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Volt Athletics Strength and Conditioning Training App

Brian Gearity

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Voices From the Field: Q&A With Coach Developers Around the World

Bettina Callary and Brian Gearity

As the editors of the special issue for coach developers, we have rounded out the research-based articles within this issue by seeking the perspectives of practitioners worldwide on what it means to be a coach developer in their respective countries. We ask three simple questions that are answered directly by active coach developers. Their answers bring to light the reality of coach developers’ experiences and their interests in the advancement of the field within the near future. In this short article, practitioners from countries in Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania provide valuable input in understanding this burgeoning field.

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Effective Coaching: the Winning Discourse or Educational Foundations?

Brian T. Gearity

A multitude of discourses inside and outside of sport suggest the value of winning. The result of these discourses has contributed to the belief that winning is evidence of effective coaching and that winning is the aim of sport. This paper begins by describing several of the winning discourses constructed by the media, academic community, sport stakeholders, and coaches. Furthermore, I argue that the winning discourse has tacitly contributed to coaches identifying the outcome of a sport contest (e.g., win or loss) as an appropriate measure of good, effective coaching. After identifying the perils of this view and associated illogical thinking, I suggest the creation of new discourses related to the educational foundations of effective coaching.

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The Sociology of Sports Coaching

Brian T. Gearity

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Coach Developer Special Issue: Global Perspectives in Coach Education for the Coach Developer

Bettina Callary and Brian Gearity

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New Movement Practices: A Foucauldian Learning Community to Disrupt Technologies of Discipline

Clayton R. Kuklick and Brian T. Gearity

Sociologists of sport and coaching have repeatedly drawn upon the theoretical tools of Michel Foucault to map and critique the negative effects of coaches’ use of disciplinary practices. Three SCCs and two coach developers participated in multiple learning community meetings interrogating Foucault’s concepts to understand how power moves, create new, less disciplinary practices, and address the problems produced by too much discipline. The findings present new conceptual tools to train and move differently by disrupting disciplinary practices: spasmodic tempo training, atemporal training, variable geographic training, variable intra-geographic training, fluid and fragmented periodization, explorative coaching, and strength coach as sage. We call for an appreciation of poststructural informed sport coaching and the development of a discursive sociology of sport coaching praxis.

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Intersectionality, Microaggressions, and Microaffirmations: Toward a Cultural Praxis of Sport Coaching

Brian T. Gearity and Lynett Henderson Metzger

Despite its prevalence as a sensitizing concept for research in psychology, the sociology of sport literature on microaggressions is limited and it has not been used to understand sociocultural aspects of sport coaching. In this poststructural creative analytic practice, we provide three short stories of microaggressions in men’s sport coaching and their plausible negative effects on mental health. An aim of this paper is to begin to map an understanding of the intersection of sport coaching, mental health, and social identities. To achieve this aim, we weave together scholarship on microaggressions and the sociology of sport and sport coaching with our stories and interpretations. Practical implications are offered and a new, strength based discourse is introduced to the field in the form of microaffirmations.

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Learning to Problematize Disciplinary Practices: Strength and Conditioning Coaches’ Experiences Within a Foucauldian Learning Community

Clayton R. Kuklick and Brian T. Gearity

Poststructural, Foucauldian-informed scholarship has shown the invisible consequences of how coaches use knowledge through various disciplinary techniques, which has prompted a need for coach development to bring awareness of such effects. However, a lack of literature exists on how coaches come to understand Foucauldian-informed coaching. This study explored how three strength and conditioning coaches learned to problematize disciplinary practices, how they rationalize their (un)intended effects, and why specific less disciplinary practices are produced and implemented, whereas others are left unattended. The findings include how the coaches engaged epiphanic contradictions, contemplated new and creative practices, and interacted with catalytic mediators to understand Foucauldian-informed coaching. Facilitators and barriers to Foucauldian thinking provide further insight into how the coaches’ thinking was accelerated or halted in the learning process. The findings are discussed in relation to literature on coach learning and recent scholarship on coaches’ exposure to poststructural, Foucauldian-informed coaching.

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Learning to Coach: A Qualitative Case Study of Phillip Fulmer

Brian T. Gearity, Bettina Callary, and Phillip Fulmer

The purpose of this study was to explore former NCAA FBS National Champion football coach Phillip Fulmer’s biography to understand how his knowledge and practices were learned from various sociocultural experiences. The participant, Phillip Fulmer, former head football coach of the University of Tennessee (UT; 1992–2008), participated in multiple sports as a youth, played football at UT, and coached for over 30 years. A qualitative case study design with in-depth interviews was used to understand his experiences and developmental path as he learned to coach. The findings reveal four key developmental stages: athlete, graduate assistant, assistant coach, and head coach. Fulmer’s earliest learning experiences would later guide his coaching beliefs, values, and actions.

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Engaging in Paradigmatic Dialogue: A Bibliometric Analysis of Coaching Scholarship From 1970 to 2020

Sara Campbell, Joseph Mills, Obidiah Atkinson, Brian Gearity, Clayton Kuklick, and Bryan McCullick

Coaching scholarship (CS) sits at the intersection of multiple paradigms and disciplines. Despite the eclectic nature of the field, most scholars operate only within their preferred paradigm, which limits how coaching is conceptualized and practiced. To address this limitation, we used the dialectic stance to analyze bibliometric records of CS produced between 1970 and 2020 from both an interpretivist and poststructuralist perspective. Using Web of Science, we identified 2,522 coaching articles and organized the bibliometric data into a time-ordered matrix representing five decades of CS: (a) number of publications per year, (b) country of origin, (c) institution, (d) journal, (e) author, and (f) most cited articles. Two research groups analyzed the data concurrently and independently using their respective paradigm. Next, the two groups came together to engage in dialogue and discover areas of convergence and divergence. Through the paradigmatic dialogue, the interpretivist research group realized they were operating in a postpositivist paradigm. Nevertheless, both groups determined CS was heavily influenced by Western societies, sport psychology, and the topic of motivation. The postpositivists highlighted evolutionary trends in CS, while the poststructuralists elucidated relations of power, understudied problems, and the consequences of the dominant knowledge produced.