Friday, March 15, 2013

Social theory for coaches

I enjoyed this paper. It's a conversation that we need to have with ourselves on this aspect of coaching.

Denison, Jim. "Social theory for coaches: a Foucauldian reading of one athlete's poor performance." International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching 2.4 (2007): 369-383.
This paper explores my "sense making" when a male cross-country runner I was coaching performed below expectation. My initial understanding of his poor performance was to blame him for "lacking" the appropriate mental toughness. As a result, I located the "problem" within him and subsequently ignored many of my own taken-for-granted coaching practices as perhaps contributing to his poor performance. In this paper, I provide an alternative reading of my judgement of this athlete's poor performance through Michel Foucault's theory of disciplinary power. I conclude by suggesting that many everyday coaching practices may have a number of "hidden" or problematic consequences attached to them that coaches should consider in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of their coaching and to enhance their athletes' performances.

You can listen to an interview with Jim at The Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre site (for free if you register).

Coach the shit out of the athlete. But not so much to make it yours than theirs.


1 comment:

Josh Leeger said...

Can't get access to this paper, but I'd love to read it...