Exploring the types of questions coaches ask in practice

Ed Cope, Mark Partington, Stephen Harvey, Chris Cushion

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding (ISBN)peer-review

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In line with behaviouristic notions of learning, original thinking suggested that the greater level of instruction provided, the more effective the coaching (Douge & Hastie, 1993). As constructivist learning theories have received greater acceptance within the sports pedagogy literature, this concept that high amounts of instruction leads to increases in learning has been questioned. Instead, and keeping in line with the tenets of constructivism, coaches should adopt a questioning approach if the purpose is to develop learners game understanding (McNeill et al. 2008). However, no research has examined coach questioning and learners’ responses. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to qualitatively explore the questions coaches ask in practice and learners subsequent responses. Coaches (N=5) worked in a football academy context in the North West of England. One coach was observed from each age group between under 10’s to under 14’s. Data was collected through videoing training sessions and transcribing the questioning episodes. Each coach was observed for between four to four and a half hours across three training sessions. Data was analysed using a grounded theory approach. Coaches questioning episodes were mostly convergent interspersed with some divergent. This resulted in limited responses from learners. It has been suggested that coaches should attempt to ask questions of a more divergent nature as it these type of questions that starts a conversation between coach and their learners (Forrest, 2013). Consequently, we urge coaches to consider their questioning approach as this will necessitate learners to reflect on their performance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNot Known
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Sept 2014
Event4th International Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport & Exercise - Loughborough, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Sept 20143 Sept 2014


Conference4th International Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport & Exercise
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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