Free Access to a Virtual Special Issue on Coaching from Quest


Guest Editor: Charles H. Wilson, Jr. PhD
Assistant Professor, Georgia Southern University

Quest is the leading journal for interdisciplinary scholarship for professionals in kinesiology in higher education. Quest provides a public forum for scholarship, creative thought, and research relevant to a broad range of interests held by faculty and leaders in higher education today. It publishes research that addresses issues and concerns relevant and meaningful to the field of kinesiology, original research reports that address empirical questions that are contextualized within higher education and hold significance to a broad range of faculty and administrators in kinesiology, and reviews of literature and/or research of interest to one or more sub-disciplines in kinesiology.

Quest publishes:

1) Manuscripts that address issues and concerns relevant and meaningful to the field of kinesiology

2) Original research reports that address empirical questions that are contextualized within higher education and hold significance to a broad range of faculty and administrators in kinesiology

3) Reviews of literature and/or research of interest to one or more sub-disciplines in kinesiology

Please Enjoy FREE Access to these Articles:

Taking the next step: Ways forward for coaching science
Andrew Abraham & Dave Collins

“Coaching is no longer a subset of physical education or sport psychology but is rather an established vocation for research. In reaching such a position, we argue that a broad range of epistemologies have been used to investigate coaching such as sociology and cognitive psychology. However there is danger that, in the search for new ground, research becomes increasingly esoteric, having less and less impact on the domain that it is researching—namely coaching. As a step against this trend, we argue for and attempt to establish the commonalities across these research approaches suggesting that coaching is social, political, and pedagogical in nature. We accept that coaching is inherently complex but argue that coaches can be educated to cope with complexity through a professional judgment and nested decision making process. To facilitate this process, we offer a model for coaching that is inclusive of the commonalities across coaching research, sum- marizes our major theoretical points yet practical enough for application by coach educators and coaches.” -Abstract from the Authors

Toward a theory of coaching paradox
Steven C. Barnson

“Multiple tensions exist as part of the coaching process. How a coach responds to these tensions is a fundamental determinant of an athlete or team’s fate. In today’s highly competitive, socially demanding, and ever-changing sports environment, and as the expectations on coaches become more complex, the paradox becomes a critical lens to understand and assist contemporary coaches. This article defines the paradox based on a synthesis of existing literature and proposes an organizing framework for categorizing tensions relevant to coaching. This review draws distinctions between the paradox and other similar constructs, such as dilemmas and dialectics. In doing so, it is suggested that tensions are inherent and persistent to the coaching process and that purposeful management of paradoxical forces over time can lead to a tradition of success. Together, the review of literature and frameworks provide the foundations of a paradoxical perspective of coaching, offer clarity, provoke discussion, and fuel future research.” -Abstract from the Publisher

Should coaches believe in innate ability? The importance of leadership mindset
Melissa A. Chase

“The purpose of this article is to examine how individuals' personal beliefs about the antecedents of leadership ability influence their leadership behavior and ultimate effectiveness. The relevant literature is reviewed to highlight current thinking in relation to the debate over whether leadership is innate or learned. A leadership mindset that differentiates between a fixed or a growth mindset (Dweck, 2006) is presented. A person with a fixed mindset would view leadership as an innate quality, or believe that people are born leaders. A person with a growth mindset would believe that leadership abilities can be learned and acquired through effort and experience. The leadership mindset is a critical component related to effectiveness and success as a leader. Coaching education and leadership training programs should consider focusing on helping coaches and leaders develop a growth mindset about their leadership abilities, and suggestions are offered for ways to incorporate the study of and emphasis on a growth leadership mindset in sport.” -Abstract from the Author

Coach Education and continuing professional development: Experience and learning to coach
Christopher J. Cushion , Kathy M. Armour & Robyn L. Jones

“Research over the last decade has demonstrated that it is experience and the observation of other coaches that remain the primary sources of knowledge for coaches. Despite this, coach education and continuing professional development fail to draw effectively on this experience. Using the work of Pierre Bourdieu, this paper attempts to understand how the “art of coaching” can be characterized as structured improvisation and how experience is crucial to structuring coaching practice. An examination of current coach education and assessment demonstrates that coaching practice viewed as a composite of knowledge has not specifically addressed the pervasive influence of experience on coaching practice. Drawing on experiences from the educational field, we examine how coach education and continuing professional development can utilize mentoring and critical reflection to situate learning in the practical experience of coaching.” -Abstract from the Authors

Positive coaching: Ethical practices for athlete development
Jim Denison & Zoe Avner

“Positive coaching has traditionally been defined and understood through a modernist lens (Smoll & Smith, 1987; Thompson, 1995, 2003) and a combination of privileged scientific knowledges. One effect of this is that coaches' problem-solving approaches tend to disregard the complex social, and relational dimensions of coaching (Nash & Collins, 2006) and ignore how problems get selectively framed and named (Lawson, 1984). As a result, many problems in sport remain misunderstood or solved ineffectively. Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault we critique these reductionist understandings of effective and ethical coaching and argue that for coaches to become a positive force for change, they must engage in an ongoing critical examination of the knowledges and assumptions that inform their problem-solving approaches. Further, we conclude that for coaching to become a respected profession worthy of deep and intelligent thought, it is vital that coaches carefully consider the effects produced by the way they solve problems.” -Abstract from the Authors

Understanding the coaching process: A framework for social analysis
Robyn L. Jones , Kathleen M. Armour & Paul Potrac

“Presents a framework for undertaking a social analysis of coaching. Identification of important components of the coaching process; Necessity of understanding coaching practices; Social roles of the coach.” -Abstract from the Author

Tacit knowledge in expert coaching: Science or art?
Christine Nash & Dave Collins

“Effective coaching is a mixture of pedagogy and principles of sciences, e.g., motor skill acquisition, sociology, and physiology, often referred to as the science of coaching. Instinctive or intuitive coaching has often been incorrectly viewed as the art of coaching. More important should be how coaches develop knowledge, how they access that knowledge at the appropriate times and how this affects their decision-making process. The study of expert coaches should allow inferences to be drawn from their development and applied to coach education. This article intends to clarify coaching expertise and examine the role of tacit knowledge within coaching. The lack of a clear development pathway for aspiring expert coaches is a clear indicator that the current coach education system needs review. Any effective education system should be based on knowledge and understanding rather than mimicry and the implications for the future of coach education are considered.” -Abstract from the Authors

Toward an holistic understanding of the coaching process
Paul Potrac , Clive Brewer , Robyn Jones , Kathleen Armour & Jan Hoff

“Focuses on the systematic observation and interpretive interview technique for the understanding of coaching process in sports in the U.S. Vulnerability of the coaching process to social pressures and constraints; Humanistic nature of the coaching process; Identification of instructional behaviors utilized by coaches.” -Abstract from the Authors

Power, conflict, and cooperation: Toward a micropolitics of coaching
Paul Potrac & Robyn Jones

“According to Jones, Wells, Peters, and Johnson (1993), being political is a necessary part of a coach's repertoire, because a coach's effectiveness and longevity may depend not only on a favorable win-loss record but also on an individual's ability to gain the approval of contextual power brokers (e.g., athletes, other coaches, or owners). Although only limited research has been done examining power and interpersonal relationships in coaching, there remains a paucity of work investigating the micropolitics inherent in such relationships. The aim of this article is to make the case for how the adoption of a micropolitical perspective could serve to further our understanding of the power-ridden, contested nature of sports coaching. After an introductory examination of the concept of micropolitics in the educational literature, a discussion of how such practice is beginning to emerge in recent ethnographic coaching research is presented. The literature addressing the micropolitical nature of teachers' interactions and relationships with other pedagogical stakeholders is then explored in terms of providing future avenues of critical investigation into the social complexity of coaching. Finally, a concluding section summarizes the main points and highlights their implications for future work.” -Abstract from the Authors