Arsene didn't see it: coaching, research and the promise of a discursive psychology

2014-06-30T15:10:37Z (GMT) by Jonathan Potter
For twenty five years the discursive psychological perspective has been at the vanguard of innovative research in social psychology, producing high-detail systematic analyses of dynamic, constructive language use in a wide range of practical settings. To date, it has found applications in the study of medical communication, racism, political discourse, emotion and accounts of success and failure in sport, to highlight but a few. Its lack of headway in the specific study of coaching is perhaps, therefore, somewhat surprising given the transparently task-focused character of many naturally-occurring verbal activities in the domain. This article draws on salient literature and two brief case studies in illustrating some of the ways that the perspective can inform an approach to coaching interaction that does not draw on ontologically-problematic cognitivist assumptions regarding the relationship between thought and action. A foundational argument is then made for greater engagement with discursive psychology within the broader realm of coaching science.