Welcome to
Player Development Project.
Learn to coach with confidence. About Membership
Have you got a coaching mentor yet? PDP Mentors
Looking to partner with PDP? Club Partnerships
Already a PDP Member?
Get Started

Latest Research

Stay up-to-date with key player development research. Our resident Professor, William A. Harper, breaks down research papers into simple, easy-to-read articles with takeaways for coaches.

Research Reviews

Natalia Balague, Rafel Pol, Carlota Torrents, Angel Ric, and Robert Hristovski The Big Idea This is an opinion paper.  The opinions herein revolve around how the components of complex systems self-organize.  In particular, the authors propose a more streamlined approach...

Research Reviews

Jack Martin and David Cox The Big Idea It is rare in conventional social psychological research on sport to consider public testimony as a source of truths.  And yet, this is exactly what this study does.  These authors pursue what...

Research Reviews

Moran, R. Blagrove, B. Drury, J. Fernandes, K Paxton, H. Chaabene, R. Ramirez-Campillo The Big Idea Every day the lonely man reads the matrimonial advertising pages, hoping to meet the girl of his dreams.  Not much luck until one day...

Research Reviews

P. Potrac, R.L. Jones, D Gilbourne and L. Nelson.  The Big Idea Let’s approach this research paper indirectly. For it concerns a hard truth in the profession of football coaching, the culture of it. Let’s introduce the problem by way...

Research Reviews

Sara Santos, Sergio Jiménez, Jaime Sampaio, Nuno Leite The Big Idea When you sit a spell and think over the major point of session planning in sports, you can’t avoid the big idea of transformation. Hence, such training programs are...

Research Reviews

Ase Strandbu, Kari Stefansen, Ingrid Smette, and Morten Rensio Sandvik The Big Idea  “Involved parenthood” in organized youth sports is what these Norwegian researchers are attempting to better understand.  Child-centered parenting they note—using the United States as an example—is still...

Research Reviews

 J. Bartholomew, N. Ntoumanis, and C. Ntoumanis The Big Idea  Let’s begin this research review with an illustration.  In sports, there is a difference between players who are merely involved and players who are fully committed.  (You will have to...

The Magazine

Frenkie De Jong is one of Dutch Football’s brightest stars. PDP Lead Researcher James Vaughan examines a recent interview with De Jong and shares some brilliant research around knowledge and learning, helping coaches understand how to create a learning environment...

Research Reviews

Balague, C. Torrents, R. Hristovski, K. Davids, and D. Araujo The Big Idea Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) was a legendary Canadian poet, singer-songwriter, and novelist.  The following lyrics are from his 1992 album The Future and the song “Anthem”: Ring the...

Research Reviews

Paul S. Glazier The Big Idea It’s GUT check time!  We are all familiar with this cliché in sports performance:  tests of gameness, courage, fortitude, stick-to-itiveness.   But less familiar is another meaning of GUT.  Beginning roughly in the late 1970s...

Research Reviews

Christina Salmivalli The Big Idea This review paper was published in the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior.  Its subject is bullying.  While its context is the classroom, what is reported in the research entails the fields of play as well. ...

Research Reviews

Immonen, E. Brymer, D. Orth, K. Davids, F. Feletti, J. Liukkonen, and T. Jaakkolau The Big Idea Imagine this.  You are a BASE jumper.  You cheerfully fling yourself with parachute off fixed towering objects like buildings, antennas, bridges, or cliffs. ...

The Magazine

The 2018 World Cup displayed football and team cultures from around the world. In this article, Dr. John Alder of the English Institute of Sport follows up his article from Issue 17 of PDP Magazine with an insightful examination of...

The Magazine

VAR technology has already had a monumental impact on football at the highest level, including the World Cup Final. PDP Technical Advisor, Dan Wright examines the impact of VAR, the potential risks and some of the subsequent trends emerging in...

Research Reviews

Mark Williams and Nicola J. Hodges The Big Idea These authors celebrate growth of sport science over the years.  But their concern is that especially in the sport of soccer “sport science” is construed to mean the physiology of it...

The Blog

How can sport help build resilience in people? Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Staffordshire University, Dr. Martin Turner shares some examples of failure and success in sport from football, golf and tennis outlining the value of learning from these challenges...

Research Reviews

Blandine Bril The Big Idea In shorthand, this paper is both WEIRD and weird.  In longhand, it is about the impact of cultural constraints on motor habits.  In a sentence: It is weird that the scientific community regularly assumes that...

Research Reviews

Ludvig J. T. Rasmussen, Lars D. Ostergaard, and Vlad Glaveanu The Big Idea Few sport coaches would deny player creativity as an essential component of a winning game performance.  Nor would they deny that facilitating in-game creativity is typically a...