Lived experience and community sport coaching: A phenomenological investigation
Sport, Education and Society
Cote & Gilbert, (2009), have described coaching in the participation domain as the act of coaching participants that are less intensely engaged in sport than performance orientated athletes. This form of coaching is a popular activity occurring in community settings such as schools or sport clubs, and it is often undertaken with a broad range of social and health outcomes in mind. The experiences and practices of the large army of 'community coaches' 1 have been under explored in comparison to
... d in comparison to those of elite performance coaches who focus on competitive success and dominate much academic research. This study focuses on the little known world of the community coach. Drawing on the philosophy of phenomenologists such as Husserl, and in particular the methodology of Van Manen, (1990) , the study explored the lived experiences of a single case study community coach. Derived from semi-structured interviews and in keeping with Van Manen's methodology, findings are presented in a narrative format. The narrative describes the 'lifeworld' of the coach and seeks to identify the 'essential features' of community coaching in this case. Specifically, the narrative illustrates a dichotomy in the lifeworld of the coach; between a frenetic practical delivery mode visible in the public arena and a 'hidden' largely unknown, private world used predominantly for planning and organising. For this case study coach, the essence of community coaching lay in two complementary activities; planning and then delivering fun based activities that achieved social, health and sporting outcomes. Additionally, interacting with others such as parents, carers, and teachers was identified as an essential feature of this coach's experience. 1 In this case, the community coach is employed on a full time basis by a state funded organisation to deliver sport coaching in schools and the wider community of an English town.