A Case Study of a Parasport Coach and a Life of Learning

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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  • 1 University of Ottawa
  • | 2 University of Calgary
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The complex process of sport coaching is a dynamic and evolving practice that develops over a long period of time. As such, a useful constructivist perspective on lifelong learning is Jarvis’ (2006, 2009) theory of human learning. According to Jarvis, how people learn is at the core of understanding how we can best support educational development. The purpose of the current study is to explore the lifelong learning of one parasport coach who stood out in his feld, and how his coaching practice evolved and developed throughout his life. A thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was used to extract themes and examples from three two-hour interviews as well as interviews with key collaborators in his coaching network. The findings reveal a coach whose coaching practice is founded on pragmatic problem solving in the face of a lack in resources; an investment in formal and nonformal adapted activity education at the start of his parasport career; and observation, communication, and relationship-building with his athletes and the parasport community. Suggestions are provided for coach developers on how they might invest resources and create learning opportunities for coaches of athletes with a disability.

Shaunna Taylor is a researcher at the University of Ottawa in Canada. Her main areas of interest are sport psychology, parasport, and women’s issues in sport. She has contributed to a book on women and coaching, and was a coaching consultant and facilitator of coach education programs for the Coaching Association of Canada. She currently serves as a high performance director in Paralympic sport, and is the co-chair of the Managing Council of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association.

Penny Werthner is a professor and dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Canada. Her areas of expertise are coaching science, sport psychology, and women and sport. She has worked extensively with Olympic level athletes and coaches for over 25 years. She is a member of the editorial board of the International Sport Coaching Journal, a member of the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE), and past Chair of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association (CSPA/ACPS).

Diane Culver is an associate professor in the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa in Canada. Her research on coaching and coach education has been published in such Journals as The Sport Psychologist and the International Journal of Sport Sciences and Coaching. She has written a number of book chapters and also has an interest in qualitative research. She is a member of the Coaching Research Committee at the Coaching Association of Canada.

Address author correspondence to Shaunna Taylor at shaunna.taylor@gmail.com.

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