Examining How Elite S&C Coaches Develop Coaching Practice Using Reflection Stimulated by Video Vignettes

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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  • 1 University of Southampton
  • | 2 University of Winchester
  • | 3 Cape Breton University
  • | 4 University of Chichester
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The purpose of this study was to identify narrative types that illuminate how strength and conditioning (S&C) coaches used video vignettes in a guided reflection process to support the development of effective coaching practices. At the beginning of each week, over a 4-week period, 11 elite S&C coaches were sent a short video vignette clip of an S&C coach’s practice. They subsequently engaged in daily reflections in which they were guided to explore how the topic of the vignette aligned (or not) with their coaching practice. After the intervention, each S&C coach was interviewed regarding their process of learning from the vignette and from their reflections. Using a holistic narrative analysis of form and structure, the results exemplified three narrative types: performance, achievement, and helper. The S&C coaches whose reflections fitted the performance narrative type focused on their own practice, with limited consideration of the athletes’ perspective or the vignette. The S&C coaches whose reflections fitted the achievement narrative type strove to accomplish goals with their athletes and were selective in considering the vignette. The S&C coaches whose reflections fit the helper narrative type found that the vignette helped them consider an athlete-centered coaching approach focusing on the athletes’ well-being, as well as athletic abilities. Thus, S&C coach developers should utilize a guided reflection process that focuses on encouraging a coaching approach based on the helper narrative type.

Szedlak is with the Department of Sport and Wellbeing, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom. Smith is with the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, University of Winchester, Winchester, United Kingdom. Callary is the Canada Research Chair in Sport Coaching and Adult Learning, Cape Breton University, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. Day is with the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Chichester, Chichester, United Kingdom.

Szedlak (cszedlak@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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