A longitudinal study examining elite soccer and rugby union players’ transitions into elite coaching

Blackett, Alex (2015) A longitudinal study examining elite soccer and rugby union players’ transitions into elite coaching. In: Third International Coaching Conference, 9-10 September, 2015, Crewe, Cheshire.

A.Blackett - CRiC 2015.pdf
A.Blackett - CRiC 2015.pdf - Presentation

Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive


The core aim of this paper was to conceptualise the significance competitive playing careers and a level three coach education course had on 15 current or recently retired rugby union and soccer athletes’ transitions into coaching.
Analysis on the developmental pathways of sports coaches have received considerable amounts of enquiry within the field of coach education. The qualitative data collection methods of these studies have regularly employed one-off semi-structured interviews ‘looking back’ on coaches’ life histories. Such methods rely on the use of retrospective questioning which has been considered susceptible to collecting inaccurate data due to participant recall error and biases of judgement brought through the benefit of hindsight. The paper therefore explains how a longitudinal methodology individually interviewing current or recently retired elite athletes transitioning into coaching enabled the research to ‘walk with’ and ‘follow’ the participants when investigating how coaching knowledge was developed during attendance of a level three coach education course. Subsequently, both retrospective and prospective questions on ‘becoming’ an elite coach were integrated into the interview schedules, designed to stimulate reflexive accounts on how socio-cultural mechanisms contoured coach development. Data were retroductively analysed following the principles of grounded theory.
Results identified the significance of participants embodying particular values and beliefs engendered from socialisation processes within professional clubs throughout competitive playing careers. Competitive playing careers were perceived to significantly inform athletes on their playing philosophy (preferred style of play). Although the level three formal coaching qualifications were highly regarded, the participants confused a coaching philosophy (strategies to coach) with a playing philosophy. Participants made little reference to the value of formal pedagogical knowledge during second phase interviews, either in relation to their career, the coaching course, or gained through interactions with their mentors. The participants also recorded the mentors assigned to them within the formal qualifications to uphold little value. Instead, informal mentors comprising of personal contacts formed during their own competitive playing career were sought on the basis of trust and a shared playing philosophy having already been established.

Keywords:coaching pathways, coach development
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C600 Sports Science
L Social studies > L300 Sociology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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ID Code:19602
Deposited On:19 Nov 2015 19:28

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