"Coaching Philosophy": Unphilosophical and uncritical

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This presentation, aims to provide conceptual clarity on what is included in a ‘coaching philosophy’ and the reality of how a coach’s philosophy operates in practice. ’Coaching philosophy’ is a term frequently used in coaching research and everyday coaching discourse. However, it is a term that remains ill-defined and poorly conceptualised, resulting in considerable misuse and misunderstanding. Coaching philosophy and a coach’s philosophy have not been investigated empirically using philosophical, sociological or reflective tools. Using these tools may allow a deeper empirical understanding of coaching philosophy and transparency for practitioners. To facilitate a more realistic view of coaching practice and the coach in context, a combination of methods has been used. For example observations, semi-structured interviews and biographical interviews to help understand the rhetoric, ideological and philosophic nature of coaching praxis, and explore coaches behaviour and underpinning knowledge. The participants were nine professional English youth football coaches at one professional English football academy. The participants had a diverse range of educational backgrounds, playing backgrounds and coaching experience. The initial findings highlight the coaches’ perceptions of ‘coaching philosophy’ as non-philosophical with practice mainly being produced and reproduced by ideological discourse, instead of educational or philosophical underpinnings. As a result, this ideological discourse that influences the coaching practice is not situational to the individuals being coached, the context or the coach.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2016
Event3rd International Sports Coaching Review Conference - Crewe, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Sept 201510 Sept 2015


Conference3rd International Sports Coaching Review Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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