Cardiff Metropolitan University
Jones, Corsby & Thomas (2023) bordering, conn_Charlie Corsby.pdf (270.73 kB)

Bordering, Connecting, and Dispelling within Sports Coaching: Erasing the Practitioner–Scholar Divide

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-02, 16:00 authored by Robyn Jones, Charles Corsby, Gethin ThomasGethin Thomas

The current picture of sports coaching suggests one where practitioners and scholars operate not so much at a particular interface, but rather on parallel lines of development; in essence, of talking past as opposed to each other. Through a critical re-reading of the practitioner–scholar divide, this paper takes issue with the existence of the separate identities featured, in addition to the argument that we merely need a better, rather straightforward, connection between theory and practice to ‘fix the problem’. Alternatively, the case made highlights how the problematic ‘othering’ nature of a theory–practice division has severely hampered the development of the field. In terms of structure, we initially challenge existing ‘anti-intellectual’ claims within coaching, essentially by advocating for better appreciating the everyday, socio-pedagogic nature of the activity. In this respect, the relegation of experience, of the inherent ‘code of coaching’ (so dear to coaches themselves), is protected against. Secondly, we promote the idea of encouraging coaches, coaching scholars, and coach educators to consider the indivisibility of theory and practice through the use of such notions as sensitizing concepts, internalisation, and authenticity to improve the ‘doing’ of the job. Of particular importance here is the development and utilisation of a critical consciousness of coaching; not only of thoroughly understanding the activity, but also in actively fashioning it through engagement with new ideas. This latter notion gives required credence, however loosely, to some guiding frame of reference; otherwise we become enmeshed in, and blinded by, the immediate. In dismantling the wall that has divided practitioners and scholars by not giving authority or indeed acceptance to such fixed positions, we alternatively advocate for the creation of a more authentic coaching life through living the theory that actively sustains it.





  • VoR (Version of Record)


Jones, R. L., Corsby, C. L., & Thomas, G. L. (2023) 'Bordering, Connecting, and Dispelling within Sports Coaching: Erasing the Practitioner–Scholar Divide', Societies, 13(9), 201.

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Robyn Jones Charles Corsby Gethin Thomas

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Sport Coaching

Copyright Holder

  • © The Authors


  • en

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