Sports Coaching: The Basics: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sports Coaching: The Basics

1st Edition

By Laura Purdy


186 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138890886
pub: 2017-10-19
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Hardback: 9781138890879
pub: 2017-10-24
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315709994
pub: 2017-10-12
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Sports Coaching: The Basics is an engaging and provocative introduction to sports coaching which combines coaches’ views and experiences of their work with discussions and topical issues that feature in this fast-growing field. In doing so, coaches are placed at the centre of the discussions relating to philosophical, historical, sociological, psychological and pedagogical interpretations of contemporary practice. Consequently, the book prompts questions such as: 

  • What is coaching?
  • What does it mean to be a coach?
  • How do coaches influence athletes/players?
  • How do coaches learn?
  • What is it like to be a coach?

In considering these questions, readers are encouraged to reflect upon their experiences of coaching and to start conversations with others about coaches’ work. Therefore, the book is of use for coaches, those interested in studying sports coaching, and coach educators or facilitators of coach learning initiatives.


"Laura Purdy encourages you to reflect on your coaching practice and question your current approach to sports coaching. Reviewing my coaching practice empowered me to research new coaching methods, which in turn has strengthened my coaching knowledge." - Bob Mitchell, basketball coach

Table of Contents


1. What is sports coaching?

2. The philosophical coach

3. A history and a herstory of sports coaching

4. Coaching as social: considering the ‘taken for granted’ in coaches’ work

5. Causes and consequences: coaches as motivated and as constructors of motivational climates

6. Athlete/player learning and coaches’ methods

7. Learning the labour: considering coaches’ learning initiatives

8. Crossing lines: considering problematic coaching behaviour(s)

9. Twelve hour days, six days a week, fifty weeks a year: considering the careers of performance coaches


About the Author

Laura Purdy is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sport and Physical Activity at Edge Hill University, UK. Her interest in the academic field of sports coaching was fostered by her involvement as a coach and coxswain in rowing programmes ranging from novice to elite levels, including junior, adaptive and veteran. This curiosity continues to be fuelled via contributions to coaches’ CPD (Continuing Professional Development) in a range of sports and international settings. Laura’s academic work focuses on performance sporting cultures and the experiences of coaches and athletes/players who operate in these contexts.

About the Series

The Basics

The Basics is a highly successful series of accessible guidebooks which provide an overview of the fundamental principles of a subject area in a jargon-free and undaunting format.

Intended for students approaching a subject for the first time, the books both introduce the essentials of a subject and provide an ideal springboard for further study. With over 50 titles spanning subjects from Artificial Intelligence to Women’s Studies, The Basics are an ideal starting point for students seeking to understand a subject area.

Each text comes with recommendations for further study and gradually introduces the complexities and nuances within a subject.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SPORTS & RECREATION / Coaching / General