Philosophy for coaching rather than philosophy of coaching: Some conceptual clarifications

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This paper applies some central thoughts and ways of doing
philosophy from the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein. I will draw
attention to several of the tempting, yet potentially misleading
ideas that concern some sports coaching scholars. Reflecting
upon the corpus of research in the area, and the sociology of
sports coaching in particular, the paper will argue that such
inquiry relies far too heavily upon empirical methods and thus
raises further, and deeper, conceptual confusions. Inspired by
Wittgenstein’s “therapeutic” and “descriptive” approach to
philosophy and the work of Peter Winch, the paper will expose
some features of the concepts of “behaviour” and “habitus”. In
the spirit of Wittgenstein, these ideas are not offered as new
additions to the ever-increasing palette of theory or methods
on offer. The paper offers no new knowledge in this sense but
instead, more modestly, a perspicuous description of some
conceptual matters
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-126
Number of pages19
JournalSports Coaching Review
Issue number1
Early online date10 Jan 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jan 2022


  • philosophy
  • Wittgenstein
  • concepts
  • social science
  • sociology


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