"It’s about putting the learning into context": A multimethod, multiple perspective exploration of the process of learning in introductory coach education

Justine Allen*, Colleen Reid, Stephen Macdonald

*Corresponding author for this work

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Coach education continues to be an integral part of coaches’ learning journeys however, their usefulness has also been questioned. Given the disparity in research findings, the purpose of this study was to further our understanding of the role of the coach developer in the learning process within introductory level coach education courses. Drawing on Moon’s stages of learning and using multiple methods (observation, interviews, focus groups), we explored multiple perspectives (coaches, coach developers, and researcher observer) of the activities and learning situations within introductory courses (judo, basketball, paddlesports). In total, three courses were observed, each lasting two days (48 hours of observation), six coach developers participated in an interview (45-60 minutes each) and 18 coaches participated in one of five focus groups (20-30 minutes each). Through our thematic analysis we developed three themes: structure supports the learning process; NGB resources are just a starting point for learning; a deep approach to learning can be facilitated. Our findings suggest that despite criticisms of large-scale approaches to coach education, they were useful to coaches and coach developers were able to facilitate some deep learning. Furthermore, the quality of coach education programmes was largely dependent on the expertise of coach developers in their roles. Questions are raised about the conceptualisation of learner-centred approaches to coach education delivery.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science & Coaching
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 25 May 2024

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