Taking the next step: Ways forward for coaching science

Abraham, A., and Collins, D. orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7601-0454 (2011) Taking the next step: Ways forward for coaching science. Quest, 63 (4). pp. 366-384. ISSN 0033-6297

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00336297.2011.10483687


Coaching is no longer a subset of physical education or sport psychology but is rather an established vocation for research. In reaching such a position, we argue that a broad range of epistemologies have been used to investigate coaching such as sociology and cognitive psychology. However there is danger that, in the search for new ground, research becomes increasingly esoteric, having less and less impact on the domain that it is researching—namely coaching. As a step against this trend, we argue for and attempt to establish the commonalities across these research approaches suggesting that coaching is social, political, and pedagogical in nature. We accept that coaching is inherently complex but argue that coaches can be educated to cope with complexity through a professional judgment and nested decision making process. To facilitate this process, we offer a model for coaching that is inclusive of the commonalities across coaching research, summarizes our major theoretical points yet practical enough for application by coach educators and coaches.

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