How did we get here; a historical and social exploration of the construction of English FA coach education

Reece Chapman*, Ed Cope, Dave Richardson, Martin Littlewood, Colum Cronin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


Formal coach education, such as courses experienced by coaches, is part of a wider education system, constructed by policy developers, course designers and coach educators. To date, research has explored the complex micro-pedagogical interactions between coach educators and coaches on courses, yet there is little understanding of the historical and social influences on the development of these systems. In response, this study analyses the social construction of The English FA’s coach education system over 50 years (1967–2019). Specifically, this study aimed to (1) identify ‘social architects’ who influenced the development of FA coach education and (2) analyse the wider social, economic, and political influences on these architects and their development of FA coach education over time. To do so, this work re-examines data from 16 semi-structured interviews (with participants who have held significant roles within The FA e.g. Head of Coaching) and 47 policy documents (e.g. course materials). Through a deductive crystallisation process the findings recognise (1) the military’s influence in positioning the coach educator as powerful, (2) how insights from PE and education have informed FA coach education development and (3) how economic opportunities from the 1990s and onward prompted an expansion of FA coach education provision. This important contribution provides a platform for further research to explore the historical social construction of coach education systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalSport, Education and Society
Early online date22 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Sept 2023

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