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School of Health & Human Performance
Declan O'Connell
Declan O'Connell

Declan O’Connell

Current role: Performance Consultant

Course: Professional Doctorate in Elite Performance (Sport)

Why did you choose the program?

I wanted to ground my current practices with research to provide an evidence informed approach to my consultancy. Personally I also wished to challenge myself to learn and grow as an individual.

How does the format of the program fit with your practice?

It is a very natural fit for me where you I don’t delineate between my practice and the programme. Everything I do in my practice is now being researched and underpinned by my participation and engagement in the programme

How would you describe the role and impact of your peers on your development?

I believe this is the real richness the programme offers whereby the challenge, the support and the learning offered by the peer to peer learning really enhances the experience. As opposed to a solo PhD journey, I have already developed a strong core of trusted colleagues.

How has it impacted your thinking?

The first few months of the programme really impacted me to the point where I have had to really critically evaluate how I view the world, how I view learning and crucially why I do what I do and why do I do what I do.

How has it impacted your practice?

It has fundamentally influenced my practice whereby I have questioned and tweaked my methods in line with the research I have encountered on the programme.

How has it developed your career?

It has given me a sense of confidence to know that I am delivering an evidence informed practice which allows you to be far more open to challenge

What is your favourite thing about the course?

It feeds my natural curiosity so I enjoy the discourse the challenge the different perspective. I must say the support from the teaching staff is second to none in this regard.

Can you summarise your experience to date?

It has been enriching, confronting, enlightening, challenging and already such a rich period of learning