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Paul Garner and Denise M. Hill

Given the enduring focus of coach education on the development of professional knowledge (e.g., technique, strategy, and tactics), the current study aimed to explore how a Community of Practice (CoP) impacted coach development of interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge. Côté and Gilbert’s (2009) definition of coaching expertise was used as a model to observe learning in a community of practice (CoP; Wenger, McDermott & Snyder, 2002). A total of eight internationally qualified ski coaches (aged 27–44 years) took part in weekly meetings over a period of six weeks, with the lead researcher cultivating a CoP and ensuring coaching issues were the focus of discussion. Meetings were audio-recorded and the data transcribed and analysed thematically. Results revealed that coaches developed both interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge through enhanced emotional intelligence, gaining an athlete-centred approach, storytelling, group reflection and changing role frames. The findings are positioned within the extant literature, with implication for coach education practice identified.

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Paul Garner, Jennifer Turnnidge, Will Roberts and Jean Côté

While recent work recognizes a need for coach education to place greater emphasis on interpersonal knowledge when developing coaching expertise, it is our position that coach educators (CEs) must follow a similar trajectory in embracing the interpersonal knowledge requisite of their role and move beyond a reliance on content and professional knowledge in order to shape their delivery. To better understand CEs’ behaviors, the authors observed four experienced CEs in Alpine skiing, using an adapted version of the Coach Leadership Assessment System during delivery of a coach education and assessment course. The authors also interviewed CEs to further elucidate the observational data. The findings suggest the benefit of transactional approaches to leadership during assessment when set against the backdrop of an environment driven by intentions consistent with transformational leadership. Furthermore, we call for a greater appreciation of context when imagining CEs’ behaviors that align with effective practice.