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Scaffolding athlete learning in preparation for competition: what matters

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-01-06, 12:37 authored by Gethin Thomas, Jake Bailey, Irina Engeness
The purpose of this study is to advance the notion of scaffolding in coaching as a socio-pedagogic activity through exploring the “doing” of coaching during a competition preparation period. Using the method of critical companionship, the analysis draws on a storied representation of a coach’s practice. Findings conceptualise scaffolding as a transformative process of continuous building and enacting of both coach and athlete’s agentic capabilities to enhance learning. Within this framework, the coach had to understand the athlete and read the cultural context for scaffolding to occur within an appropriately constructed zone of proximal development (ZPD). This involved building a ZPD and scaffolding that developed athlete agency as a learner while maintaining respect and security, leading to the enhancement of the coach’s pedagogical and social agency. These findings advance the notion of scaffolding through merging the pedagogical and social, providing a framework for coach and athlete’s agentic learning and development.


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Sports Coaching Review


Taylor & Francis

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  • VoR (Version of Record)


Gethin Llewellyn Thomas, Jake Bailey & Irina Engeness (2021) 'Scaffolding athlete learning in preparation for competition: what matters', Sports Coaching Review, DOI: 10.1080/21640629.2021.1991713

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Gethin Thomas Jake Bailey

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Sport Coaching

Copyright Holder

  • © The Authors


  • en

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