Coach education in Ireland: Observations and considerations

Sunhild Bertz, LAURA PURDY

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


The high-performance sports system is a rapidly evolving and increasingly important element of the Irish sporting landscape reflected in public policy, the direction and level of spending, and organisational/institutional evolution – all signalling a formal recognition of the high-performance sector as central to sport in Ireland. While certain aspects of high-performance sport in Ireland are beginning to be reflected in research (e.g., Guerin et al. 2008), this is yet to be extended to high performance coaching. The education, development, and support of coaches are key areas of the Coaching Strategy for Ireland (2008-2012). An understanding of high-performance coach activities and needs will become increasingly vital in underpinning the effectiveness of resources directed at high-performance coaching as Ireland seeks to reposition itself within the world’s elite in sport. The purpose of this article is to better understand the development of high-performance coaches in Ireland and the key influences on this (e.g., exposure to different coaching environments, sources of knowledge, and preferred ways of learning). It aims to explore what high-performance coaches believe has been most important in developing and fostering their coaching ‘know-how,’1 and what this may imply for future educational interventions for high-performance coaches. This article brings to light insights generated through semi-structured interviews with 10 high-performance coaches currently and/or recently working in Irish sport.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-43
JournalJournal of Coaching Education
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • coach education
  • coach development
  • high-performance coaching


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