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Dr André Roca

Programme Director - Performance Football Coaching
Senior Lecturer in Skill Acquisition and Coaching

About Research Media

André is the Founder and Programme Director of the MSc Performance Football Coaching and Senior Lecturer in Skill Acquisition and Coaching in the Faculty of Sport, Health and Applied Science. André joined St Mary’s in 2013 following postdoctoral research and lectureship in skill acquisition at the German Sport University Cologne. He has a first-class BSc Ed (Hons) Sport Sciences and Physical Education from the University of Coimbra, Portugal and a PhD in Expertise and Skill Acquisition from Liverpool John Moores University.  

He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and leads and delivers on modules in the areas of skill acquisition and coaching at both under- and post-graduate levels. He also co-leads the University’s Expert Performance and Skill Acquisition (EPSA) Research Group which specialises in the study of expertise and the factors that influence and contribute to its acquisition across domains. He currently supervises several PhD students in this field and is leading research on the complex perceptual-cognitive processes behind creative decision making and how these are acquired in sport.

André holds a UEFA ‘A’ coaching licence and has several years' experience coaching elite young football players across different European countries. He works as a Foundation Phase Coach at a category one Premier League academy in London and regularly provides skill acquisition and coaching consultancy support for various sporting organisations and clubs worldwide. As a boy, he was an academy player with the Portuguese premier league club Vitória SC and part of the team that won the U15 Portuguese championship. 


Research

Selected Publications:

  • Memmert, D., & Roca, A. (2019). Tactical creativity and decision making in sport. In A. M. Williams & R. C. Jackson (Eds.), Anticipation and decision making in sport. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
  • North, J. S.  Bezodis, N. E., Murphy, C. P., Runswick, O. R., Pocock, C., & Roca, A. (2018). The effect of consistent and varied follow-through practice schedules on learning a table tennis backhand. Journal of Sports Sciences. DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1522683
  • Runswick, O. R., Roca, A., Williams, A. M., McRobert, A. P., & North, J. S. (2018). Why do bad balls get wickets? The role of congruent and incongruent information in anticipation. Journal of Sports Sciences. DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1514165
  • Roca, A., Ford, P. R., & Memmert, D. (2018). Creative decision making and visual search behavior in skilled soccer players. PLOS ONE, 13, e0199381.
  • Runswick, O. R., Roca, A., Williams, A. M., McRobert, A. P., & North, J. S.  (2018). The temporal integration of information during anticipation. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 37, 100-108. 
  • Runswick, O. R., Roca, A., Williams, A. M., Bezodis, N. E., McRobert, A. P., & North, J. S.  (2018). The impact of contextual information and a secondary task on anticipation performance: An interpretation using Cognitive Load Theory. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 32, 141-149.
  • Simonet, M., Runswick, O. R., Williams, A. M., North, J. S., & Roca, A. (2018). The neural correlates underlying the use of contextual and kinematic information processes during anticipation. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 40, S65-S66.
  • Padilha, M. B., Oliveira, J. G., Olivares, J. S., Roca, A., & Teoldo, I. (2017). The influence of floaters on players’ tactical behaviour in small-sided and conditioned soccer games. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 17, 721-736.
  • Roca, A., Memmert, D., & Ford, P. R. (2017). Perceptual-cognitive processes underlying creativity in skilled soccer players. In Proceedings of the 5th World Conference on Science and Soccer (p. 64). Rennes, France: University Rennes 2.
  • Roca, A., & Williams, A. M. (2017). Does decision making transfer across similar and dissimilar sports? Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 31, 40-43.
  • Roca, A., & Williams, A. M. (2017). Transferability vs. specificity of decision-making skill in sport. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 39, S191-S192.
  • Runswick, O. R., Roca, A., Williams, A. M., Bezodis, N. E., McRobert, A. P., & North, J. S. (2017). Contextual information in anticipation performance: A novel test of cognitive load theory. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 39, S192.
  • Runswick, O. R., Roca, A., Williams, A. M., Bezodis, N. E., & North, J. S.  (2017). The effects of anxiety and situation-specific context on perceptual-motor skill: A multi-level investigation. Psychological Research. DOI: 10.1007/s00426-017-0856-8
  • Murphy, C., Jackson R. C., Cooke, K., Roca, A., Benguigui, N., & Williams, A. M. (2016). Contextual information and perceptual-cognitive expertise in a dynamic, temporally- constrained task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 22, 455-470.
  • Roca, A., & Williams, A. M. (2016). Expertise and the interaction between different perceptual-cognitive skills: Implications for testing and training. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 792.
  • Runswick, O., Roca, A., Williams, A. M., & North, J. S. (2016). The effects of anxiety and situation-specific context on perceptual-motor skill: A multi-level investigation. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 38, S103-S104.
  • Vater, C., Roca, A., & Williams, A. M. (2016). Effects of anxiety on anticipation and visual search in dynamic, time-constrained situations. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 5, 179-192.
  • Murphy, C. P., Jackson R. C., Roca, A., & Williams, A. M. (2015). Cognitive processes underlying anticipation in a context-oriented task. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 37, S53. 
  • Roca, A., Memmert, D., & Ford, P. R. (2015). Creativity, decision making and visual search in skilled soccer players. In J. Bangsbo, & P. Krustrup (Eds.), Proceedings of the 8th World Congress on Science and Football (p. 161). Copenhagen, Denmark: SL Grafik.
  • Roca, A., Williams, A. M., & Ford, P. R.  (2014). Capturing and testing perceptual-cognitive expertise: A comparison of stationary and movement response methods. Behavior Research Methods46, 173-177. 
  • Roca, A., Ford, P. R., McRobert, A. P., & Williams, A. M.  (2013). Perceptual-cognitive skills and their interaction as a function of task constraints in soccer. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 35, 144-155. 
  • Roca, A., Ford, P. R., & Williams, A. M. (2013). The processes underlying ‘game intelligence’ skills in soccer players. In H. Nunome, B. Drust, & B. Dawson (Eds.), Science and Football VII (pp. 255-260). London, UK: Routledge. 
  • Roca, A. (2012). Oefening tijdens jeugd is cruciaal voor een beter spelinzicht! [Play during childhood is crucial for a better understanding of the game!]. Dug-Out, The Royal Belgian FA Journal, 85, 46-47.
  • Roca, A., Williams, A. M., & Ford, P. R. (2012). Developmental activities and the acquisition of superior anticipation and decision making in soccer players. Journal of Sports Sciences, 30, 1643-1652. 
  • Roca, A., Williams, A. M., & Ford, P. R. (2012). The development of ‘game intelligence’ skills in soccer: An examination of the practice experiences contributing to superior anticipation and decision making. In Proceedings of the 3rd World Conference on Science and Soccer (p. 65). Ghent, Belgium: Victoris & Gent BC.
  • Roca, A. (2011). Perceptual-cognitive expertise and its acquisition in soccer (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from British Library EThOS. (uk.bl.ethos.555808)
  • Roca, A., Ford, P. R., McRobert, A. P., & Williams, A. M.  (2011). Identifying the processes underpinning anticipation and decision-making in a dynamic time-constrained task. Cognitive Processing, 12, 301-310.

A full list of publications can be found on his ResearchGate and Google Scholar pages.


Find an expert

Areas of expertise: Expertise and skill acquisition, Decision making, Creativity, Football coaching

André’s work focuses on understanding the perceptual-cognitive processes behind expert decision making and creativity in sport and other domains and how to facilitate the acquisition of such skills via appropriate training design, instruction and feedback provision. André is an editorial board member and reviewer for a variety of high-impact journals. 

Languages (other than English): Portuguese, Spanish
Media Experience: Appearances/interviews for TV, news, and magazine articles


Media enquiries

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Sam Yarnold

sam.yarnold@stmarys.ac.uk
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