1st Edition

Sports Coaching: The Basics

By Laura Purdy Copyright 2018
    198 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    198 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.


    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



    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.

    "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