Associate Professor Donna O'Connor

Associate Professor, Coach Education and PDHPE
Coordinator, BEd (HMHE) Honours, and MEd (Coach Education)

A35 - Education Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 93516343
Fax +61 2 93514580

Website Contact details

Biographical details

Donna's doctoral thesis was titled 'An investigation of aetiological factors contributing to groin injuries in professional rugby league players'. Her research and conference presentations cover athletic profiling, science and football, optimising performance, injury prevention and coach education.

As a trainer and consultant, Donna has worked with the Australian women's basketball team, Canadian Olympic athletics team, the Wallabies coaching staff, Australian touch football teams, North Queensland Cowboys and national league teams in basketball and netball.

Research interests

Health and sport

  • Sports performance

Learning sciences; psychology of education

  • Learning technologies and new media

Research on teaching and learning

  • Health and physical education and development

Keywords: coaching effectiveness, athlete development, youth sport coaching, coach learning, high performance sport

Current research students

Project title Degree Research student
the development of game intelligence in football (soccer) PhD Jaime ARAYA
Team performance indicators in 7 aside rugby union and the impact of statistical evidence on coaching programs. PhD James BARKELL
An analysis of talent development pathways in elite rugby league PhD Balin CUPPLES

Current projects

  • An investigation of junior rugby league (6-12 years). The project will compare demands and participation levels under existing rules to proposed rule changes.Funded by the ARLD (2012)
  • Community junior sport coaching. O'Connor, D. & Cotton, W. (2009-2010). Funded by NSW communities in partnership with Australian Sports Commission, NSW Rugby League and Australian Rugby Union (84,500).
  • Partnerships with local Indigenous community agencies: Do service learning opportunities enhance sociocultural understanding and competence of Human Movement Health Education preservice teachers. Peralta, L.R., O'Connor, D., Cotton, W., Evans, J., & Bennie, A. (2012). Funded by a University of Sydney Strategic Teaching Enhancement Project (STEPs) grant (2011)($25 867).
  • Increasing Indigenous students in higher education: Is participation in sport associated with academic achievement and higher education aspirations among Indigenous students? Peralta, L., O'Connor, D., Cotton, W., Bennie, A. & Burns, K. (2012).Funded by a University of Sydney Widening Participation Grant (2011)($20,900).
  • Coach learning & development. Funded by the Australian Rugby Union (2010-11; $15,000).

Associations

  • Member of the World Congress Science and Football Steering Committee

  • Member of National Rugby League Research Board

Awards and honours

  • Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning 2007, Carrick Australian Awards for University Teaching

  • Vice Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Teaching 2006, University of Sydney

  • Outstanding Teaching Award 2005, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Sydney

  • Vice Chancellor's Award for Systems that Achieve Collective Excellence in Teaching and Learning 2009

  • Faculty of Education and Social Work Teaching Excellence Award 2003

Selected grants

2012

  • Anticipation and decision - making skill: from testing to training; O'Connor D, Goodyear P, Jacobson M, Causer J; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).

2010

  • Australian Rugby Union (ARU) Coach Development Project 2010; O'Connor D, Eddy A; Australian Rugby Union (ARU)/Research Support.

2009

  • Perceptions and Pedagogy of Physical Education; O'Connor D, Crawford S; Coogee Public School/Research Support.
  • Community Junior Sport Coaching Proposal; O'Connor D, Cotton W; New South Wales Sport and Recreation/Research Support.

2006

  • Evaluation of Modified Games Program; O'Connor D; Australian Rugby League/Australian Rugby League Development.

2004

  • Developing the field of coach education: a case study of elite coaches; O'Connor D; DVC Research/Research and Development Scheme: Newly Appointed Staff (NAS).

Selected publications & creative works

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Book Chapters

  • Barkell, J., O'Connor, D. (2013). A case study of coach practices in skill acquisition training. In Hiroyuki Nunome, Barry Drust, Brian Dawson (Eds.), Science and Football VII: The Proceedings of the Seventh World Congress on Science and Football, (pp. 355-360). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
  • O'Connor, D. (2013). A prospective study of injuries sustained during a National Rugby League season. In Hiroyuki Nunome, Barry Drust, Brian Dawson (Eds.), Science and Football VII: The Proceedings of the Seventh World Congress on Science and Football, (pp. 329-334). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
  • O'Connor, D. (2013). Coaching practice: turning the camera on yourself. In Hiroyuki Nunome, Barry Drust, Brian Dawson (Eds.), Science and Football VII: The Proceedings of the Seventh World Congress on Science and Football, (pp. 397-402). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
  • Bennie, A., O'Connor, D. (2013). Perceptions of effective coaching in Australian professional team sports. In Hiroyuki Nunome, Barry Drust, Brian Dawson (Eds.), Science and Football VII: The Proceedings of the Seventh World Congress on Science and Football, (pp. 367-372). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
  • Cotton, W., O'Connor, D. (2013). The Effect of a Training Evaluation Tool on Youth Coaches. In Hiroyuki Nunome, Barry Drust, Brian Dawson (Eds.), Science and Football VII: The Proceedings of the Seventh World Congress on Science and Football, (pp. 385-390). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
  • O'Connor, D. (2012). Challenges facing youth coaches. In Jennifer A. ODea (Eds.), Current Issues and Controversies in School and Community Health, Sport and Physical Education, (pp. 283-294). New York, USA: Nova Science Publishers.
  • O'Connor, D., Cupples, B. (2012). Striving for excellence: the talent identification and development pathway. In Jennifer A. ODea (Eds.), Current Issues and Controversies in School and Community Health, Sport and Physical Education, (pp. 307-319). New York, USA: Nova Science Publishers.
  • O'Connor, D. (2012). Using performance technology in coaching: is it only for the elite? In Jennifer A. ODea (Eds.), Current Issues and Controversies in School and Community Health, Sport and Physical Education, (pp. 329-339). New York, USA: Nova Science Publishers.
  • O'Connor, D. (2011). Factors influencing talent identification and athlete development in youth sport. In S. Georgakis and K. Russell (Eds.), Youth Sport in Australia, (pp. 193-210). Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.
  • O'Connor, D. (2009). Research informing practice: implications of rule changes to modified rugby league. In Thomas Reilly and Feza Korkusuz (Eds.), Science and Football VI: The Proceedings of the Sixth World Congress on Science and Football, (pp. 461-466). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • O'Connor, D. (2002). Time motion analysis of elite Touch players. In Reilly, T Spinks, W. & Murphy, A. (Eds.), Science and Football IV, (pp. 126-131). London: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.

Journals

  • Huxley, D., O'Connor, D., Healey, P. (2014). An examination of the training profiles and injuries in elite youth track and field athletes. European Journal of Sport Science, 14(2), 185-192. [More Information]
  • Cobley, S., Hanratty, M., O'Connor, D., Cotton, W. (2014). First club location and relative age as influences on being a professional Australian Rugby League player. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 9(2), 335-346. [More Information]
  • Barkell, J., O'Connor, D., Cotton, W. (2013). An examination of the progression from national schoolboy to senior representation in Australian rugby union. University of Sydney Papers in Human Movement, Health and Coach Education, 2, 1-16.
  • Odlum, E., O'Connor, D. (2012). An investigation into the birth dates, and anthropometric and physiological characteristics of junior club and representative netball players. University of Sydney Papers in Human Movement, Health and Coach Education, 1, 95-106.
  • Bennie, A., O'Connor, D. (2012). Coach-athlete Relationships: A Qualitative Study of Professional Sport Teams in Australia. International Journal of Sport and Health Science, 10, 58-64. [More Information]
  • Matafonov, A., O'Connor, D. (2012). Injury surveillance: A study to identify factors contributing to football injuries in the NSW Premier League. University of Sydney Papers in Human Movement, Health and Coach Education, 1, 61-72.
  • Bennie, A., O'Connor, D. (2012). Perceptions and Strategies of Effective Coaching Leadership: A Qualitative Investigation of Professional Coaches and Players. International Journal of Sport and Health Science, 10, 82-89. [More Information]
  • Harris, L., O'Connor, D. (2012). The effect of field dimension on technical demands in youth small-sided football games. University of Sydney Papers in Human Movement, Health and Coach Education, 1, 73-84.
  • Hanratty, M., O'Connor, D. (2012). Understanding Expert Knowledge: A Case Study of Knowledge Acquisition in Elite Rugby League Strength and Conditioning Coaches. International Journal of Coaching Science, 6(1), 45-63.
  • Bennie, A., O'Connor, D. (2011). An Effective Coaching Model: The Perceptions and Strategies of Professional Team Sport Coaches and Players in Australia. International Journal of Sport and Health Science, 9, 98-104.
  • O'Connor, D. (2011). Enhancing Coach-Parent Relationships in Youth Sports: Increasing Harmony and Minimising Hassle: A Commentary. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 6(1), 49-52. [More Information]
  • Cupples, B., O'Connor, D. (2011). The Development of Position-Specific Performance Indicators in Elite Youth Rugby League: A Coach's Perspective. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 6(1), 125-142. [More Information]
  • Bennie, A., O'Connor, D. (2010). Coaching Philosophies: Perceptions from Professional Cricket, Rugby League and Rugby Union Players and Coaches in Australia. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 5(2), 309-320.
  • Ewing, R., Freeman, M., Barrie, S., Bell, A., O'Connor, D., Waugh, F., Sykes, C. (2008). Building community in academic settings: the importance of flexibility in a structured mentoring program. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 16(3), 294-310.
  • Baker, D., Mitchell, J., Boyle, D., Currell, S., Currell, P., Wilson, G., Bird, S., O'Connor, D., Jones, J. (2008). Position Stand-Resistance Training for Children and Youth. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning, 16(1), 35-42.
  • Baker, D., Mitchell, J., Boyle, D., Currell, S., Currell, P., Wilson, G., Bird, S., O'Connor, D., Jones, J. (2008). Position Stand-Resistance Training for Children and Youth Part 2. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning, 16(2), 46-54.
  • Baker, D., Mitchell, J., Boyle, D., Currell, S., Currell, P., Wilson, G., Bird, S., O'Connor, D., Jones, J. (2008). Position Stand-Resistance Training for Children and Youth. Part 3. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning, 16(3), 58-74.
  • Bennie, A., O'Connor, D. (2006). Athletic transition: an investigation of elite track and field participation in the post high school years. Change: Transformations in Education, 9(1), 59-68.
  • O'Connor, D., Crowe, M., Spinks, W. (2006). Effects of static stretching on leg power during cycling. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 46(1), 52-56.
  • O'Connor, D., Marcus, G. (2006). Evaluating the levels of engagement of learners in a postgraduate coach education course. International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, 2(2), 155-160.
  • O'Connor, D., Bennie, A. (2006). The retention of youth sport coaches. Change: Transformations in Education, 9(1), 27-38.
  • O'Connor, D. (2004). Groin Injuries In Professional Rugby League Players: A Prospective Study. Journal of Sports Sciences, 22(7), 629-636.
  • Bennie, A., O'Connor, D. (2004). Running Into Transition: A Study Of Elite Track And Field Athletes. Modern Athlete and Coach, 42(2), 19-24.

Conferences

  • Laws, K., Waugh, F., O'Connor, D., Napier, M., Wikramanayake, D. (2010). Global citizenship and the internationalised classroom: What students think. Internationalising Learning and Teaching in Academic Settings: Engagement, Collaboration and Sustainability, Australia: Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney.
  • Ewing, R., Freeman, M., Bell, A., Barrie, S., O'Connor, D., Shields, J., Spicer, P., Waugh, F. (2007). The challenge of mentoring in academic settings: A pilot study. AARE's 36th Annual International Education Research Conference - Adelaide 2006, Melbourne: Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE).

Report

  • O'Connor, D., Cotton, W. (2010). Community Junior Sport Coaching, Part 2. Final report, December 2010.

Research Reports

  • O'Connor, D., Cotton, W. (2014). An evaluation of the modifications to Mini and Mod Games in Junior Rugby League. Final report, March 2014, Australia: .
  • O'Connor, D., Cotton, W. (2009). Community Junior Sport Coaching: Final Report, November 2009, November 2009, (pp. 1 - 97). Canberra, Australia: Australian Sports Commission. [More Information]

2014

  • O'Connor, D., Cotton, W. (2014). An evaluation of the modifications to Mini and Mod Games in Junior Rugby League. Final report, March 2014, Australia: .
  • Huxley, D., O'Connor, D., Healey, P. (2014). An examination of the training profiles and injuries in elite youth track and field athletes. European Journal of Sport Science, 14(2), 185-192. [More Information]
  • Cobley, S., Hanratty, M., O'Connor, D., Cotton, W. (2014). First club location and relative age as influences on being a professional Australian Rugby League player. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 9(2), 335-346. [More Information]

2013

  • Barkell, J., O'Connor, D. (2013). A case study of coach practices in skill acquisition training. In Hiroyuki Nunome, Barry Drust, Brian Dawson (Eds.), Science and Football VII: The Proceedings of the Seventh World Congress on Science and Football, (pp. 355-360). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
  • O'Connor, D. (2013). A prospective study of injuries sustained during a National Rugby League season. In Hiroyuki Nunome, Barry Drust, Brian Dawson (Eds.), Science and Football VII: The Proceedings of the Seventh World Congress on Science and Football, (pp. 329-334). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
  • Barkell, J., O'Connor, D., Cotton, W. (2013). An examination of the progression from national schoolboy to senior representation in Australian rugby union. University of Sydney Papers in Human Movement, Health and Coach Education, 2, 1-16.
  • O'Connor, D. (2013). Coaching practice: turning the camera on yourself. In Hiroyuki Nunome, Barry Drust, Brian Dawson (Eds.), Science and Football VII: The Proceedings of the Seventh World Congress on Science and Football, (pp. 397-402). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
  • Bennie, A., O'Connor, D. (2013). Perceptions of effective coaching in Australian professional team sports. In Hiroyuki Nunome, Barry Drust, Brian Dawson (Eds.), Science and Football VII: The Proceedings of the Seventh World Congress on Science and Football, (pp. 367-372). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
  • Cotton, W., O'Connor, D. (2013). The Effect of a Training Evaluation Tool on Youth Coaches. In Hiroyuki Nunome, Barry Drust, Brian Dawson (Eds.), Science and Football VII: The Proceedings of the Seventh World Congress on Science and Football, (pp. 385-390). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.

2012

  • Odlum, E., O'Connor, D. (2012). An investigation into the birth dates, and anthropometric and physiological characteristics of junior club and representative netball players. University of Sydney Papers in Human Movement, Health and Coach Education, 1, 95-106.
  • O'Connor, D. (2012). Challenges facing youth coaches. In Jennifer A. ODea (Eds.), Current Issues and Controversies in School and Community Health, Sport and Physical Education, (pp. 283-294). New York, USA: Nova Science Publishers.
  • Bennie, A., O'Connor, D. (2012). Coach-athlete Relationships: A Qualitative Study of Professional Sport Teams in Australia. International Journal of Sport and Health Science, 10, 58-64. [More Information]
  • Matafonov, A., O'Connor, D. (2012). Injury surveillance: A study to identify factors contributing to football injuries in the NSW Premier League. University of Sydney Papers in Human Movement, Health and Coach Education, 1, 61-72.
  • Bennie, A., O'Connor, D. (2012). Perceptions and Strategies of Effective Coaching Leadership: A Qualitative Investigation of Professional Coaches and Players. International Journal of Sport and Health Science, 10, 82-89. [More Information]
  • O'Connor, D., Cupples, B. (2012). Striving for excellence: the talent identification and development pathway. In Jennifer A. ODea (Eds.), Current Issues and Controversies in School and Community Health, Sport and Physical Education, (pp. 307-319). New York, USA: Nova Science Publishers.
  • Harris, L., O'Connor, D. (2012). The effect of field dimension on technical demands in youth small-sided football games. University of Sydney Papers in Human Movement, Health and Coach Education, 1, 73-84.
  • Hanratty, M., O'Connor, D. (2012). Understanding Expert Knowledge: A Case Study of Knowledge Acquisition in Elite Rugby League Strength and Conditioning Coaches. International Journal of Coaching Science, 6(1), 45-63.
  • O'Connor, D. (2012). Using performance technology in coaching: is it only for the elite? In Jennifer A. ODea (Eds.), Current Issues and Controversies in School and Community Health, Sport and Physical Education, (pp. 329-339). New York, USA: Nova Science Publishers.

2011

  • Bennie, A., O'Connor, D. (2011). An Effective Coaching Model: The Perceptions and Strategies of Professional Team Sport Coaches and Players in Australia. International Journal of Sport and Health Science, 9, 98-104.
  • O'Connor, D. (2011). Enhancing Coach-Parent Relationships in Youth Sports: Increasing Harmony and Minimising Hassle: A Commentary. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 6(1), 49-52. [More Information]
  • O'Connor, D. (2011). Factors influencing talent identification and athlete development in youth sport. In S. Georgakis and K. Russell (Eds.), Youth Sport in Australia, (pp. 193-210). Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.
  • Cupples, B., O'Connor, D. (2011). The Development of Position-Specific Performance Indicators in Elite Youth Rugby League: A Coach's Perspective. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 6(1), 125-142. [More Information]

2010

  • Bennie, A., O'Connor, D. (2010). Coaching Philosophies: Perceptions from Professional Cricket, Rugby League and Rugby Union Players and Coaches in Australia. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 5(2), 309-320.
  • O'Connor, D., Cotton, W. (2010). Community Junior Sport Coaching, Part 2. Final report, December 2010.
  • Laws, K., Waugh, F., O'Connor, D., Napier, M., Wikramanayake, D. (2010). Global citizenship and the internationalised classroom: What students think. Internationalising Learning and Teaching in Academic Settings: Engagement, Collaboration and Sustainability, Australia: Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney.

2009

  • O'Connor, D., Cotton, W. (2009). Community Junior Sport Coaching: Final Report, November 2009, November 2009, (pp. 1 - 97). Canberra, Australia: Australian Sports Commission. [More Information]
  • O'Connor, D. (2009). Research informing practice: implications of rule changes to modified rugby league. In Thomas Reilly and Feza Korkusuz (Eds.), Science and Football VI: The Proceedings of the Sixth World Congress on Science and Football, (pp. 461-466). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.

2008

  • Ewing, R., Freeman, M., Barrie, S., Bell, A., O'Connor, D., Waugh, F., Sykes, C. (2008). Building community in academic settings: the importance of flexibility in a structured mentoring program. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 16(3), 294-310.
  • Baker, D., Mitchell, J., Boyle, D., Currell, S., Currell, P., Wilson, G., Bird, S., O'Connor, D., Jones, J. (2008). Position Stand-Resistance Training for Children and Youth. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning, 16(1), 35-42.
  • Baker, D., Mitchell, J., Boyle, D., Currell, S., Currell, P., Wilson, G., Bird, S., O'Connor, D., Jones, J. (2008). Position Stand-Resistance Training for Children and Youth Part 2. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning, 16(2), 46-54.
  • Baker, D., Mitchell, J., Boyle, D., Currell, S., Currell, P., Wilson, G., Bird, S., O'Connor, D., Jones, J. (2008). Position Stand-Resistance Training for Children and Youth. Part 3. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning, 16(3), 58-74.

2007

  • Ewing, R., Freeman, M., Bell, A., Barrie, S., O'Connor, D., Shields, J., Spicer, P., Waugh, F. (2007). The challenge of mentoring in academic settings: A pilot study. AARE's 36th Annual International Education Research Conference - Adelaide 2006, Melbourne: Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE).

2006

  • Bennie, A., O'Connor, D. (2006). Athletic transition: an investigation of elite track and field participation in the post high school years. Change: Transformations in Education, 9(1), 59-68.
  • O'Connor, D., Crowe, M., Spinks, W. (2006). Effects of static stretching on leg power during cycling. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 46(1), 52-56.
  • O'Connor, D., Marcus, G. (2006). Evaluating the levels of engagement of learners in a postgraduate coach education course. International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, 2(2), 155-160.
  • O'Connor, D., Bennie, A. (2006). The retention of youth sport coaches. Change: Transformations in Education, 9(1), 27-38.

2004

  • O'Connor, D. (2004). Groin Injuries In Professional Rugby League Players: A Prospective Study. Journal of Sports Sciences, 22(7), 629-636.
  • Bennie, A., O'Connor, D. (2004). Running Into Transition: A Study Of Elite Track And Field Athletes. Modern Athlete and Coach, 42(2), 19-24.

2002

  • O'Connor, D. (2002). Time motion analysis of elite Touch players. In Reilly, T Spinks, W. & Murphy, A. (Eds.), Science and Football IV, (pp. 126-131). London: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.

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