Dramaturgical Analysis of a Coaching Team’s Interactional Performances: An Ethnography of Video-Based Coaching in a Paralympic Sporting Context

Ian Britton, Ryan Groom, Lee Nelson

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


Sport coaching scholars have increasingly utilised the work of Erving Goffman to theoretically interpret and understand the complexities of coaching practice from a dramaturgical perspective. While this area of scholarship has advanced our sociological understanding of sport coaching, there remains a paucity of literature addressing how coaches work in conjunction with others and stage social interactions as performance teams. Utilising an 18-month ethnographic case study of video-based coaching in a Paralympic sporting context, data were gathered via participant observations, field notes and interviews and analysed using Goffman’s The Presentations of Self in Everyday Life as a heuristic framework. Findings and analysis revealed: (a) the coaching staff completed significant preparatory backstage work as a performance team prior to their frontstage delivery of video-based coaching which involved a select group of athletes, (b) the coaching staff found themselves presenting on the frontstage as a performance team to an audience comprising of interested and disinterested athletes, which caused feelings of frustration in response to athlete disengagement, (c) despite the significant backstage preparatory work completed by the coaching team, inconsistencies in their video-based coaching delivery contributed to a spoiled performance team identity in the eyes of their athlete audience. This study contributes new knowledge to the field of sport coaching through its novel dramaturgical analysis of video-based coaching, in particular, the complexity of team-based scripted interactions. Findings and analysis present in this article have important applied implications for preparing coaches for the teamed nature of this aspect of their work and the enactment of performance teamwork.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalSport, Education and Society
Early online date2 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2024


  • coaching
  • video-based coaching
  • performance teams
  • dramaturgy

Research Groups

  • Practice in Coaching & Teaching


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