Through Coaching: Examining a Socio-ecological Approach to Sports Coaching

Jeanes, Ruth, Magee, Jonathan and O’Connor, Justen (2013) Through Coaching: Examining a Socio-ecological Approach to Sports Coaching. The Socioecological Educator, 32 (5). pp. 89-107. ISSN 1234-5678

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The purpose of this chapter is to critically examine contemporary sports coaching, and to consider how social ecology might provide a valuable framework for critiquing current expectations placed on coaches, and how a socio-ecological approach may improve coaching practice. There are significant and diverse demands now being placed on the ‘grassroots’ community coach that are under-researched and under-theorised within the academic community and rarely considered by coach educators and policy makers. This chapter firstly uses a socio-ecological framework to deconstruct some of the assumptions which underpin ‘sport for social good’ projects. Secondly, a socio-ecological approach is presented as a possible alternative way to underpin sports coaching that is seeking to lead to certain wider social outcomes. The chapter concludes by suggesting that the holistic vision encouraged by a socio-ecological framework can offer a great deal for conceptualising of effective sports coaching.

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