Vygotsky in Practice: Applying Vygotskian notions to improve coach education in rugby union
The aim of this study was to show how I, a coach educator, used Vygotskian notions to improve rugby coaches’ conceptual understanding of game principles and how to apply them in practice. The study involved a group of six student rugby coaches. Using action research, coaches delivered a 10-week rugby programme to a class of year 5 children, informed by Vygotskian notions and GCA. Data was collected on coach learning through observation of their ability to deliver through GCA, a reflective log detailing my reflections as coach educator and a series of focus groups with the coaches. Data was analysed using a combination of deductive and inductive thematic analysis (Braun and Clark, 2006). Findings highlighted the use of language, importance of the more capable other, embedding learning in context and providing time to internalise ideas as being key within the learning process. The study contributes to the developing body of empirical evidence that seeks to promote Vygotskian pedagogy as a credible theoretical lens, whilst recognising the complexities of sports coaching.