Career Development of Expert Coaches

Christine S. Nash, John Sproule
2009 International journal of sports science & coaching  
Careers in coaching are a relatively new phenomenon in the UK and at present appear to be limited to the performance coach. This study, using an interview approach, examined the transition of expert coaches (n = 9) through various stages in their careers. The main aim of this study was to ascertain if expert coaches could explain the process of their development to perceived expert status. The interviewed coaches could offer no real insight into their designation as experts. They did raise some
more » ... They did raise some questions regarding the value of current coach education provision, especially as it related to their current role as coaches of elite athletes. Their methods of development were considered to be informal, with networking with other coaches of like mind believed to be essential to their progress. The ability to contextualise knowledge and information to suit both the individual and situation, as well as appropriate mentors at the initial stages of their coaching careers were also regarded as vital. Development to the emphasis on sport and physical activity as part of an active lifestyle [1] and, as a result, there has been considerable demand for appropriately qualified and skilled sport coaches [2] . Careers in coaching are a relatively new phenomenon in the UK and have not yet been the subject of extensive research. However, it is clear from the scant research that is available that high levels of mobility and unclear career paths stigmatize coaching careers [3] . Quality coaching and guidance are key elements in the development of sport. Therefore, it is important to identify the fundamentals that contribute to the development of expertise. Effective coaches are those who adapt their behaviour to meet the demands of their particular coaching environment, but what constitutes an expert coach is still unclear [4] [5] [6] . As coaches develop and work with high-performance athletes, their role also changes, requiring more management skills [7] . There is a paucity of information as to how coaches make these transitions. The academic study of sport expertise is concerned with describing and then interpreting both the factors and processes that distinguish the expert, the stages through
doi:10.1260/1747-9541.4.1.121 fatcat:uwoh2xk5kjhzvf2eiwor6u6nka