About Dr Stephen Cobley

Dr. Cobley's research interests lie in removing or reducing factors that inhibit learning performance and attainment, and developing or adding those factors that facilitate individuals to learn, perform and attain.

Steve Cobley is a senior lecturer in Skill Acquisition and Sport & Exercise Psychology within the Faculty of Health Sciences at The University of Sydney.

Dr. Steve Cobley has been at the The University of Sydney since February 2012, he was formerly a senior lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University (UK), and a lecturer at Queens University (Canada). Over the last 10 years, Steve has taught at the undergraduate and post-graduate level in the areas of skill acquisition, expertise, sport and exercise psychology, human learning and development, and research methods. In terms of research, Steve’s research interests examine the factors that both facilitate and inhibit learning, performance and long-term attainment, whether that be in a sport, education, clinical, workplace or even military contexts. These are interests shared with both local and international collaborators in the UK, Canada, Germany and Australia. He is very much interested in collaborating with students – local or international - with interests in similar areas. Steve has experience in applied work and consultancy as a chartered sport and exercise psychologist, and so a lot of applied research often occurs through these joint ventures. Steve is also a joint editor of a recent book entitled: ‘Talent identification & Development in Sport: International Perspectives’ (2011; Routledge).

Selected publications

  • Cobley, S., Baker, J., Wattie, N. & McKenna, J. (2009). Annual age-grouping and athlete development: A meta-analytical review of relative age effects in sport. Sports Medicine, 39, 3, 235-256
  • Schorer, J., Cobley, S., Büsch, D., Bräutigam, H. & Baker, J. (2009). Influence of competition level, gender, player nationality, career stage and playing position on relative age effects. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 19 (5), 720-730.
  • Till, K., Cobley, S., O'Hara, J., Brightmore, A., Cooke, C., & Chapman, C. (2011). Using anthropometric and performance characteristics to predict selection in junior UK rugby league players. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 14 (2), 264-269.
  • Till, K., Cobley, S., Wattie, N., O'Hara, J., Cooke, C., & Chapman, C. (2010). Prevalence, influential factors and mechanisms of the relative age effect in UK Rugby League. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 20, 320-329.
  • Cobley, S., McKenna, J., Baker, J., & Wattie, N. (2009). How pervasive are relative age effects in secondary school education? Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 2, 520-528.
  • Wattie, N., Cobley, S., Macpherson, A., Montelpare, W.J., McKenna, J., Howard, A., & Baker, J. (2010). Constituent Year: A New Consideration for Injury Risk in Canadian Youth Ice Hockey. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 20, 113-116. 
  • Wattie, N., Cobley, S., & Baker, J. (2008). Toward a unified understanding of relative age effects. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26, 1403-1409.
  • Cobley, S., Schorer, J., & Baker, J. (2008). Relative age effects in professional German soccer: A historical analysis. Journal of Sport Sciences, 26, 1531-1538.
  • Wattie, N., Cobley, S., McPherson, A., Howard, A., Montelpare, W.J., & Baker, J. (2007). Relative age and injuries in youth ice-hockey. Pediatrics, 120, 142-148.Baker, J., Cobley, S., & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2009). What do we know about early sport specialization? Not much! High Ability Studies, 20, 77-89.