Candidates’ experiences of elite coach education: a longitudinal study (‘tracking the journey’)


  • Robyn Jones
  • Wayne Allison



The aim of this study was to explore the knowledge development and experiences of 20 coaches enrolled on an 18-month elite level professional preparation programme. The methods used within the study included individual video diaries and focus group interviews. In total, data from 18 focus group interviews and 19 video diaries were obtained from the candidate coaches and subject to a process of broad inductive analysis. Results centred around three principal themes; (1) a problematic perception of the utilised competency-based framework and a desire for greater peer learning opportunities; (2) an instrumental view and accompanying utilisation of course mentors; and, most significantly, (3) the use of the periodic course gatherings (the residentials) as a ‘community of security’ for the coaches to offset everyday feelings of workplace anxiety. The implications of such findings lie in the call for elite coach education programmes to help practitioners better accept and live with the complexity and anxiety-inducing uncertainty of their positions through giving them realistic ways of dealing with it.


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