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“I want to do well for myself as well!”: Constructing coaching careers in elite women’s football

Ronkainen, NJ, Sleeman, E and Richardson, DJ (2019) “I want to do well for myself as well!”: Constructing coaching careers in elite women’s football. Sports Coaching Review. ISSN 2164-0629

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Abstract

There is a limited understanding of career development of sport coaches, especially from the subjective perspective focused on personal meaning and evaluation of this life project in sport. We drew on career construction theory and narrative methodology to explore football coaches’ career development, adaptability resources, and the meanings they assigned to their journeys. Ten women’s football (soccer) coaches (2 women) aged 23-60 in England took part in narrative interviews which we analysed using thematic narrative analysis. Our analysis indicated that early immersion into the football narrative context most often resulted in low career exploration and a strong commitment to coaching as an attempt to keep the footballing identity narrative ‘going’. Whilst the majority of coaches had a full-time occupation elsewhere, they self-identified as professional coaches and approached coaching with a career orientation animated by a desire to progress to a full-time coaching position. The coaches were resourceful and active career agents in crafting their careers in football; however, most of them expressed little concern or curiosity for other careers aside professional coaching, leaving them vulnerable to psychological distress if unable to realise their career ambition. The findings illustrate the seductive nature of football with the narrative context providing coaches with a cherished sense of identity but also bringing a permanent sense of insecurity and costs to their lives outside of the game.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Sports Coaching Review on 08/10/2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/21640629.2019.1676089.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports > GV711 Coaching
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: Sports & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 09:38
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2019 09:38
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/21640629.2019.1676089
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11665

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