“Opinion and Fact, Perspective and Truth”: Seeking Truthfulness and Integrity in Coaching and Coach Education

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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  • 1 University of Central Lancashire
  • 2 Dublin City University
  • 3 Grey Matters Performance Ltd.
  • 4 The University of Edinburgh
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Recent developments have seen a growth in coaching, with an associated boom in interest on how it may be optimised. Clearly, the authors applaud this evolution. This growth has been parallelled by an explosion in the availability of information, driven through Internet access and the phenomenon of social media. Unfortunately, however, this juxtaposition of interest and availability has not been matched by the application or exercise of effective quality control. While much of what is available is well intentioned, a tendency for poor quality and possibly less positively targeted “bullshit” has also arisen. In this insights paper, the authors have considered some of the reasons why and argued that an emphasis on the development of critical and analytical thinking, as well as a scepticism towards the sources of information, would be a positive step against coach susceptibility to bullshit. In doing so, and to encourage more critical consumption of the “knowledge” available, the authors presented a checklist to help coaches assess the veracity of claims and sift through the noise of the coaching landscape.

Stoszkowski and Hodgkinson are with the School of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom. MacNamara is with the School of Health & Human Performance, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. MacNamara and Collins are with the Grey Matters Performance Ltd., Stratford-upon-Avon, England, United Kingdom. Collins is also with the Moray House School of Education and Sport, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Stoszkowski (JRStoszkowski@uclan.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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