The Use Of Headcams To Investigate Coach Learning Within Elite Coach Education And Practice.

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The research reported in this presentation is set in the context of the ‘global sporting arms race’ and the use of the SPLISS model to understand the processes associated with the development of sporting success (De Bosscher et al., 2008), especially those related to talent identification, research and coaching provision. It is the latter two processes (or, ‘pillars’, as defined in the SPLISS model) comprising both ‘research’ and ‘coaching provision and coach development’ that are of particular importance for improving both the quality and quantity of coaches required to enhance international sporting success. Since undertaking reflective practice appears to contribute to understanding coaches’ experiential learning (Cassidy et al., 2009), it is suggested that adopting a visual auto-ethnographic angle to research-based practice will help better capture and contribute to enhanced coach learning, provision and development. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND Current findings within sports coaching (especially football) seek to examine the development of coaches’ ability and coaching status. Within the UK and England in particular, of interest is the difference in the number of qualified coaches registered in the sport compared to other principal European nations (Peacock, 2008). To both generate and deliver research which is relevant to coaching practice and which maximizes its quality studies are required to explore what is currently happening on the ‘front line’ and in coaches’ everyday coaching sessions. The provision and expectation of coach delivery and elite (categorized as levels 4 and 5) coach education qualifications varies both within and between countries and, accordingly, approaches need to be partly understood on existed coaching provision and delivery (Taylor and Garratt, 2012). It therefore might be argued that evidence of coach learning as part of the certification of national governing bodies (NGBs) and higher education courses (Nelson et al., 2006) needs further examination. Indeed, Cushion and Nelson (2010, p.360) have noted that ‘evidence of coach learning is limited’ and the complexity of coach learning does not appear to be captured effectively by NGBs (Cushion, 2011). Thus far, coaching research has failed to better understand this complexity and develop coach learning by engaging in the various learning environments in which elite coaches find themselves. METHODOLOGICAL POSSIBILITIES The approach argues that visual auto ethnography may help enable coaches to understand better the consequences of their decision-making and to learn from their ‘real life’ experiences to enhance future practice. The reflective approach of visual auto ethnography seeks to bring meaning to various learning situations by developing coaches’ knowledge base in a profession that is often categorized via ‘isolated’ and inaccessible practice (Knowles et al., 2006, p.173). It might also be proposed that capturing and reliving complex decision-making processes can be better accomplished by coaches using visual feedback, obtained via head-mounted cameras to enable researchers to re-access and understand coaches’ experiential and situated learning and the opportunity to posit a seat on the experience (Hughes, 2012). IMPLICATIONS As the ‘global sporting arms race’ continues to gather momentum, reflecting on the use of head-mounted cameras with coaches might inform future elite sport policy and development and shed greater light on the complexities of coach learning, practice and development. Research of the kind presented also enables coaches to be located at the centre of research and to ‘see’ their learning in a more realistic way that enhances their future practice. References: Cassidy, T., Jones, R.L. & Potrac, P. (2009). Understanding Sports Coaching: The Social, Cultural and Pedagogical Foundations of Coaching Practice. London: Routledge. Cushion, C.J., Nelson, L.J., Armour, K.M., Lyle, J., Jones, R.L., Sandford, R. and O’Callaghan, C. (2010). Coach Learning and Development: A Review of Literature. Leeds: Sports Coach UK. Cushion, C.J. (2011). Coaches learning and development. In R.Bailey & I. Stafford (Eds.) Coaching Children in Sport. Abingdon: Routledge. De Bosscher, V., Bingham, J., Shibli, S., Van Bottenburg, M., & De Knop, P. (2008). The Global Sporting Arms Race: An international comparative study on Sports Policy Factors Leading to International Sporting Success. Aachen: Meyer & Meyer. Hughes, C. (2012). The Senses, the Self and the Physically Active Body. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Knowles, Z., Tyler, G., Gilbourne, D., & Eubank, M. (2006). Reflecting on reflection: exploring the practice of sports coaching graduates. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspective, 7 (2), 163-179. Nelson, L.J., Cushion, C.J. and Potrac, P. (2006). Formal, non-formal and informal coach learning: A holistic conceptualisation. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 1 (3), 247-259. Peacock, J. (2008). Training coaches will produce better players. Football Development Department Discussion Document for Coaching 2008-2012: Developing world-class coaches and players, 8-13. Taylor, W.G. & Garratt, D. (2012). Coaching and professionalization. (2012). In P. Potrac, W. Gilbert & J. Dennison (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Sports Coaching. Oxon; New York: Routledge.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2013
EventSports Policy Leading to International Sporting Success (SPLISS) - Antwerp, Belgium
Duration: 8 Nov 2013 → …


ConferenceSports Policy Leading to International Sporting Success (SPLISS)
Period8/11/13 → …


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