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Dr David Piggott


About Dr David Piggott

David is currently course leader for the MSc in Sport Coaching. He received his PhD from Loughborough University in 2008 and spent 2018-2020 as Research Lead in the Performance Insights Department at the English FA.

David's first job in HE was at the University of Lincoln, where he spent 7 years leading the undergraduate programme in Sport Development and Coaching. He moved to Leeds Beckett in 2013 and spent the next 5 years teaching across the degree and leading the MSc in Sport Coaching. In 2018 he moved to the FA to become Research Lead in the Performance Insights Department, where he led and commissioned research projects on Talent ID and Development working with the English national teams. He returned to Leeds Beckett in 2020.

David’s main research focus is effective coach development. He has delivered several funded research projects for diverse sporting bodies, including the ECB, UEFA, The FA, Premier League and UK Sport, whilst also publishing widely in this field. Most recently, David was part of the team that devised and delivered the first postgraduate course in Coach Development for the FA’s Professional Game Team. David has also been a practicing coach developer and coach educator (for Basketball England) and has consulted widely in the UK, for NGBs such as England Handball, The FA, The Premier League, GB Sailing, Cycling and Taekwondo.

David’s other research interests lie in curriculum development in sport, understanding peak experiences and flow states, and talent ID and development (stemming from his work at the FA). He also has a side interest in the philosophy of science and sociology of knowledge leading to the co-authoring of a recent book entitled ‘Rethinking Sport and Exercise Psychology Research’ (Palgrave Macmillan).

Current Teaching

  • MSc Course Leader
  •  MSc Understanding and Analysing Sport Performance
  • BSc Model-Based Coaching (Level 6)

Research Interests

David's current research focusses on understanding coach learners (with Gary Hodgson) coach development strategies (with Bob Muir) and athlete to coach transitions (with Alex Blackett). This research informs the ongoing delivery of our work with the FA's Professional Game Team, who support coaches working across 92 professional football clubs. This work also informs programmes and consultancy work conducted with UK Sport and the EIS.

David is also part of an international research group that is trying to understand the nature of flow states (and other optimal states) in sport. Specifically, he is interested in how coaches can help to promote, or create the conditions for, flow states in their sports.

Selected Publications

Journal articles (22)

Books (1)

Chapters (3)

  • North J; Piggott D; Lara-Bercial S; Abraham A; Muir B (2019) The professionalisation of sport coaching. In: Thelwell R; Dicks M Professional advances in sports coaching: Research and practice. London: Routledge, pp. 3-21.
  • Fletcher TE; Piggott D; North J (2017) Problems at the boundary'? South Asians, Coaching and Cricket. In: Sport, Leisure and Social Justice. : , pp. .
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315660356
  • Fletcher TE; Piggott D; North J (2016) South Asian cricket coaches. In: Long J; Fletcher T; Watson R Sport, leisure and social justice. : Routledge, pp. .

Conference contributions (3)

  • Piggott D (2015) An(other) conceptual model for coach learning Manchester Metropolitan University 09/09/2015.
    View Repository Record
  • Piggott D; Lara-Bercial S (2015) Principles of effective curriculum design for sports coaches Finland 22/08/2015.
    View Repository Record
  • Piggott D; Fletcher T (2015) Exploring the barriers to South Asian cricket players' entry and progression in coaching Durham University 06/01/2015.
    View Repository Record

Conference proceedings (peer reviewed) (12)

  • Piggott D; Bishop D; Willmott A (2012) Reflecting on the use of wikis and blogs as summative assessments.. In: Researching Advancing and Inspiring Student Engagement (RAISE) Conference Southampton, UK 12/09/2012 00:00:00. : , pp. .
  • Piggott D; Leslie G; Poller G (2012) Widening participation in English golf clubs.. In: International Sociology of Sport Association Glasgow, UK 16/07/2012 00:00:00. : , pp. .
  • Piggott D (2012) Creating an open, online TGfU learning community: the example of WikiCoach.. In: 5th International TGfU Conference Loughborough, UK 14/07/2012 00:00:00. : , pp. .
  • Piggott D (2010) The grounded theory debate in sport psychology: essentialism, anarchism or critical rationalism?. In: British Psychological Society (Division of Sport Psychology) London, UK 13/12/2010 00:00:00. : , pp. .
  • Piggott D (2010) Open Societies in coach education: from theory to practice?. In: European Sport Development Network Hertfordshire, UK 10/09/2010 00:00:00. : , pp. .
  • Piggott D (2009) New insights on youth football in England: a grounded theory of socialization experiences.. In: Leisure Studies Association Canterbury, UK 07/07/2009 00:00:00. : , pp. .
  • Piggott D (2009) Governing knowledge in coaching.. In: Political Studies Association London, UK 01/03/2009 00:00:00. : , pp. .
  • Piggott D (2008) Popper's evolutionary epistemology as a meta-structure for teaching undergraduate research methods.. In: European Congress of Methodology Oviedo, Spain 08/07/2008 00:00:00. : , pp. .
  • Piggott D (2008) Stress, creativity, enjoyment and learning in youth football.. In: Researching Youth Football Loughborough, UK 01/09/2008 00:00:00. : , pp. .
  • Piggott D (2006) Young people's experiences of soccer in England: a grounded theory.. In: European Association of Sport Management Nicosia, Cyprus 01/09/2006 00:00:00. : , pp. .
  • Piggott D; Weed M (2005) Innovation in evaluation: methodological considerations in researching young people's perceptions of youth sport policy.. In: European Association of Sport Management Newcastle, UK 01/09/2005 00:00:00. : , pp. .
  • Piggott D (2005) Doing grounded theory research in youth soccer.. In: Qualitative Conference in Sport and Exercise Liverpool, UK 01/07/2005 00:00:00. : , pp. .

Reports (3)

  • North J; Piggott D; Lyle J; Lara-Bercial S; Muir R; Petrovic L; Norman L; Abraham A; Shaw W (2016) Research study on the UEFA Coaching Convention: A research report for UEFA.
  • Fletcher TE; Piggott D; North J; Hylton K; Gilbert S; Norman L (2014) Exploring the barriers to South Asian cricket players' entry and progression in coaching. England and Wales Cricket Board.
    View Repository Record
  • Piggott D; Leslie G; Poller G (2011) Widening Participation in Golf: Barriers to Participation and GolfMark. University of Lincoln: English Golf Union.
    View Repository Record
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