This paper examines the micro-political experiences of Adam (a pseudonym), a newly appointed fitness coach at a Football Association Premier League club, in his search for acceptance by senior colleagues. Data were collected through a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews, before being subject to a process of inductive analysis. Goffman's writings on impression management and stigma, Kelchtermans's micro-political perspective and Garfinkel's notion of status degradation are primarily utilised to make the sense of Adam's perceptions and actions. The findings point to the value of developing coaches’ micro-political understandings, and of including their formal facilitation within given professional preparation programmes. Doing so, it is argued, would better equip coaches for the problematic realities of their practice.