989
  • Bailey, R., Madigan, D., Cope, E., & Nicholls, A. (2018). The Prevalence of Pseudoscientific Ideas and Neuromyths among Sports Coaches. Frontiers in Psychologydoi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00641
  • Harvey, S., Voelker, D., Cope, E. & Dieffenbach. (2017). Navigating the Leadership Labyrinth: Barriers and Supports of a Woman Collegiate Coach in a 20-Year Leadership Role. Sports Coaching Review, 7(1), pp. 45-62. DOI: 10.1080/21640629.2017.1353232
  • Cope, E., Partington, M., & Harvey, S. (2016). A review of a systematic observation method in coaching research from 1997-2016. Journal of Sport Sciences, 35(20), pp. 2042-2050. DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2016.1252463
  • Cope, E., Partington, M., Cushion, C. J., & Harvey, S. (2016). An investigation of professional top-level youth football coaches’ questioning practice. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health8(4), 380-393. DOI: 10.1080/2159676X.2016.1157829
  • Partington, M., Cushion, C. J., Cope, E., & Harvey, S. (2015). The impact of video feedback on professional youth football coaches’ reflection and practice behaviour: a longitudinal investigation of behaviour change. Reflective practice16(5), 700-716. DOI: 10.1080/14623943.2015.1071707
  • Cope, E., Harvey, S. & Kirk, D. (2015). Reflections on using child-centered research methods in sports coaching. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 7(1), 88-108. DOI: 10.1080/2159676X.2013.877959
  • Harvey, S., Cushion, C., Cope, E. & Muir, B. (2013). A season long investigation into the coaching behaviours of three collegiate coaches as a function of practice state. Sports Coaching Review, 2(1),13-32. DOI: 10.1080/21640629.2013.837238
  • Cope, E., Bailey, R. & Pearce, G. (2013). Why do children take part in, and remain involved in sport? A literature review and discussion of implications for sports coaches. International Journal of Coaching Science, 7(1), pp. 55-74.