Achieving his PhD today is coach educator David Adams


Achieving his PhD today is coach educator David Adams.

David worked for Swansea City from 2013-2017 as Head of Coaching and U23's Head, then at Everton FC before heading to work with Gary Monk as Assistant Manager at Middlesbrough FC in the EFL Championship.

He is currently working as an academic consultant at USW providing workshops, seminars and masterclasses to students, while also supporting the MSc Advanced Football Coaching and Performance.

About my PhD

"My PhD is around coach effectiveness and the development of elite youth qualifications. It came about because I had completed all my formal coach education up to UEFA Professional Licence at the age of 29 and while these existing coaching awards had given me a fantastic appreciation of coaching elite senior players, I felt that they didn't cater or facilitate the skills and/or knowledge required to be an effective youth coach.

"UEFA at that time ran a study group scheme in partnership with member associations on player development and coach education, so I began to visit various clubs to gather greater knowledge of how successful clubs and associations focused on youth specific development from ages 7-23 years. This allowed me to reflect and better understand strategies to support individual player development, and implement these back at Swansea City FC Academy.

"I visited Barcelona, Athletic Bilboa, Porto, Ajax, Sporting Lisbon, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Spartak Moscow, and having observed the standard of coaches operating in these countries, I began my process of investigating how we could devise a course to better train coaches to work with elite youth coaches in the UK.

Impact of my research

"I was able to apply my ideas to support coach development across the Wales football coaching fraternity, therefore directly impacting coach education in Wales.

"My research journey also coincided with my move into professional football in a full time capacity as Head of Coaching at Swansea City FC. This allowed me to develop and implement a methodology and coaching system directly derived from my research and applied experiences.

"The success of my work resulted in my progression from Academy into the First team where I oversaw 11 premier league games alongside Alan Curtis and a 12th place finish in the premier league during the 2015-16 season.

"During this time I took the club from Category 3 to Category 1 status, and in turn developed a unique methodology which has resulted in many players progressing from the academy into the 1st Team, including Connor Roberts, Joe Rodon, Daniel James and Oli McBurnie who have also recently been capped by Wales at senior international level."