About Dr. Ed Coughlan

As a Skill Acquisition Specialist I empower athletes across all sporting dsiciplines to perform their best in competition. Ineffective practice is why most athletes fall short of peak performance. Practice MUST transfer and Skill Acquisition is the route to achieving that. Skill Acquisition is the perfect blend of Coaching Science, Sport Science and Sport Psychology. All three domains are in constant flow during a session as I connect with an athlete to unlock their potential.

My route to Skill Acquisition started over 20 years ago as a coach and accelerated during my degree in Sport Science at Dublin City University (DCU) and my PhD in Skill Acquisition at the Research Institute for Sport & Exercise Science at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). I have studied under some of the world’s leading Skill Acquisition specialists; Dr Rick Shuttleworth, Dr Paul Ford and Prof. Mark Williams.

In Liverpool I further developed my skills in performance analysis, eye-tracking technology, video analysis and skills testing. I had the opportunity to work with the EIS, GB Shooting, UEFA, Chelsea FC, St Helen’s RLFC, Scottish Curling and many more. I lecture in Sport Science in the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). I am also a guest lecturer in Skill Acquisition at University College Dublin (UCD).


Detailed Skill acquisition & Development

“I wanted to sharpen up my decision making on the field and worked with Ed to improve this area of my game. We ran through some innovative yet relatively simple exercises that were designed to increase reaction times whilst making the right decision. I really felt the benefit of these sessions and if you are looking for those extra inches that can help you to excel in your respective fields, then I would recommend Ed Coughlan without hesitation”.

Chris Barrett

Mayo Senior Footballer

“Everything I did with Ed had a purpose. Every part of every session was designed with competition in mind. His understanding and application of the sport science principles of training make significant improvements inevitable; which is exactly what I experienced. He is not afraid to challenge tradition in pursuit of a better method of coaching and his unique coaching systems are designed to empower the athlete to be self-sufficient in the heat of battle”.

Orla Drumm

Senior Irish International 1,500m Athlete


My career as a Skill Acquisition specialist has afforded me great opportunities to apply and present my work around the world.

Montreal, Canada – The North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) Conference. I am presenting my research at a special conference workshop titled “Seeing the forest and the trees: Theoretical and practical issues in Sport Expertise”. It promises to be an outstanding event (organised by Dr Joe Baker and Dr Nikki Hodges) with Prof. Jocelyn Faubert presenting his remarkable work on perceptual-cognitive skills training.

Edinburgh, Scotland – Edinburgh Science Festival. I was invited by the Physiological Society and the Royal Society of Biology to take part in a debate titled “Olympians: Born or Built?” I debated for the “Built” side of the argument against Prof. Yannis Pitsiladis (recognised as the world’s leading sports geneticist) on the “Born” side. The event was chaired by 3-time Paralympian Dr Dan Gordon.

Liverpool, England – European Congress of Sport Science (ECSS). I presented my work on the practice characteristics of expert athletes and how these trainable traits can be adopted by those looking to achieve expertise and more especially how already expert athletes can retain their expertise and continue to improve through their careers.

“I was coming to the end of my career (or so I thought) when I started working with Ed. He made me feel like I had years more in me because of his infectious approach to coaching but also because of how specific he makes everything for every athlete he works with. He tailored physical and skills sessions exactly to my needs to ensure there was a maximal transfer to the competitive environment. Because he looks at everything in such detail he’s always able to find innovative ways to practice a skill without it becoming monotonous”.

Michelle Fahy

Senior Irish Basketball International

“Ed Coughlan, was my strength and conditioning coach throughout my athletics career from 2004-2013. His attention to detail as a coach is outstanding, he never leaves any stone unturned, and he’s always so up to date with the most current research and techniques. Ed always kept me on my toes when the negativity or laziness crept in. He worked me hard but it was so worth it and all the hard work and dedication paid off in the end. Ed is one of the most reliable people I know and he was not only my coach but also like a psychologist and good friend to me. I would highly recommend Ed as a coach, he will transform you”.

Linda Byrne

Irish Olympian, London 2012


The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences

The European College of Sport Science

The Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network