A guide to understanding coaching philosophy

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... The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential for (mis)alignment and disjuncture between coaches' personal ideologies, or theories of coaching, and the coaching 'philosophy' espoused by the football academy for which they worked through employing a mixed methodology. Findings from the study suggested coaches had difficulty defining what the academy referred to as their 'philosophy' (Cushion & Partington, 2016;Partington & Campbell, 2020). By extending the work of Cushion and Partington (2016), we view the term coaching 'ideology' as a more accurate means to describe what has almost exclusively been understood as coaching 'philosophy', both by the academy under study and in previous research. ...
... Cushion & Partington, 2016) for coaching philosophy to be repositioned as part of formal coach education as more than a list of statements that describe coaches' intentions for practice. Formal coach education needs to help coaches think philosophically by asking questions of them that enables the exploration of their axiological and ethical values, and ontological and epistemological beliefs (see Partington & Campbell, 2020). Coaches should then be challenged to identify where these philosophies exist in practice and how they know this is so. ...
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The impacts of professional sporting culture and institutional discourse on coaching practices and ideologies have largely been unconsidered and undiscussed. Understanding coaching practice from a social perspective can provide insights into the prevailing culture that coaches are immersed within, pointing to patterns of discourse, norms and values that govern coaches' actions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential for (mis)alignment between coaches' ideological beliefs and the instituted philosophy of the professional football academy at which they worked. Thirteen male football coaches (M = 36.23 years) were observed coaching on three separate occasions, equating to 2584 min of footage (M = 66.26 min). Each recorded session was analysed using a computerised version of the Coach Analysis Intervention System (CAIS). All participants were interviewed twice (before first observation and after final observation). Coaches were questioned about the academy philosophy and their personal behavioural profiles. Data were subjected to thematic analysis and placed within a theoretical framework utilising concepts of Pierre Bourdieu. Findings highlighted that coaches' interpretations of the academy philosophy were impacted by their prior socialisation and position within the status hierarchy. The data also demonstrated 'philosophy' being used as a 'buzzword' throughout the academy, derived from loose interpretations, but offered few specific suggestions regarding how coaches 'should' behave. Coach interactions were used as forms of social control rather than addressing pedagogical concerns, with coaches' personal dispositions proving extremely strong and ultimately prevailing. It is worth questioning, therefore, the extent to which the academy 'philosophy' can be displaced, and the mechanisms required to ensure collective acceptance to an instituted coaching approach.
... 6 These beliefs play an integral role in shaping a coach's behaviour 4,7 ; for example, beliefs about the potential for learners to benefit from prescriptive instruction influence when and how much that behaviour is exhibited. While epistemic beliefs will implicitly influence the behaviour, a prominent feature of contemporary coach development is the development of an explicit philosophy of coaching [8][9][10][11] ; a statement which guides everyday coaching decisions and actions. 12 Developing and abiding by this statement is believed to help a coach to understand their underpinning beliefs, and to ensure that their behaviours are consistent with these beliefs. ...
Coaches' beliefs about the nature of knowledge and knowing (their epistemic beliefs) are an integral but under-researched component in the development of a philosophy of coaching. The Theory of Integrated Domains in Epistemology (TIDE) 1 offers a framework which may enhance the understanding of the development of coaches' epistemic beliefs. The present study offers the first application of the TIDE framework to sports coaching. We present a case study of the nature and development of epistemic beliefs of a highly renowned Adventure Sports Coach (ASC), Doug Cooper, through the lens of the TIDE framework. Thematic analysis of a series of semi-structured interviews showed that early childhood experiences , strongly held beliefs about ASC as a domain of knowledge, and educational experiences in the later life were instrumental in shaping Doug's epistemic beliefs. We conclude that the TIDE framework has considerable potential for researchers and coach developers seeking to gain insight into and develop coaches' beliefs.
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This paper reports on the perceptions of effective coaching based on interviews with male professional coaches and players from cricket, rugby league, and rugby union in Australia. It is part of a larger research project into effective coaching in professional sport where the coach's philosophy reflected a key ingredient of a coach's perceived effectiveness. The findings from the current study show that coaches in these professional settings develop programs to assist players in acquiring on- and off-field skills. In addition to this, there is a tendency to focus on learning and improvement as opposed to a win-at-all-costs attitude. These philosophies highlight elements of a Humanistic approach to coaching which focuses on the total development of the person.