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Jean Côté, John Saimela, Pierre Trudel, Abderrahim Baria, and Storm Russell

An expert system approach (Buchanan et al., 1983) was used to identify and conceptualize the knowledge of 17 Canadian expert high-performance gymnastic coaches. The knowledge elicitation process consisted of open-ended questions and various questioning methods to unveil, explore, and prove important information (Patton, 1987; Spradley, 1979) about coaching. All coaches’ interviews were transcribed verbatim, and the unstructured qualitative data were inductively analyzed following the procedures and techniques of grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). The inductive analysis process allowed the meaning units of the interview transcripts to be regrouped into properties, categories, and components. The components emerging from the analysis consisted of (a) competition, (b) training, (c) organization, (d) coach’s personal characteristics, (e) gymnast’s personal characteristics and level of development, and (f) contextual factors. These components were further developed into a model representing coaches’ knowledge.

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Jean Côté, John H. Salmela, Abderrahim Baria, and Storm J. Russell

In the last several years there has been an increase in the amount of qualitative research using in-depth interviews and comprehensive content analyses in sport psychology. However, no explicit method has been provided to deal with the large amount of unstructured data. This article provides common guidelines for organizing and interpreting unstructured data. Two main operations are suggested and discussed: first, coding meaningful text segments, or creating tags, and second, regrouping similar text segments, or creating categories. Furthermore, software programs for the microcomputer are presented as a way to facilitate the organization and interpretation of qualitative data.