Exploring the Career Experiences of Football Association (FA) Coach Educators: Lessons in Micropolitical Literacy and Action

Ashley Allanson, Paul A. Potrac, LEE NELSON

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

11 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Coach education has been the subject of increasing levels of investigation and critique, and whilst such inquiry has provided some fascinating insights, the coach educator has remained largely invisible in the coach education literature with a lack of understanding of not only the coach educator’s role but also the relationships they manage with other stakeholders. This study aims to provide some in-depth insights into the ways in which four Football Association (FA) coach educators experience their workplace, especially in terms of their respective understandings of social interactions with a variety of key contextual stakeholders (regional managers, fellow coach educators, and coach learners). A ‘narrative-biographical’ (Kelchtermans and Ballet, 2002) approach was utilised to explore the coach educators’ understandings of their career experiences and, in particular, the meaning those experiences had. The data analysis suggested that the coach educators engaged in impression management and emotional management in order to be seen complying within the culture of the FA coach education organisational structure through their own professional self-understanding. Additionally, they seemingly attached great store to protecting and advancing their individual interests and reputation within the workplace, which was termed to be ‘vulnerable’ work (Kelchtermans, 2011). It is hoped that this study can not only contribute to the embryonic work addressing coach education from a critical sociological perspective (Jones et al., 2011; Cassidy et al., 2016), but it may also assist in the preparation, education, and continuing professional development of coach educators.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitiative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
Early online date29 Nov 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Nov 2019


  • coach educator
  • coach education
  • Narrative-biographical
  • micropolitics
  • Vulnerability
  • Emotions


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