Department of Sport, Health and Exercise Science

Dr John Toner

John Toner

School of Life Sciences

  • Profile
  • Teaching
  • Key Publications


I completed an honours degree in Psychology at University College Dublin and continued doctoral studies at the same institution. In 2009, I completed my PhD entitled ‘An experimental investigation of the effects of conscious processing on skilled performance in golf putting’. This research was funded by a post-graduate scholarship from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS). I went on to work as a researcher for Sports Coach UK – a national organisation dedicated to supporting the training and development of sports coaches. My current research interests include identifying the factors which constrain/facilitate coach learning and development and investigating skill failure and the proposed underlying mechanisms of self-consciousness and reinvestment.



  • Introduction to coaching pedagogy
  • Professional practice in coaching and performance

Key Publications

Recent publications

Toner, J., & Moran, A. (in press). Enhancing performance proficiency at the expert level: Considering the role of ‘somaesthetic awareness’. Psychology of Sport and Exercise.

Toner, J., & Moran, A. (in press). Toward an explanation of continuous improvement in expert athletes: The role of consciousness in deliberate practice. International Journal of Sport Psychology.

Toner, J., & Moran, A. (2014). In praise of conscious awareness: a new framework for the investigation of ‘continuous improvement’ in expert athletes. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 769.

Toner, J. (2014). Knowledge of facts mediate ‘continuous improvement’ in elite sport: a comment on Stanley and Krakauer (2013). Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 142.

Toner, J., Moran, A., & Jackson, R. (2013). The effects of avoidant instructions on golf putting proficiency and kinematics. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 14, 501-507

Toner, J., Nelson, L., Potrac, P., Gilbourne, D., & Marshall, P. (2012). From 'blame' to 'shame' in a coach-athlete relationship: A tale of shared critical reflection and the re-storying of narrative experience. Sports Coaching Review, 1 (1), 67-78.

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