Associate Professor Donna O'Connor

Associate Professor, Coach Education and PDHPE

Coordinator, BEd (HMHE) Honours, and MEd (Coach Education)

Program Director (HMHE)

Email:

Phone: +61 2 9351 6343

Fax: +61 2 9351 4580

Building.Room: A35.447

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



Professional biography

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.



Awards

  • 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



Professional and community roles

  • Member of the World Congress Science and Football Steering Committee

  • Member of National Rugby League Research Board



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).


Current research students

Project title Degree Research student
Cultural diversity management and the impact it has on the motivational levels of professional male rugby union players of Fijian heritage. MEd(Res) Gregory Mumm
An analysis of talent development pathways in elite rugby league PhD Balin Cupples
Athlete Development in Track and Field PhD Dianne Huxley
Team performance indicators in 7 aside rugby union and the impact of statistical evidence on coaching programs. PhD James Barkell
the development of game intelligence in football (soccer) PhD Jaime Araya


Selected publications

Books

  • Buchanan, D., O’Connor, D., McLean, J. and Ingram, K. . (2010). Peak Performance 1. South Yarra: Macmillan.
  • Buchanan, D., O’Connor, D., McLean, J. and Ingram, K. . (2009). Peak performance 2. South Yarra: Macmillan.
  • O'Connor, D. (1997). Fitness for Touch referees. Canberra: Australian Touch Association.
  • O'Connor, D. (1992). Advanced Fitness for Touch. Canberra: Australian Touch Association.

Book chapters

  • O'Connor, D. (in press). Challenges facing Youth Coaches. In O'Dea, JA. (Ed.) (Ed.), Current issues and controversies in school and community health, sport and physical education. New York, USA: Nova Science.
  • O'Connor, D. & Cupples, B. (in press). Striving for excellence: The talent identification and development pathway. In O'Dea, JA. (Ed.) (Ed.), Current issues and controversies in school and community health, sport and physical education. New York, USA: Nova Science.
  • O'Connor, D. (in press). Using performance technology in coaching — is it only for the elite?. In O'Dea, JA. (Ed.) (Ed.), Current issues and controversies in school and community health, sport and physical education. New York, USA: Nova Science.
  • O'Connor, D. (2011). Factors influencing talent identification and athlete development in youth sport.. In S. Georgakis & K.Russell (Ed.), Youth Sport in Australia (pp. 193–210), Sydney: Sydney University Press.
  • O'Connor, D. (2008). Research informing practice: implications of rule changes to modified rugby league.. In T.Reilly & F.Korkusuz (Ed.), Science and Football VI (pp. 461–466), London: Taylor and Francis.
  • O’Connor, D. & Crowe, M. . (2002). Visual reaction time and peripheral vision in professional rugby league players.. In T. Reilly, W. Spinks & A. Murphy (Ed.), Science and Football IV (pp. 313–319), London: E & FN Spon.
  • O'Connor, D. (1997). Isokinetic assessment of rugby league players with groin problems. . In T. Reilly, J. Bangsbo & M. Hughes (Ed.), Science and Football III (pp. 177–181), London: E & FN Spon.
  • O'Connor, D. (1997). Fitness profile of professional rugby league players. In T. Reilly, J. Bangsbo & M. Hughes (Ed.), Science & Football III (pp. 11–15), London: E & FN Spon.
  • O'Connor, D. (1997). Profile of elite female Touch football players. In T. Reilly, J. Bangsbo & M. Hughes (Ed.), Science and Football III (pp. 7–10), London: E & FN Spon.

Journal articles

  • Hanratty, M. & O'Connor, D. (in press). Understanding expert knowledge: A case study of knowledge acquisition in elite Rugby League strength and conditioning coaches. International Journal of Coaching Science.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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), 125–141.
  • 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. DOI:ISSN 1747-9541
  • Baker, D, Mitchell, J, Boyle, D, Currell, S, Currell, P, Wilson, G, Bird, SO'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.
  • Baker, D, Mitchell, J, Boyle, D, Currell, S, Currell, P, Wilson, G, Bird, SO'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.
  • Ewing, R, Freeman, M, Barrie, S, Ahmed nee 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, SO'Connor, D, Jones, J. (2008). Position Stand-Resistance Training for Children and Youth. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning, 16(1), 35–42.
  • Crowe, M., O’Connor, D. & Rudd, D. . (2007). Cold water recovery reduces anaerobic performance. . International Journal of Sports Medicine, 28, 994–998.
  • O’Connor, D & Crowe, M . (2007). Effects Of Six weeks of -Hydroxy--Methylbutyrate (Hmb) And Hmb/Creatine Supplementation On Strength, Power And Anthropometry Of Highly Trained Athletes.. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 41(2), 419–423.
  • 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, 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, 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. & Crowe, M . (2003). Effects of -Hydroxy--methylbutyrate and creatine monohydrate supplementation on the aerobic and anaerobic capacity of highly trained athletes. . Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 43, 64–68.
  • Crowe, M & O’Connor, D. . (2003). The effects of HMB and HMB/Creatine supplementation on indices of health in highly-trained athletes. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 13(2), 184–189.
  • Crowe, M.J. & O’Connor, D.M. . (2001). Eye colour, visual reaction time and accuracy in Rugby League players. . Perceptual and Motor Skills. , 93(2), 455–460.
  • O'Connor, D. (1996). Physiological characteristics of professional rugby league players.. Strength and Conditioning Coach, 4(1), 21–26.

Conference papers

  • Laws,K., Waugh, F.,O'Connor, D., Napier, L. & Wikramanayake,D. . (2010). Global Citizenship and the Internationalised Classroom: What Students Think. In F.Waugh & L.Napier Internationalising Learning and Teaching in Academic Settings:Engagement, Collaboration and Sustainability. (pp. 69–86). University of Sydney, 23 November 2009.
  • Ewing, R, Freeman, M, Ahmed nee Bell, A, Barrie, S, O'Connor, D, Shields, J, Spicer, P, Waugh, F. (2007). The challenge of mentoring in academic settings: A pilot study. In Jeffery, PL AARE Conference - 2006 Papers by Papercode (pp. 1–18). Adelaide Australia, 27-30 Nov 2006.