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A sociological analysis was conducted into the collective nature of coaching as manifest in the triangular interaction between coach, athlete, and context within English professional youth soccer. The work of Pierre Bourdieu is predominantly used to interpret data collected ethnographically over the course of a 10-month season. Findings show how an authoritarian discourse is established and maintained, how it is structured by and subsequently structures the coaching context, and how accompanying behaviors are misrecognized as legitimate by both coaches and players. We conclude by reflecting on the limits of such work and its implications for future coaching education.
C. Cushion is with the School of Sport and Education at Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK. R.L. Jones is with the Cardiff School of Sport at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff C23 6XD UK.