Dr Brian Gearity
Theoretical lenses and conceptual bricks: Organizing and mobilizing critical sport coaching research in neoliberal times.
Sociological studies of sport coaching flourished the past 20 years, propelling the entire field forward, making it more visible. Some of the field’s best coach developers and social theorists sparked a revolution in the academic literature. Nowadays, it’s commonplace, but probably just within the academic literature, to hear sport coaching referred to as complex, messy, and occurring within ever changing cultures and relations of power and knowledge. Bourdieu, Foucault, Goffman, Kelchtermans, Noddings, Schon, Wenger are but a few of the theorists that scholars in coach education have drawn upon to shed light on power and previously unnamed experiences or experiences interpreted through a dominant theoretical lens that sucked up our interpretive horizons or multiplicities.
Nowadays, we’re seeing more. And yet, I feel unease. Organizations in sport and coaching don’t, or only superficially, draw upon this work. Students in universities want the easy answers of exercise science or sport psychology, coaches just need some drills for that evening’s practice, or coach developers oblige these consumers, give them want they want, not what they need, and speak of practice, practice, practice, as if it were disconnected from theory. And of course in today’s age, capitalism serves up coaching workshops delivered by faux scholars pumped out to the masses on social media and self-published books, or pop fiction cloaked as a textbook. While we dream these messages fall upon deaf ears, unfortunately the effect of these dominant discourses is to obscure wisdom and progress. So, what’s a scholar to do with their sophisticated theoretical lenses and conceptual tools in neoliberal times? Do we lay some bricks to build an edifice that organizes and mobilizes our institutional power? Or do we throw our bricks through windows and walls made of glass and straw to continue to map and critique sport coaching’s taken for granted assumptions and abuses of power?
Professor John Lyle
CRiC2019, in association with Sports Coaching Review, is delighted to announce: Professor John Lyle, Leeds Beckett University “Re-considering our direction of travel: Bringing pragmatism to sport coaching research”
For the practitioner, the potency and relevance of research conducted in sport coaching is, in great measure, equal to the truth it speaks to the coach's practice and beliefs. This keynote address challenges the research community to re-evaluate its collective contribution to the sport coaching collective.
It suggests that a greater sense of humility is required in recognising and accepting the contributions of fellow researchers, and in valuing the coach's capacity to distinguish the 'here and now' from its underlying determinants. Some responsibility must be assumed for translating decision policies and sociocultural complexities into meaningful education and development.
Dr Justine Allen
Athlete-centred coaching: Simple, isn’t it?
That coaching practice should be athlete-centred and coaches should place the athlete at the centre of the process has become a common message to practitioners (often from researchers). It is simple, put the athletes first and consider their needs as paramount. For some, this view reinforces beliefs about ‘how coaching should be’. For others, it challenges ‘how things have always been done’ and their experiences of coaching ‘that worked for them and their athletes’. Is this notion of athlete-centred coaching mere rhetoric with good intentions or grounded in an evidence base that reflects the realities of what coaches do and why? This keynote address considers whether the notion of athlete-centred coaching is as simple as it appears.
Diane M. Culver, PhD
Making a Difference for Coach Development: Supporting and Assessing Learning across Landscapes of Practice
For the last two decades Dr Diane Culver and her research colleagues have conducted research framed by the concept of communities of practice (CoP) and its underlying theory of social learning. This keynote will explore how coaches and sport organisations can benefit from the scaling up of this concept to the level of the landscape of practice (LoP), which is defined as the conglomerate of CoPs and networks that make up the knowledge of a profession. Examples from applied research with coaches, parasport coaches, and sport organisations will illustrate this landscape approach and how it can increase learning capability. The latest developments of the Value Creation Framework will be revealed along with how it can be used to leverage social learning and as an instrument to measure learning.