Anna's passion for excellence has guided, motivated and shaped her philosophy within her work, as well as extends to her life outside of it. She is passionate about people, about women in sport and about leadership. Her strong communication skills, enthusiasm and desire for ‘excellence’ have driven her to try and create a ‘team’ culture which values and initiates systems that enhances the learners and the teams experience.
As a Senior Lecturer she has significantly contributed to the areas of sports coaching at both, undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as the performance modules in netball. During her time with the school of sport she has also provided a range of consultancy services to athletes, coaches and NGBs. Her most notable, a three and half year secondment, to England Netball as the Head Coach of the National Side.
As a former Head Coach and ex-international athlete, Anna provides an authentic insight into the demands of performance sport and dealing with adversity. She offers a theoretical and applied knowledge and understanding within this elite environment that is not only relevant to the student’s experience but other professional domains like business, education and management.
Anna is currently undertaking a PhD, which is based upon an auto ethnography methodology, utilising reflective practice, on critical performance and life experiences, to examine the learning processes and experiences that help coaches to better cope with the performance demands of the elite coaching environment.
A testament to Anna’s hard work, determination and commitment to coaching and leadership within the UK, was her selection on to UK Sport’s prestigious Elite Coach Programme. This bespoke programme has allowed unparalleled access to world leading expertise, technology and experiences, as well as meeting the needs of the individual coach and sport.
Research / Publications
My research interests focus on the development of professional practice within high performance environments, specifically sports coaching and leadership. These interests include examining the psychosocial factors that underpin coaches’ effectiveness, the use of reflective practice and how it informs future actions and behaviours and a coaches ability to cope and perform at the business end of sport. More recently, I have become interested in researching the recruitment, retention and development of female leaders within sport.
Refereed Academic Journal Articles
O'Donoghue, P. G., Mayes, A., Edwards, K. M. and Garland, J. (2008). Performance Norms for British National Super League Netball. International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching, 3, 501-511.
Mayes, A. (2009). Skills: Netball (Know the Game). UK: Corpus Publishing Ltd
O'Donoghue, P. and Mayes, A. (2013), Coach Behaviour, In McGarry, T., O’Donoghue, P.R. and Sampaio, J. (eds), Routledge Handbook of Sports Performance Analayss (pp.155-164). London: Routledge
O'Donoghue, P.G. and Mayes, A. (2006). Computerised analysis and feedback relating to coach behaviour, World Congress of Performance Analysis of Sport, 7, Szombathely, Hungary, 23-26th August 2006.
Teaching / Supervision
Anna has delivered on modules in the areas of sports coaching, sport psychology and performance at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her primary aim is to engage students in their learning process and promote critical and analytical thinking towards the complex and multifaceted nature of the coaching environment. She encourages her students to cross the boundaries between academia and practice on a daily basis, suggesting that it is essential for the effective practitioner to embrace both.
Anna has previously fulfilled the roles of Discipline Director (performance), Dissertation supervisor, Year Tutor (level 4 and 5) and module leader for various undergraduate modules.
I am linked with a number of external organisations through professional practice, enterprise activities and learning and teaching
UK Sport - Elite Coach Programme (2013 to present)
Anna is 1 of 9 selected members, and the only female member, on this prestigious Elite Coach Programme. This bespoke programme has allowed unparalleled access to world leading expertise, technology and experiences, as well as meeting the needs of the individual coach and sport. The Elite Programme has helped to harness and develop Anna’s leadership within this exclusive group of coaches, as well as enabling this lifelong learning to be cascaded down throughout all dimensions of her coaching and teaching.
Sports Coach UK Coach - Inspire Programme Graduate (2011- 2013)
British Association of Sport and Exercise Science (BASES)
I have provided sport psychology support to both elite and non elite individuals, teams and organisations in a variety of sports between 2005 to 2012 in the capacity of a BASES accredited sport and exercise scientist .
SPSS, Cardiff – Sports Therapy Diploma
Qualifications and Awards
PhD (Proposed completion date 2017), Thesis Title: The psychology of the elite coach: Learning to cope at the business end of sport. Director of Studies: Dr Brendan Cropley.
PGCtHE - University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (2009)
MSc Sports Psychology - University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (2004)
BSc Sport and Exercise Science - University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (2002)
UK Sport Elite Coach Programme Member (2013)
Graduate of the Sports Coach UK Coach Inspire Programme 2011
Bases - Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist (Psychology – Scientific Support)(2007 – 2012)
SPSS, Cardiff – Sports Therapy Diploma (2002)
- Short listed for UK Coach of the year and High Performance Coach of the year in 2013 (n =3), narrowly missing out to the eventual winner Warren Gatland
- Team of the Year at the Sportswomen of the Year Awards, hosted by Sky Sports in conjunction with the Sunday Times, in 2013.
- Sport Governing Body of the Year at the prestigious 2014 BT Sport Industry Awards.
- England Netball was awarded the prestigious Cancer Research UK Flame of Hope Award
Sporting / Coaching Profile
Head Coach of the England Netball National Squad, for 46 Test Matches (2011 to 2015):
- A win to loss ratio of 67% overall (31/46, with 25 of those games against the top 3 Nations in the World)
- Vs Ranked No1 in the World (Australia) 3/8 + 1* loss by 1 goal at CWG’s 2014
- Vs Ranked No 2 in the World (New Zealand) 1/6 + 1* loss by 1 goal at CWG’s Semi finals 2014
- Vs Ranked No 4 in the World (Jamaica) 7/11
- Vs Rest of the World (<4) 20/21
Significant Test Series & events:
- NZ Test Series (Oct 2014) 1-1 Draw (Only the 5th Time England had ever beaten NZ in their history and only the 2nd time in NZ)
- Fast 5 – Bronze Medalists (Nov 2014)
- Commonwealth Games – 4th Place; loosing to both Australia and NZ narrowly by 1 goal in the pool stages and Semi Finals respectively.
- Jamaica Series Winners (April 2013) 3-0
- Australia Test Series (January 2011) A Historic 3 – 0 Win over Australia. The first victory 58 – 53 was only England’s third ever win against Australia in their Netball History. The 2nd win was historic as England has never taken a test series over their rivals and the 3rd win was historic for the reason that Australia has only ever experienced a series white wash only once before.
- FAST 5 2012 Team –Silver.
- Jamaica Test Series (September 2012) Series Winners (2-1)
- The 2011 England National World Netball Series Squad. In November 2011, at the third World Netball Series (WNS), the WNS team created history and achieved what no other person in the history of the game in England had ever achieved; an achievement that will never be surpassed or removed from the record books; we won England’s first ever Gold medal on a World Stage.
Lead Coach of the England National Squad Tour to New Zealand (n = 2 test matches) and Australia (n = 3) (Oct 2011) (5 caps)
- Assistant Coach of the England National Squad 2008 to 2011 (28 caps):
- World Championships - Bronze Medal (Singapore, July 2011)
- Commonwealth Games - Bronze Medal (Delhi, October 2010);
- England National Squad Tour to Australia and New Zealand Oct 2008 (0-2; 1-2) (Only the 4th Time England had ever beaten NZ in their history and the first time in NZ)
Lead Coach of the England National Squad:
- World Netball Series Tournament (Fastnet, Nov 2010) - Silver medalist
Co-Coach of the England U’21 Squad:
- World Youth Championships (August 2009) placed 4th
- Netball Europe (April 2009) Gold Medalist;
- Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago Tour (May 2009);
- Jamaica Tour (April 2009);
- Australia Tour (August 2008).
Coach of the TeamBath Netball SL Squad 2008 – 2010:
- Super league winners 2009 & 2010
Head Coach for the Celtic Dragons Super League team 2007 – 2008 & Player – Coach 2005 – 2007
Welsh Netball Academy Head Coach (2005-2007)
- During the 2 ½ years 7 of the athletes represented Wales at Senior level; 10 at U.21’s level; 8 at U.19’s level and 3 at U.17’s level.
- 8 of the 12 players who represented Wales at the World Youth Netball Cup in 2005 were from the Academy;
- 3 of the final 12 who represented Wales at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, were from the Academy.
- From the Welsh team who competed at the 2007 World Champs, 5 were or had been involved in the Academy programme.
Director of Netball at UWIC (now Cardiff Metropolitan University):
- First Team BUCS Finalists: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Co-coach of Hucclecote U’19’s and U’16’s squads
- U’19’s National Clubs Winner (2003) – Gold Medalist
Welsh International Netball Honours:
45 Senior Caps.
Represented Wales at the 2003 & 2007 World Championships; 2002 & 2006 Commonwealth Games as well as numerous European Championships
Young England Netball Squad:
5 caps. Represented England at the Commonwealth Youth Festival, Edinburgh, 1997.
Netball Europe U’16’s & U’17s level.