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Pete Holmes

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology


Dr Pete Holmes joined NTU in October 2020 as Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching. He teaches on the Sport Science & Coaching undergraduate programme, leading the year 1 Exploring Coaching Practice and year 2 Coaching Science modules.

Career overview

Dr Holmes joined NTU from University Centre Doncaster where he led an undergraduate programme in PE & Sports Coaching and a distance learning top-up degree programme. Prior to this he has worked in various roles within the sport and exercise industry, including being an Analyst with ProZone Sports and an Exercise Physiologist with BUPA Wellness, having begun his career as a Fitness Instructor & Personal Trainer with Living Well Health Clubs.

Research areas

Dr Holmes' research interests centre on coach development and coaching practice, though he has a range of interests crossing sociology, psychology and athlete development. He completed his PhD through Leeds Beckett University in 2017, under the supervision of world-renowned Professors Richard Light and Andrew Sparkes. His thesis investigated the lifelong development and practice of professional head coaches in rugby.

Dr Holmes' first journal publication came in January 2020, focused on coaches' early life experiences and how these began to shape them as people and coaches. He is currently working on a follow-up to this focused on coaches' experiences as professional athletes and what they leant from these.

Dr Holmes is also working on two other projects currently: one on the influence of brothers in the development of professional rugby players and the other on the impact of relative age effect in athlete development in women's and girls' rugby union.

External activity

Away from academia, Dr Holmes is a Senior Coach Developer with the Rugby Football League, an External Examiner for The Open University and a Governor with Doncaster Deaf Trust, a specialist communication college that supports people with a broad range of disabilities. He has coached a range of sports including rugby league and union, football, swimming and cricket. In rugby league, he coached in the England Talent Pathway at Castleford Tigers, a major Super League club, for a number of years.

Dr Holmes is a member of UK Coaching, the professional body for coaching here in the UK, and a fellow of AdvanceHE, the professional body for higher education.


Dr Holmes has worked with the following organisations & institutions:

The Rugby Football League

West Riding County Football Association

Castleford Tigers RLFC

Leeds Beckett University

Yorkshire RFU

Doncaster Rovers FC

Research Collaborators

Dr Holmes is currently working with:

Dr Chris Saward (NTU)

Dr Julie Johnstone (NTU)

Dr John Morris (NTU)

Professor Richard Light at University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ

Professor Andrew Sparkes at Leeds Beckett University


Holmes, P., Light, R., & Sparkes, A. (2020). The influence of early life experiences on English and Australian Super League coaches’ learning. Sport, Education and Society. Advance online publication.

See all of Pete Holmes's publications...

Press expertise

Sport coaching and athlete development

Course(s) I teach on