Activity theory, complexity and sports coaching: an epistemology for a discipline

Robyn L. Jones, Christian Edwards, I. A. Tuim Viotto Filho
2014 Sport, Education and Society  
The aim of this article is two-fold. Firstly, it is to advance the case for Activity Theory (AT) as a credible and alternative lens to view and research sports coaching. Secondly, it is to position this assertion within the wider debate about the epistemology of coaching. Following a framing introduction, a more comprehensive review of the development and current conceptualisation of AT is given. Here, AT's evolution through three distinct phases and related theorists, namely Vygotsky, Leont'ev
more » ... and Engeström, is initially traced. This gives way to a more detailed explanation of AT's principal conceptual components, including 'object', 'subject', 'tools' (mediating artefacts), 'rules', a 'community' and a 'division of labour'. An example is then presented from empirical work illustrating how AT can be used as a means to research sports coaching. The penultimate section locates such thinking within coaching's current 'epistemological debate; arguing that the coaching 'self' is not an autonomous individual, but a relative part of social and cultural arrangements. Finally, a conclusion summarises the main points made, particularly in terms in presenting the grounding constructivist epistemology of AT as a potential way forward for sports coaching.
doi:10.1080/13573322.2014.895713 fatcat:qnnzkdknmjcpvd5zjlmr53xtt4