“Who’s Who?”: Identifying Cycling Coaches’ Biographies

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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  • 1 British Cycling, Manchester, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
  • | 2 Research Institute for Sport & Exercise Science, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom
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Consideration of a learners’ biography is deemed to impact on their engagement with formal education and their connection with, and perceived relevance of, educational course content. It is considered equally important to understand coaches who enrol on formal coach learning in sport—their motivations, beliefs, values, existing knowledge, and previous life experiences. This research explored the individual biographies of eight neophyte cycling coaches over an 18-month period following the successful completion of a national governing body coach award. Following 23 formal semistructured interviews and 26 unstructured interviews, deductive thematic narrative analysis revealed three different typologies of coach: the “performance coach”; the “parent-coach”; and the “community coach.” Although the subjective details of the life stories varied according to their idiosyncratic perspective, all participants’ stories broadly followed one of these three identifiable narratives. Identifying different “typologies” of cycling coaches’ answers calls from coach developers to account for the specific backgrounds of coaches’ practices. It is hoped this research will begin the process of developing more personalised approaches to coach education.

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