From Piste to Podium: a qualitative exploration of the development of fencing coaching in Britain

Kirby, David Michael Julian (2015). From Piste to Podium: a qualitative exploration of the development of fencing coaching in Britain. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.

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Fencing has been contested in every Olympiad of the modern era, with Great Britain represented throughout, but British international performance has declined. Other nations have maintained their standing in the world rankings. This difference might be explained by a variance in the way that fencing coaches are trained.
A qualitative study was undertaken to investigate if differences existed in the coach education systems at home and abroad. In the research a sample of expert coaches from Britain and Europe were questioned on the way they were trained and what they felt coaches needed to know, using semi-structured interviews. A thematic analysis of the transcripts was made to provide the data for the research. The study reviewed the literature of coaching, which was used to confirm the data.
It was discovered that expert coaches gained their knowledge from their own experience, deliberate and reflective practice, and working with mentors. Acquiring this expert knowledge took years and included coaching science, pedagogy and sports sciences. The formal courses were found not to be very useful, in that they did not convey enough information or practice-time.
Including these findings in British Fencing coach education might help raise coaching standards and our podium athletes.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Q Science > QP Physiology


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