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Context and practice within a youth football setting: an exploration of psychological well-being through action research processes

Tomlinson, V (2011) Context and practice within a youth football setting: an exploration of psychological well-being through action research processes. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

The present thesis explores psychological well-being (PWB), practice and context within a professional football academy. The thesis also focuses on the processes of action research as a catalyst for practice-change in the academy environment, towards a culture of well-being. During the initial stages, pre-reconnaissance discussions took place with key academy practitioners to explore practitioner perceptions of well-being and coaching practice within context. The thesis is divided into two distinct phases; the reconnaissance phase, and the action phase. The reconnaissance phase encouraged the researcher to 'live the experience' alongside the research participants. Therefore emersion into the field of an academy football environment was required on a daily basis. The action research from reconnaissance-to-practice provided a detailed account of day-to-day events and on-going lived experiences of players and practitioners within the academy football environment. Consequently, qualitative data collection took place regularly in order to monitor and capture the personal experiences of academy players and practitioners, to follow individual threads of inquiry. Also field notes, player focus groups, informal interviews and formal taped interviews provided sufficient data for triangulation to occur. This multi-method approach enabled the researcher to take advantage of the rich variety of sources upon which were available (Tomlinson, 1983). The data collection protocol investigated how practitioners engaged in culturally specific practice within the academy. The action phase introduced collaborative practitioner meetings as part of the action research process to address practice that could later be linked specifically to psychological well-being (PWB) dimensions. The overall aim of the collaborative practitioner meetings was to drive debate and change, based on the notion that well-being can be related to everyday practice. Although there was similarity in how the meetings were described, the primary analysis differed, in particular the first two collaborative practitioner meetings underwent thorough content analysis from both an inductive (cultural and situational) and deductive (concept-oriented) stance. The reality of the research reflected the unpredictable process and dilemmas that may occur within the processes of action research and practice-change. The research provided detailed insight into the culture of football and the perceptions and experiences of full-time academy players, practitioners and the researcher's own reflections on the research journey, with regards to psychological well-being (PWB). Within the processes of action research, the practical utility of theory and the personal- contextual dynamic of a practice-change process within a youth football setting were considered and discussed. The research encouraged notions of emancipation within a participatory and collaborative process. Key Words: Psychological well-being (PWB), subjective well-being (SWB), action research, context and practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2017 09:41
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2017 09:41
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6181

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