Skip to content

David Morley

Professor David Morley

Professor of Children’s Sport, Physical Activity & PE


David Morley is Head of the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity and a Professor of Youth Sport and Physical Activity at Sheffield Hallam University. He was previously the Associate Dean for Research at Liverpool John Moores University after beginning his academic career at Leeds Metropolitan (now Beckett) University. He has led Undergraduate and Postgraduate provision in the subjects of Physical Education, inclusion, youth sport and talent development. He has also led large-scale evaluative projects and published in the fields of talent development, physical literacy and inclusion for a range of NGBs of sport and national organisations. He has a passion for using sport and Physical Education to improve the lives of children and young people.

  • About

    Dave has been employed in a wide range of roles in a number of career pathways, ranging from the Armed Forces, through to teaching Physical Education, being Head of Strategies in a company specialising in using playgrounds to improve physical activity and two separate periods in academia. He is a pedagogue at heart and his teaching and research interests reflect this. He has developed specialism in youth sport, children’s physical activity and movement and coach education. These specialisms have been applied into a variety of contexts as a research partner with national and international organisations such as the Youth Sport Trust, British Cycling, the Football Association, the Rugby Football League, Sport England, Sport Coach UK, Sport Northern Ireland, and Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Dave leads the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity in providing an exceptional student experience and has the enviable position of working with extremely committed and passionate colleagues and vibrant, intelligent students.

    Specialist areas of interest

    Children’s movement
    Coach education
    Talent development

  • Teaching


    Physical Education and School Sport
    Sport Coaching
    Sport Development with Coaching

  • Research

    Developing a teacher-informed movement assessment tool for children aged 4-7 years (Part of the Global Children’s Movement Concept, in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust)

    Evaluating the ‘wash out’ effect of grassroots coaches (in partnership with The Football Association and British Cycling)

    Developing an anti-doping educational support tool for adolescents in sport (iPlayClean) (In partnership with Hull University and the International Olympic Committee)

  • Publications

    A list of publications is available from the institutional repository, SHURA

    Whitehead, A., Jones, H., Williams, E., Dowling, C., Morley, D., Taylor, J. & Polman, R. (2017) Changes in cognition over a 16.1 km cycling time trial using Think Aloud protocol: Preliminary evidence. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Technology,

    Till, K., Morley, D., O'Hara, J., Jones, B., Chapman, C., Beggs, C., Cooke, C., & Cobley, S. (in press) A retrospective longitudinal analysis of anthropometric and physical qualities that associate with adult career attainment in junior rugby league players. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.

    Whitehead, A., Morley, D., Umeh, K. & Quayle, L. (in press) Mobile Technology Usage Mediates Gender Differences in Physical Activity, International Journal of Sport Psychology.

    Morley, D., McKenna, J., Gilbert, S., Till, K., Quarmby, T., Turner, G. & French, J. (in press) Can’t pay, can’t play: Talent Lead’s perspectives on the financial constraints experiences by athlete on the England Talent Pathway, High Ability Studies.

    Morley, D., Maher, A., Walsh, B., Dinning, T., Lloyd, D. and Pratt, A. (in press) 'Making reasonable adjustments for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities: pre-service teachers' perceptions of an online support research', British Journal of Special Education.

    Hobbs, M., Daly-Smith, A., McKenna, J., Quarmby, T. and Morley, D. (in press) Reconsidering current objectives for physical activity within physical education. British Journal of Sport Medicine.

    Miller, A., Harvey, S., Morley, D., Nemes, R., Janes, M. & Eather, N. (2016). Exposing athletes to playing form activity: outcomes of a randomised control trial among community netball teams using a game-centred approach. Journal of Sports Science, DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2016.1240371

    Nicholls, A.R., Morley, D. & Perry, J.L. (2016). Mentally tough athletes are more aware of unsupportive coaching behaviours: Perceptions of coach behaviour, motivational climate, and mental toughness in sport. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, DOI: 10.1177/1747954116636714

    Till, K., Jones, B.L., Cobley, S., Morley, D., O'Hara, J., Chapman, C., Cooke, C. & Beggs, C.B. (2016). Identifying Talent in Youth Sport: A Novel Methodology Using Higher-Dimensional Analysis. Plos One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155047

    Nicholls, A.R., Morley, D. & Perry, J.L. (2016). The Model of Motivational Dynamics in Sport: Resistance to Peer Influence, Behavioral Engagement and Disaffection, Dispositional Coping, and Resilience. Frontiers in Psychology,11, 2, 172-181.

    Till, K., Cobley, S., Morley, D., O'hara, J., Chapman, C. & Cooke, C. (2016). The influence of age, playing position, anthropometry and fitness on career attainment outcomes in rugby league. Journal of Sports Sciences, 34, 1240-1245.

    Morley, D, Till, K, Ogilvie, P. & Turner, G. (2015). Influences of gender and socioeconomic status on the motor proficiency of children in the UK. Human Movement Science, 44, 150-156.

    Morley, D., Pyke, D. & Till, K. (2015) An investigation into the use of a movement assessment protocol for under-14 rugby league players in a talent development environment. International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching, 10, 4.

    Till, K., O'Hara, J., Morley, D., Cobley, S., Chapman, C. & Cooke, C. (2015) Retrospective analysis of anthropometric and fitness characteristics associated with long-term career progression in Rugby League. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 18, 310–314.

    Hobbs, M., Daly-Smith, A., Morley, D. & Mckenna, J. (2015) A case study objectively assessing female physical activity levels within the National Curriculum for Physical Education, European Physical Education Review, 21, 2, 149-162.

    Morley, D., Morgan, G., McKenna, J. & Nicholls, A. (2014) Coaches’ and players’ perceptions of development contexts and features of elite academy football players. International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching, 9, 1 216- 232.

    Nicholls, A. R., Perry, J. L., Jones, L., Morley, D., & Carson, F. (2013) Dispositional coping, coping effectiveness, and cognitive social maturity among adolescent athletes. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 35, 229-238.

    Bailey, R., Morley, D. & Dismore, H. (2009) Talent development in physical education: a national survey of policy and practice in England, Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy,14,1, 59-72.

    Bailey, R. P. & Morley, D. (2006) Towards a model of talent development in Physical Education. Sport, Education and Society, 11(3), pp. 211-230.

    Morley, D., Bailey, R.P., Tan, J.E.C. & Cooke, B. (2005) Inclusive Physical Education: teachers’ views of including pupils with Special Educational Needs and disabilities in Physical Education. European Physical Education Review, 11 (1) 84-107.

    Morley, D. & Bailey, R.P. (2004) Identifying and providing for talented pupils in physical education: a Strategic approach. British Journal of Teaching Physical Education, 35 (1) pp. 41-44.

    Holt, N. & Morley, D. (2004) Gender differences in Psychological Factors Associated with Athletic success during childhood. The Sports Psychologist, 18 (2) pp. 138-153.

    Bailey, R.P., Morley, D. & Tan, J.E.C &. (2004) Talented pupils in Physical Education: Secondary teachers’ experiences of the ‘Excellence in Cities’ scheme. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 9 (2) pp.133-148.

    Bailey, R.P. & Morley, D. (2003) Talent in Physical Education: the Excellence in cities initiative. Bulletin of Physical Education, 38(2), pp. 111-118.

  • Postgraduate supervision

    Developing a teacher-informed movement assessment tool for children aged 4-7 years (Part of the Global Children’s Movement Concept, in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust)

    Evaluating the ‘wash out’ effect of grassroots coaches (Level 1) (in partnership with The Football Association

    Evaluating the ‘wash out’ effect of grassroots coaches (Level 2) (in partnership with The Football Association

    Evaluating the ‘wash out’ effect of grassroots coaches (in partnership with British Cycling)

    Investigating the impact of Fear of Failure on Student Engagement throughout KS3 and 4 Physical Education?

    Coaches’ experiences of high performance sport. (2013) Northumbria University

    Talent mentalities: Young people’s experiences of being talented (2015) Liverpool John Moores University

    The paradox of English sport development policy and practice: Examining the mass participation agenda during an era of austerity and continued change. (2016) Liverpool John Moores University

Share this page

Cancel event

Are you sure you want to cancel your place on Saturday 12 November?