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Dr Paul Larkin

BSc Hons (UWA) PhD (UniBallarat)

Postdoctoral Researcher

Paul is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working for Victoria University, the Australian Football League and the Northern Territory Institute of Sport.

His research is primarily based on talent identification and development, with a particular interest in the development of decision-making and how coaches influence athlete learning.

Tim was a First-Class Honours graduate from the University of Western Australia and was awarded his PhD at the University of Ballarat in skill acquisition.

Recent publications

Refereed journal articles

O’Connor, D., Larkin, P., & Williams, A.M. (2017). Observations of youth football training in Australia. How do coaches structure training sessions for player development?  Journal of Sports Sciences. 1-9.

Huxley, D. J., O’Connor, D., & Larkin, P. (2017). The pathway to the top: Key factors and influences in the development of Australian Olympic and World Championship Track and Field athletes. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching. 1-12.

Larkin, P., O’Connor, D., & Williams, A.M. (2016). Does Grit influence sport-specific engagement and perceptual-cognitive expertise in elite youth soccer? Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 28(2), 129-138.

Larkin, P., Mesagno, C., Berry, J., & Spittle, M. (2016). Exploration of the perceptual-cognitive processes that contribute to in-game decision-making of Australian football umpires. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology.

O’Connor, D., Larkin, P., & Williams, A.M. (2016). Talent identification and selection: An Australian elite youth football context. European Journal of Sports Science.

Refereed chapters

O’Connor, D., & Larkin, P. (2017). Coaching practice and player development. In J. Bangsbo, P. Krustrup, P. Hansen, L. Ottensen, G. Pfister, & A. M. Elbe (Eds), Science and Football VIII (pp. 210-220). London, UK: Routledge.

O’Connor, D., & Larkin, P. (2015). Decision making and tactical knowledge, an Australian perspective to their development in youth players. In T. Favero, B. Drust, & B. Dawson (Eds), International Research in Science and Soccer II, (pp. 204-214).USA: Routledge.

O’Connor, D., & Larkin, P. (2015). Decision-making for Rugby. In K. Till & B. Jones (Eds). The Science of Sport: Rugby (pp. 102-112). Marlborough: Crowood Press.

Mesagno, C., Geukes, K., & Larkin, P. (2015). Choking under pressure: A review of current debates, literature, and interventions. In S. Mellalieu & S. Hanton (Eds), Contemporary Advances in Sport Psychology: A Review (pp. 148-174).Oxon, UK: Routledge.

Conference presentations

Elsworthy, N., McDonald, N., Kittel, A., Larkin, P., & Spittle, M. (2016). Speed influence on decision-making in elite Australian Football umpires. 2016 Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport. Melbourne, Australia. October 12th-15th, 2016.

Larkin, P., & O’Connor, D. (2015). What makes an elite under 13 player? The attributes talent identifiers consider important for elite youth performance. World Congress on Science and Football. Copenhagen, Denmark. May 20th – 23th, 2015.

Paradis, K., Larkin, P., & O’Connor, D. (2015). The effects of physical exertion on decision-making performance of Australian football umpires. World Congress on Science and Football. Copenhagen, Denmark. May 20th – 23th, 2015.

Larkin, P., O’Connor, D., & Williams, A. M. (2014). Age related difference on elite junior players perception of decision-making skill and tactical knowledge. 4th World Conference on Science and Soccer. Portland, United States of America. June 5th – 7th, 2014.

Larkin, P., O’Connor, D., & Williams, A. M. (2014). What makes an elite junior footballer? The developmental activities of Australian elite junior football players. Asia-Pacific Football and Futsal Seminar. Melbourne, Australia. April 4th – 6th, 2014.

View Paul's full publication list in the Victoria University Research Repository.

Teaching responsibilities

Current supervision

Co-Supervisor of 1 Honours student and 1 Masters student

Appearances in the media

Bridging the Gap Podcast (2016, August 14). Does grit influence sport-specific engagement and perceptual-cognitive expertise in elite youth soccer?

Jacks, T. (2014, November 23). New video technology to improve AFL umpires’ accuracy. The Age.

SEN 1116 Sports Radio, Harf Time, October 30, 2014. Fit and Well: Umpire skill development.

2HC 639am, Afternoons with Mike Welsh (October 2, 2014). Umpire decision-making development.

McGrath, G. (2013, May 21). Ballarat study aims to improve umpire accuracy. The Courier.

107.9 ABC Ballarat, The Conversation Hour (May 22, 2013). Umpire decision-making training.

Preiss, B. (2013, May 19). Aussie rules? It’s academic. The Age.

Video Training improves decision-making. (2011, May 17). AFL Community.[tt_news]=33...

Areas of expertise

  • Decision-making and technical skills in Team Sports
  • Skill acquisition
  • Talent Identification and Development
  • Coach Education and Development

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