Developing coaches’ sociological literacy and their informed agency as social actors
This PhD by published works is comprised of two key elements. First, an introductory critical analysis, which aims to contextualise and explain the contribution of the collected chapters and articles. This is achieved through a reflective, biographical account, that locates the publications within the wider field of coaching literature, whilst suggesting a trajectory of thought across the ten-years covered. The account provides an overview of the research produced in three distinct, but overlapping, phases from my position as a practitioner-researcher. The critical analysis is proceeded by the presentation of the publications. Taken as a whole, the case is made that sociological theory creates, for those willing to engage with it, opportunity and space for perceptual shifts that can have an impact on the way practice is understood, conceptualised, and, consequently, enacted. It is argued that developing greater understanding of the social context within which coaching occurs holds the potential to liberate and inform coaches’ actions, helping them respond in ways that are contextually appropriate and more likely to have the intended impact for learners. Hence, a sociological awareness can not only lead to greater appreciation of what we can and perhaps can’t do, it also gives flight to inferential thought about what, as coaches, we might be able to do. This line of thought acknowledges and reinforces that coaching is, first and foremostly, done with others; it is a social, relational, pedagogical action at heart. Whilst requiring knowledge of technique and tactics, coaching is about the actors (the ‘who’) involved, and what they stand for, in the construction of the practice. Consequently, intellectual endeavour is promoted as an important component of coach learning and practice, supporting, and advancing the case for coaches to develop a ‘quality of mind’ to improve both the process and act of coaching.
The Published works are not included here due to copyright restrictions
- School of Sport and Health Sciences