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Perspectives of applied collaborative sport science research within professional team sports

Malone, James J.; Harper, Liam D.; Jones, Ben; Perry, John; Barnes, Chris; Towlson, Chris


James J. Malone

Liam D. Harper

Ben Jones

John Perry

Chris Barnes


The purpose of the study was to examine the perspectives of both academics and practitioners in relation to forming applied collaborative sport science research within team sports. Ninety-three participants who had previously engaged in collaborative research partnerships within team sports completed an online survey which focused on motivations and barriers for forming collaborations using blinded sliding scale (0–100) and rank order list. Research collaborations were mainly formed to improve the team performance (Academic: 73.6 ± 23.3; Practitioner: 84.3 ± 16.0; effect size (ES = 0.54), small). Academics ranked journal articles’ importance significantly higher than practitioners did (Academic: Mrank = 53.9; Practitioner: 36.0; z = −3.18, p = .001, p < q). However, practitioners rated one-to-one communication as more preferential (Academic: Mrank = 41.3; Practitioner 56.1; z = −2.62, p = .009, p < q). Some potential barriers were found in terms of staff buy in (Academic: 70.0 ± 25.5; Practitioner: 56.8 ± 27.3; ES = 0.50, small) and funding (Academic: 68.0 ± 24.9; Practitioner: 67.5 ± 28.0; ES = 0.02, trivial). Both groups revealed low motivation for invasive mechanistic research (Academic: 36.3 ± 24.2; Practitioner: 36.4 ± 27.5; ES = 0.01, trivial), with practitioners have a preference towards ‘fast’ type research. There was a general agreement between academics and practitioners for forming research collaborations. Some potential barriers still exist (e.g. staff buy in and funding), with practitioners preferring ‘fast’ informal research dissemination compared to the ‘slow’ quality control approach of academics.


Malone, J. J., Harper, L. D., Jones, B., Perry, J., Barnes, C., & Towlson, C. (2019). Perspectives of applied collaborative sport science research within professional team sports. European journal of sport science : the official journal of the European College of Sport Science, 19(2), 147-155.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 14, 2018
Online Publication Date Jul 14, 2018
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Aug 3, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 15, 2019
Journal European Journal of Sport Science
Print ISSN 1746-1391
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 2
Pages 147-155
Keywords Coaching; Education; Sport science; Barriers; Performance; Survey
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope:
Contract Date Aug 3, 2018