Sports coaching is a social activity. At its heart lies a complex interaction between coach and athlete played out within the context of sport, itself a socio-culturally defined set of practices. In this ground-breaking book, leading international coaching scholars and coaches argue that an understanding of sociology and social theory can help us better grasp the interactive nature of coaching and consequently assist in demystifying the mythical ‘art’ of the activity.
The Sociology of Sports Coaching establishes an alternative conceptual framework from which to explore sports coaching. It firstly introduces the work of key social theorists, such as Foucault, Goffman and Bourdieu among others, before highlighting the principal themes that link the study of sociology and sports coaching, such as power, interaction, and knowledge and learning. The book also outlines and develops the connections between theory and practice by placing the work of each selected social theorist alongside contemporary views on that work from a current practicing coach.
This is the first book to present a critical sociological perspective of sports coaching and, as such, it represents an important step forward in the professionalization of the discipline. It is essential reading for any serious student of sports coaching or the sociology of sport, and for any reflective practitioner looking to become a better coach.
"… accessible to a scholarly audience, but also to practising coaches and students interested in this area … We greatly enjoyed reading this text and encourage others to do so. The editors have delivered a well-balanced application of both prominent and lesser known social theorists. The value placed on the voices of practicing coaches provides an immediate application of theory and contributes to the accessibility of the text", Jenny McMahon and Christ Zehntner, Sport, Education and Society
Section 1: Background and Context 1. Introduction Section 2: Sociological Thinkers 2. Erving Goffman: Interaction and Impression Management: Playing the Coaching Role 3. Michel Foucault: Power and Discourse: The ‘Loaded’ Language of Coaching 4. Pierre Bourdieu: A Theory of (Coaching) Practice 5. Arlie Russell Hochschild: The Managed Heart, Feeling Rules, and Emotional Labour: Coaching as an Emotional Endeavour 6. Anthony Giddens: Acknowledging Structure and Individuality within Coaching 7. Niklas Luhmann: Coaching as Communication 8. Etienne Wenger: Coaching and communities of Practice 9. Peter Blau: Exchange, Reciprocity and Dependency: How Coaches and Athletes Rely on each Other 10. Jürgen Habermas: Communicative Action, the System, and the Lifeworld: Critiquing Social Interaction in Coaching Section 3: Coaching and the Social 11. Power in Coaching 12. Social Interaction in Coaching 13. Coach and Athlete Learning: A Social Approach 14. Conclusion. References