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'Being’ a youth performance coach: a hermeneutical phenomenological investigation

Cronin, Colum James (2016)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Sport coaching is a complex phenomenon in need of greater conceptual and grounded understandings. Since Heidegger’s influential text; Being and Time (1927/2005), the phenomenological question of what it means to ‘be’ has aided understanding in areas such as nursing and teaching. It is logical then, that this thesis sought to identify what it means to ‘be’ a youth performance coach.

The phenomenological tenet that those best placed to elucidate a phenomenon are those that experience it, guided the thesis to explore the lived experiences of four case study coaches. Findings revealed three constituent ‘essences’ of youth performance coaching; (i) care; (ii) a commitment to educate athletes authentically for corporeal challenges to come; (iii) working with others to achieve a specialised corporeal excellence. These findings redirect coaches, researchers and educators ‘back to the thing itself’.

The thesis also includes further novel contributions:

1) Phenomenological philosophy and methodology are introduced to coaching research.
2) The essential constituents of youth performance coaching are humanised by describing the incidental experiences and lifeworld of four case study coaches.
3) Fresh concepts (e.g. forms of care), sources (e.g. Sartre, 1943/1984), and areas for future research (e.g. coaching imagination) extend extant sport coaching literature.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Armour , Kathleen
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Additional Information:


Cronin, C. and Armour, K.M., 2015. Lived experience and community sport coaching: A phenomenological investigation. Sport, Education and Society, 20(8), pp.959-975.

Cronin, C. and Armour, K.M., 2015. ‘Being’in the coaching world: new insights on youth performance coaching from an interpretative phenomenological approach. Sport, Education and Society, pp.1-13.

Miller, P.K. and Cronin, C., 2012. Rethinking the factuality of ‘contextual’factors in an ethnomethodological mode: Towards a reflexive understanding of action-context dynamism in the theorization of coaching. Sports coaching review, 1(2), pp.106-123.

Subjects:B Philosophy (General)
BF Psychology
GV Recreation Leisure
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:6913
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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