Exploring the Everyday
Realities of Coach Education:
A Case Study of a FA Level 2
Coach Education Course
Mr Ashley Allanson
Dr Lee Nelson and Dr Paul Potrac
University of Hull
Department of Sport, Health & Exercise Science
 Coaches play an important role in maximising athletic learning,
development and experience.
(Cassidy et al., 2004)
 Increasing importance attached to coach education.
(Cassidy et al., 2006; Cushion et al., 2003)
 Significant investment into and re-development of the FA coach
education programme.
(Football Development Department Discussion Document for Coaching 2008-2012)
 Paucity of published research into FA coach education programmes.
(Chesterfield et al., 2010)
Coach Perceptions
 Empirical coaching studies have provided a ‘snapshot’ of football coaches’
perceptions of coach education programmes.
Steve Harrison in
Jones et al. (2004)
Chesterfield et al.
Hope Powell in
Jones et al. (2004)
Academic Critique
 Gold standard: One size ‘fits all’.
(Abraham & Collins, 1998)
 “Straightforward, bio-scientific, unproblematic process”.
(Cushion & Jones, 2006; Potrac et al., 2002, p. 188)
 ‘Clean’ and ‘rationalistic’ programmes that fail to consider the
HUMAN COMPLEXITY involved within coaching.
(Cassidy et al., 2004; Jones et al., 2004)
‘Knowledge-for-Action’ (Jones & Wallace, 2005)
 Coaching scholars have offered a range of theoretically informed
alternative pedagogical approaches.
Communities of
(Jones & Turner, 2006)
(Culver & Trudel, 2006)
(Trudel & Gilbert, 2006)
(Knowles et al., 2006)
(Cushion, 2006)
‘Knowledge-for-Understanding’ (Jones & Wallace, 2005)
“Offer a more secure foundation on which knowledge-for
action projects could build to yield more realistic practical
guidance and, ultimately, greater sporting success”
(Jones & Wallace, 2005, p. 123)
Social Complexity Surrounding Coaching
Messy Realities of a Level 2 Course?
The Coach Educators’ Perspective (?)
 What do they do?
 How do they do it?
 Why do they do the things in
the way that they do?
 How do they experience their
The Coach Learners’ Perspective (?)
 How do they experience
the content, delivery and
 Why do they respond in
the ways that they do?
Academy Coach
 How does it impact upon
their understanding
Community Coach
 Increased recognition towards the importance of coach education.
 Criticisms of coach education have driven ‘knowledge-for-action’.
 Need for ‘knowledge-for-understanding’ of coach education:
- Describe the contextual realities of coach education courses.
- Consider how ‘life histories’ shape coach educators’ and coach
learners’ experiences, perceptions, engagement and practices.
Any Questions???
Abrahams, A., & Collins, D. (1998). Examining and extending research in coach development. Quest, 50, 59-79.
Cassidy, T., Jones, R., & Potrac, P. (2004). Understanding Sports Coaching: The Social, Cultural and
Pedagogical Foundations of Coaching Practice. New York, NY: Routledge.
Cassidy, T., Potrac, P., & McKenzie, A. (2006). Evaluating and reflecting upon a coach education initiative: The
CoDe of rugby. The Sport Psychologist, 20, 145-161.
Chesterfield, G., Potrac, P., & Jones, R. (2010). Studentship and impression management in an advanced soccer
coach education award. Sport, Education and Society, 15 (3), 299-314.
Culver, D., & Trudel, P. (2006). Cultivating coaches’ communities of practice: Developing the potential for
learning through interactions. In R.L. Jones (Ed.), The Sports Coach as Educator: Re-Conceptualising Sports
Coaching (p. 97-112). London, UK: Routledge.
Cushion (2006). Mentoring. In R.L. Jones (Ed.), The Sports Coach as Educator: Re-conceptualising Sports
Coaching (p. 113-127). New York, NY: Routledge.
Cushion, C., Armour, K., & Jones, R. (2003). Coach education and continuing professional development:
Experience and learning to coach. Quest, 55, 215-230.
Cushion, C., & Jones, R.L. (2006). Power, Discourse, and Symbolic Violence in Professional Youth Soccer: The
Case of Albion Football Club. Sociology of Sport Journal, 23, 142-161.
Demers, G., Woodburn, A.J., & Savard, C. (2006). The development of an undergraduate competency-based
coach education program. The Sport Psychologist, 20, 162-173.
Jones, R.L., Armour, K.M., & Potrac, P. (2004). Sports Coaching Cultures: From Practice to Theory. London,
UK: Routledge.
Jones, R.L., & Turner, P. (2006). Teaching coaches to coach holistically: The case for a problem-based learning
(PBL) approach. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 11(2), 181-202.
Jones, R.L., & Wallace, M. (2005). Another bad day at the training ground: Coping with ambiguity in the
coaching context. Sport, Education and Society, 10 (1), 119-134.
Knowles, Z., Tyler, G., Gilbourne, D., & Eubank, M. (2006). Reflecting on reflection: Exploring the practice of
sports coaching graduates. Reflective Practice, 7 (2), 163-179.
Potrac, P., Jones, R., & Armour, K.M. (2002). It’s all about getting respect: the coaching behaviours of an expert
English soccer coach. Sport, Education, and Society, 7 (2), 183-202.
TheFA.com (2011). Developing World-Class Coaches and Players: Football Development Discussion Document
for Coaching 2008-2012. Retrieved June 5th, 2011, from
Trudel, P., & Gilbert, W.D. (2006). Coaching and Coach Education. In D. Kirk, M. O’Sullivan & D. McDonald
(Eds.), Handbook of Physical Education, (p. 516-539) Sage, London.

Ashley Allanson - Everyday Realities of Coach Education