This Participatory and Appreciative Action and Reflection (PAAR) investigation illustrates a leader’s first steps in a “values-to-action” journey. Drawing on the interface between transformational leadership and organizational culture, this study focused on the birth of the Severn Stars—a professional netball club in the United Kingdom. In particular, this PAAR investigation explored how the leader’s values were operationalized through the club’s inaugural year. Fourteen operational managers, coaches, and players were individually interviewed in order to gain an appreciative gaze and subsequently reframe their lived experience. Results demonstrated how transformational leadership was manifested through the pragmatic deployment of club values and how the organizational culture was, in part, characterized by individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, idealized influence, and inspirational motivation. These behaviors and the organizational culture were shown to enhance prosocial relationships and social connections across the club, the influence of the Super Stars, and stakeholders’ perceptions of autonomy.
Anita Navin, Don Vinson, Alison Croad, Jennifer Turnnidge, and Jean Côté
Don Vinson, Kelvin Beeching, Michelle Morgan, and Gareth Jones
Sports coaches’ commonly have a limited appreciation of pedagogy (Light & Evans, 2013). Furthermore, investigations concerning coaches’ use of performance analysis for athlete learning are rare (Groom, Cushion, & Nelson, 2011). Complex Learning Theory (CLT) advocates nonlinear and sociocultural educative approaches (Light, 2013). Considering this digital age, the aim of this investigation was to examine coaches’ use of Coach Logic—an online video-based coaching platform. Seven Head Coaches (five rugby union and two field hockey) were interviewed individually whilst their coaching staff and players contributed to group interviews. Results confirmed a priori themes of active, social and interpretive as derived from CLT. Analysis of these findings established that online coaching platforms have the capacity to facilitate the active involvement of athletes in the process of performance analysis. From a social perspective, online coaching platforms have helped to develop a positive team environment and also interpersonal working. Good practice was evident relating to interpretive approaches; however, the potential for coaches to embrace more radical conceptualisations of knowledge acquisition is stark. Online coaching platforms have a place in contemporary team sport environments and can contribute to athlete learning and other important aspects of team culture and cohesion.
Don Vinson, Polly Christian, Vanessa Jones, Craig Williams, and Derek M. Peters
Inclusive and equitable processes are important to the development of sports coaching. The aim of this study was to explore how well UK coach education meets the needs of women sports coaches to make recommendations to further enhance the engagement of, and support for, aspiring and existing women coaches. The national governing bodies (NGBs) of four sports (Cycling, Equestrian, Gymnastics and Rowing) volunteered to participate and semistructured interviews using the tenants of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) within a Self Determination Theory (SDT) framework were undertaken with 23 coaches, eight coach educators and five NGB officers. The data themed into an analytic structure derived from SDT comprising ‘Autonomy: Freedom to coach’, ‘Coaching competence’, and ‘Relatedness and belonging’. The coaches perceived potential benefit from enhanced relatedness and belonging within their sport with the findings suggesting that NGBs should embrace coach-led decision making in terms of the developmental topics which are important and should adopt the development of competence, rather than assessing technical understanding, as the foundational principle of more inclusive coach education. Future research should investigate the impact of the inclusive practices which are recommended within this investigation such as the softening of the technocratic focus of formal coach education.