Dr Gethin Thomas



Uwch-ddarlithydd mewn Hyfforddiant Chwaraeon/Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching

Telephone number: 02920 416773
Email address: glthomas@cardiffmet.ac.uk

I am the Research Lead for Sport Coaching working through the medium of Welsh and English. I joined the teaching staff following the completion of a Ph.D at the University of Exeter working in partnership with the Economic and Social Research Council and Rugby Football Union

Research / Publications

My main research interests lie in sports coaching and pedagogy. Currently my main focus is on exploring the pedagogical practice of sport coaches using the work of Lev Vygotsky. Specifically, how coaches can develop and create optimal learning environments for players of all levels of ability. The focus of my doctoral work was on player development at mini rugby level (7-11 years old) in England. The research has led to the implementation of new laws of play at these age groups. The work has also been published in journals and has been well received at National and International conferences.

Peer Reviewed Articles

Corsby, C.L.T, Jones, R. L, Thomas, G. Ll. & Edwards, C. (in press). Coaching and 'self-repair': Examining the 'artful practices' of coaching work. Sociological Research Online.

Morgan, K., Mouchet, A., & Thomas, G. Ll. (2020). Coaches' perceptions of decision making in rugby union, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy. DOI: 10.1080/17408989.2020.1725458

Mouchet, A., Morgan, K. & Thomas, G. Ll. (2018). Pyschophenomenology and the explicitation interview for accessing subjective lived experience in sport coaching, Sport, Education and Society, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2018.1495189

Jones, R. L, Thomas, G. Ll., Nunes, R. L. & Viotto Filho, I.A.T. (2018). The importance of history, language, change and challenge: What Vygotsky can teach sports coaches. Motriz. Revista de Educação Física, 24:2, DOI: 10.1590/s1980-6574201800020008

Thomas, G.Ll., Coles, T. & Wilson, M.R. (2016). Exploring mini rugby union coaches' perceptions of competitive activities. Sports Coaching Review. DOI: 10.1080/21640629.2016.1244425

Jones, R. L & Thomas, G. Ll. (2015). Coaching as 'scaffolded' practice: further insights into sport pedagogy, Sports Coaching Review, 4:2, 65-79, DOI: 10.1080/21640629.2016.1157321.

Thomas, G. Ll., & Wilson, M. R. (2015). Playing by the rules: A developmentally appropriate introduction to rugby union. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching,10:2+3, 413-423.

Thomas, G. Ll. & Wilson, M.R. (2014). Exploring a competitive developmental pathway for childhood rugby union. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health. DOI.10.1080/2159676X.2013.819373

Thomas, G. Ll., Morgan, K. & Mesquita, I. (2013). Examining the implementation of a TGfU approach in junior rugby using a reflective practice design. Sports Coaching Review.

Book chapters

Engeness, I., Thomas, G.Ll., Podolskiy, A. (2021) Demands and realities: Significance and implications of Galperin’s legacy for learning and teaching in 21st century. Cultural Psychology of Education, 2021, 14, pp. 105–121.

Corsby, C.L.T., Thomas, G. Ll. & Santos, M. (2021). Coaching Educational Programs: (Re)Conceptualising how coaches learn. In Rui Resende and A. Rui Gomes (Eds.), Coaching for Human Development and Performance in Sports (pp. 25-41). Springer.

Thomas, G.Ll., Morgan K., & Harris, K. (2016). Application of Albert Bandura's work to coaching. In L.Nelson, P.Potrac & R. Groom (Eds.), Learning in sports coaching: Theory and application. London: Routledge. 22-33.

Jones, R.L., Thomas, G.Ll., Felix, T., Viotto Filho, T., & Edwards, C.. (2016) Yrjö Engeström, activity theory and coaching. L.Nelson, P.Potrac & R. Groom (Eds.), Learning in sports coaching: Theory and application. London: Routledge. 113-122.

Invited conference presentations

Thomas, G.L., (2014). Tactical & skill development through game centred approaches: Scaffolding coaching practice. Paper presented at the 'Youth Talent ID & Development Conference', Cape Town, South Africa.

Thomas, G.L., Wilson, M.R., Coles, T.E., (2014). Introducing children to rugby: Shaping the game, retaining players and developing talent. Paper presented at the 'Youth Talent ID & Development Conference', Cape Town, South Africa.

Other presentations

Engeness, I., & Thomas, G.Ll. (2021). P.Y. Galperin's Development of Human Mental Activity: Implications for practice and research. Moscow CHAT Reading Group.

Thomas, G.Ll., & Bailey J., (2019). An exploration of the role of scaffolding during preparation for an elite gymnastics competition from a socio-pedagogical perspective. Cluster for Research into Coaching (CriC) 5th International Coaching Conference, Worcester, UK.

Thomas, G.Ll., & Jones R.L., (2015). Scaffolding Coaching Practice. Third International Coaching Conference, Crewe, UK.

Thomas, G.L., Coles, T.E., Wilson, M.R., (2013). Introducing children to rugby: Exploring mini rugby coaches' views on U9 rugby. Paper presented at the 'Second International Coaching Conference', Crewe, UK.

Thomas, G.L. & Wilson, M.R. (2012). Producing a developmentally appropriate game for under-9 rugby union players. Presentation given at the 'ICSEMIS convention' in Glasgow, Scotland.  

Thomas, G.L. & Wilson, M.R. (2012). Producing a developmentally appropriate game for under-11 rugby union players. Presentation given at the British Psychological Society, Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network Annual Meeting, Liverpool, England.

Teaching and Supervision

I am the Programme Director for the MSc in Sport Coaching and Pedagogy.

On-going PhD supervision

Development of a health and well-being activity pathway for the foundation phase (5-7 year old) for enjoyable and continued participation in rugby union. Andrew Thomas. 2017+

The problem of rapid weight loss in combat sports: an interdisciplinary approach, Dan Jacklin  (Third supervisor). 2017+

Coach Vygotsky: Developing the pedagogical creativity of coaches: An action research approach. Oli Lum (Second supervisor)., 2018+

Vygotsky In Practice: Applying Vygotsky's Work To Sports Coaching. Rhys Pritchard (Second supervisor)., 2018+

Doctorate in Sports Coaching/MSc (Sports Coaching and Pedagogy)

I continue to teach on both the Doctorate in Sports Coaching (DSC) and the MSc at Cardiff Met University.

Qualifications and Awards

Ph.D in Sport and Health Sciences

MSc Coaching Science (Distinction)

WRU Level 4 in coaching rugby union

UEFA 'C' Licenced Football Coach

PGCE Primary Education

Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism Studies

Law LL.B (Hons)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

External Links

External examiner: BA Physical and Sport Education, St Mary's University, Twickenham, London (2016 – 2020).

Social Media Editor for the Sports Coaching Review.

Level 4 coach educator for the Welsh Rugby Union.

Member of the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) Research Committee

Funding awarded

FIFA Research Grant. Developing football coaching practice using video analysis ($12,000).

KESS2 Funding. CMK204 : PhD: Development of a health and well-being rugby union activity pathway for the foundation phase (5-7 year old) with the Welsh Rugby Union (PhD student: Andrew Thomas).

ESRC CASE Studentship under its Capacity Building Clusters Award (RES-187-24-0002) in partnership with the Rugby Football Union.

Shortlisted in 2013 for University of Exeter Impact Award in both 'Outstanding Impact in Policy and Education', and 'Best Postgraduate Impact Categories'.

Sporting / Coaching Profile


First team Rugby Coach Cardiff Metropolitan University
Rugby Coach Cardiff Metropolitan RFC (2013 - Present)
Rugby Coach University of Exeter (2010 – 2013)
Rugby Coach Merthyr Youth (2009 – 2010)

East Wales Schools U18 rugby (1993)
Semi Professional Rugby Player Llanharan RFC (1996 – 1998) and Merthyr RFC (1998 – 2009)