4th Edition

Understanding Sports Coaching The Pedagogical, Social and Cultural Foundations of Coaching Practice

By Tania Cassidy, Paul Potrac, Steven Rynne Copyright 2023
    260 Pages
    by Routledge

    260 Pages
    by Routledge

    Every successful sports coach knows that good teaching and social practices are just as important as expertise in sports skills and tactics. Now in a fully revised and updated fourth edition, and introducing a new author team, Understanding Sports Coaching introduces theories and practices while exploring pedagogical, social and cultural concepts underpinning good sports coaching practice.

    Broken into four sections, Understanding Sports Coaching examines the complex interplay between coach, athlete, coaching programme and social context, and encourages coaches to develop an open and reflective approach to their own coaching practice. It covers key aspects of coaching theories and practice, including important and emerging topics, such as:

    • leadership

    • athlete learning

    • emotion in coaching

    • culture as meaning making

    • quality in coaching

    • talent identification and development

    • philosophy and sports coaching

    Understanding Sports Coaching also includes a full range of practical exercises and extended case studies designed to encourage coaches to critically reflect upon their own coaching strategies, their interpersonal skills and important issues in contemporary sports coaching. This is an essential textbook for any degree-level course in sports coaching, and for any professional coach looking to develop their coaching expertise.

    Setting the Scene

    1 Introduction

    2 Reflection


    The Context of Coaching

    3 Culture and Meaning-Making in Sports Coaching

    4 Coaching as a Micropolitical Activity

    5 The Professionalisation of Sports Coaching


    The Coach

    6 Philosophy and Sports Coaching

    7 Quality in Coaching

    8 Leadership

    9 The Coach as a Social Performer


    The Athletes

    10 Athlete Learning

    11 Emotions and Athlete Learning

    12 Development and Talent Identification



    13 Assessment, Knowledge and Ability

    14 Discourse and the (Re)Production of Coaching Knowledge


    Tania Cassidy is an associate professor in the area of Sport Pedagogy, particularly sports coaching. Tania views sports coaching as a social and educational enterprise as well as one which is culturally bound.

    Paul Potrac is a professor of sports coaching in the Department of Sport, Exercise, and Rehabilitation at Northumbria University, UK. Alongside his academic work, Paul was a football coach for 18 years. He coached male and female teams at various levels in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and New Zealand.

    Steven Rynne, PhD, is an associate professor in the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences at The University of Queensland, Australia. With a professional background in, and ongoing research focus on, pedagogy he has extensive expertise in fostering sporting outcomes through high-quality learning.