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.
Brian T. Gearity
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.
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.
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.