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Professional coach educators in-situ: a social analyis of practice

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posted on 17.01.2018, 09:45 by Christopher CushionChristopher Cushion, Mark Griffiths, Kathleen Armour
Professional coach educators are key to the success of coach education and play a crucial role in developing coaching practice. However, coach education research remains remarkably coach centric with little attention paid to the coach educator or the broader role of the socio-cultural context that frames the learning process. Four professional coach educators working for a Sport Governing Body in-situ with twenty five professional clubs took part in interviews and focus groups over the course of a year. In addition, interviews were undertaken with nine academy managers and thirty two coaches as well as observations in eight of the clubs. This paper focuses on the coach educators specifically and aims to understand the nature of coach educators social reality and practice by examining something of the relational nature of the coach educators and their practice in context. Using the work of Bourdieu the paper engages in epistemic reflexivity and attempts to uncover coach educators social and intellectual unconscious embedded in and reflected through their social practice. Findings show the operation of a number of socially constructed legitimating principles where the success or failure of the coach educators practice and learning was inextricably linked to power. Each club (field) was a field of struggles, and coach educators had to play a symbolic and relational game being defined by and, at the same time, struggling to define these relations. Hence practice for the coach educators was both social and embodied.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Sport, Education and Society






533 - 546


CUSHION, C.J., GRIFFITHS, M. and ARMOUR, K., 2017. Professional coach educators in-situ: a social analyis of practice. Sport, Education and Society, 24(5), pp.533-546.


© Taylor & Francis


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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This is an original manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Sport, Education and Society on 05 Dec 2017, available online: