Understanding the learning and development of sports coach mentors

Leeder, Thomas (2020) Understanding the learning and development of sports coach mentors. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Research which explores the learning of coach developers, such as coach mentors, is often neglected. Thus, the aim of this thesis was to provide greater insight into this area and understand the nature of mentor learning and development within sports coaching. Framed by social constructionism, a qualitative instrumental case study design was utilised. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with coach mentors employed as part of a national governing body (NGB) formalised mentoring programme. Current coach mentors (n=9) employed for a minimum of one year were interviewed once. New coach mentors (n=9) were interviewed twice, at the start of their employment and again nine months later. Regional mentors (n=8) who oversee the training of the coach mentors participated in one focus group, whilst field notes were recorded from observations of five NGB-delivered mentor training events. A theoretically informed thematic analysis procedure was adopted, involving an iterative abductive process which integrated the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu and Phil Hodkinson and colleagues' cultural learning theory. Findings indicated that coach mentor learning involves the embodiment of dispositions, where perceptions towards 'good' mentoring practice centred on a struggle for capital, with coach mentors valorising their varying forms of capital in order to enhance their field position. Recruiting and training coaches as mentors reflected a process of misrecognition, where exposure to the NGB sub-field resulted in coach mentors internalising a doxa which became evident in their practice (Bourdieu, 1990a). This doxa centred on the NGB's ideologies surrounding 'good' coaching practice, which was disseminated during mentor training. Moreover, evidence suggested that the workplace learning of coach mentors was structured by a discourse which promoted 'learning on the job', justifying the limited amount of support available. This research contributes to knowledge by enhancing our limited understanding of sports coach mentor learning, whilst providing practical recommendations for both mentors and NGBs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2020 11:00
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2020 11:00
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/77868


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