A Deconstruction of Coaching Philosophy

MARK PARTINGTON, Christopher J Cushion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Coaching philosophy is positioned in the literature and practice as providing coaches with a clear guide for their coaching. Although, current understandings of coaching philosophy suffer from a lack of conceptual clarity and are usually decontextualised from practice. To address this gap, this research deconstructed ten professional football coaches’ understanding of coaching philosophy(ies) and explored what influenced their practice over eighteen months in one English football Academy using the methods of interviews and observations. The data were analysed abductively and included Bourdieu’s concepts of field, capital, and habitus to help make further sense of the data. The findings revealed that, in this football Academy, coaching philosophy was associated with a technical and tactical model of the sport and functioned as a symbolic device rather than being a guide to coaches’ practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalSports Coaching Review
Early online date28 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2024


  • coaching philosophy
  • sport coaching
  • Bourdieu
  • reproduction
  • symbolic
  • pedagogic action

Research Groups

  • Practice in Coaching & Teaching


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