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The Interplay Between Learning, Knowledge, Biography and Practice: The Tale of an Experienced Track & Field Athletics Coach

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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  • 1 University of Hull
  • | 2 Edge Hill University
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This paper examines how the learning biography of Jack (pseudonym), an experienced track and field athletics coach, shaped his thoughts about coaching practice. Data were collected through seven in-depth, semistructured, narrative-biographical interviews that formed part of a cyclical and iterative data analysis process. Our analysis of Jack’s narrative revealed how his understanding of two distinct features of his coaching practice (i.e., implementation of periodization and pedagogical delivery style) developed in contrasting ways. Jack’s story was primarily, although not exclusively, interpreted using Alheit’s concepts of biographical learning and biographicity, Biesta and Tedder’s writings on agency and learning in the life-course, and Jarvis’ discussion of learning as a process of becoming. The findings of this study raise significant questions for how the field of sports coaching seeks to understand coach learning.

Luke Oldridge is a graduate of the University of Hull, UK, where he studied sports coaching at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Lee Nelson is a reader in sports coaching at Edge Hill University and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Hull, UK. His research and teaching interests include micro-politics, emotions, and pedagogy in coaching and coach education contexts. He led the editing of the Research Methods in Sports Coaching and Learning in Sports Coaching Routledge texts.

Kenny Greenough is a senior lecturer in sports coaching and programme leader for the BA Sports Coaching and Development and BA Sports Management and Coaching programmes at Edge Hill University, UK. He is an experienced football coach and coach educator.

Paul Potrac is a professor of sports coaching at Edge Hill University and an honorary professor at the University of Hull, UK. His research and teaching interests focus on exploring the social complexity of sports coaching and coach education, with a particular emphasis on the political and emotional nature of practice. He has contributed to the writing of a number of Routledge coaching texts. These include The Routledge Handbook of Sports Coaching, Sociology of Sports Coaching and Understanding Sports Coaching.

Address author correspondence to Lee Nelson at nelsonl@edgehill.ac.uk.
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