This book celebrates two important aspects of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. (1) For those involved in any aspect of Olympism, and particularly coaches and athletes, London 2012 was about realising dreams, achieving success and participating in competitive sport at the highest level. This book sets out some of these dreams and the part coaches play in this. (2) The book also looks at the notion of ‘coaching-for-performance’ and does this from an international and multi-sport perspective. From interviews with Olympic coaches, the experiences of those working in the field of high performance and from applied sport researchers, the book uses the metaphor of the ‘coach-as-alchemist’ in order to capture the dynamics of coach-athlete relationships and performance. Sports such as diving, swimming, gymnastics, skiing are included as well as individual and team sports.
The book is set within the context of elite sport, high performance and coaching. Its contents illuminate two important kinds of reflective practice: (a) Reflection-ON-action (b) Reflection-FOR-action. The style of presentation includes narratives, reflective conversations, ethnographic work, interview analysis and video-clips available on-line.
This book was published as a special issue of Reflective Practice.
1. Realising the Olympic dream – bring on the alchemists 2. Coaching for performance: an interview with Olympic diving coach, Andy Banks 3. Coaching for performance: reflections of Olympic diving coach, Andy Banks 4. Reflection and the art of coaching: fostering high-performance in Olympic Ski Cross 5. ‘One door closes, a next door opens up somewhere’: the learning of one Olympic synchronised swimmer 6. Stories of success: Cultural narratives and personal stories of elite and professional athletes 7. Thought Piece: Realising the Olympic dream: vision, support and challenge 8. Developing rapid high-pressure team decision-making skills. The integration of slow deliberate reflective learning within the competitive performance environment: A case study of elite netball 9. Reflections on a dream: towards an understanding of factors Olympic coaches attribute to their success 10. Sacrifice: the lonely Olympic road 11. ‘Multi-directional management’: exploring the challenges of performance in the World Class Programme environment 12. Politics, power & the podium: coaching for Paralympic performance 13. Thought Piece: The political process of constructing a sustainable London Olympics sport legacy: three years on