"Teach me how to dance with you". A phenomenological exploration to improve my own (football) coaching
thesisposted on 07.05.2021, 09:09 by Marink Reedijk, Gethin Thomas, R.L. Jones
During my academic journey, I have always felt a nagging space between the subject of my studies and my coaching practice, causing all kinds of angst and challenges. Hence, due to this personal struggle, I wanted this work to be beneficial for both scholars and practitioners; indeed, for all who work in the sports coaching community. That is why I undertook a phenomenological examination of coaching, with the purpose of bringing theory alive in practice. Throughout the work, I narrate my ‘research journey’ to create understanding(s) of the opportunities and difficulties related to applying phenomenology in practice. Guided by Heidegger’s (2001) perspective, the aim was to explore my own coaching phenomenologically; to consider what ‘coaching’ really is about. The work is undertaken through a first person phenomenological approach (Van Manen, 1990), where my phenomenological awakening in relation to my coaching practice is traced and deconstructed. The ‘findings’, in turn, are presented within vignettes crafted through the process of creative (non-)fiction. Each vignette focuses on the stated project objectives, encapsulated in the research questions of; ‘How can I discern what I see?’ ‘What are the presuppositions that underpin my practice?’ and ‘What are the connections between what I see and what I do?’ The method employed within the work borrows heavily from critical companionship, where primacy is given to reflexivity (Finlay, 2002a; 2002b) in all its forms.