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Care in Community Sports Coaching

Cronin, CJ and Lowes, J (2019) Care in Community Sports Coaching. In: Gale, L and Ives, B, (eds.) Sports coaching in the community: Developing knowledge and insight. Manchester Metropolitan University, pp. 79-95.

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Although increasingly associated with rational and objective scientific processes, sports coaching is nonetheless a social activity. More specifically, sports coaching always involves a relationship between a coach and athlete / participant (Cronin & Armour, 2017; Jowett, 2007). This chapter aims to explore the perspective that coaching relationships are essentially caring relationships, and that the care facet of these relationships has hitherto been taken for granted and undervalued (Cronin & Armour, 2018; Jones, Bailey, & Santos, 2013; Jones, 2009). In doing so, the chapter argues that both community sports coaching policy and practice are implicitly concerned with care. Yet, to date, care has largely been under theorised and marginalised in coaching policy and practice. Indeed, to a large extent, coaching discourse is dominated by a concern for what performers do (i.e., sport and physical activity) rather than performers themselves (Harthill & Lang, 2014). This does not mean that coaching policy is not well intentioned, nor that coaching is wholly without caring practice. On the contrary, good caring practice does exist, but it is perhaps not as widespread and explicit as it should be. To address this challenge, the later section of the chapter details examples of care in coaching from across international contexts. This is a valuable resource that will prompt coaches, coach educators, employers, and policy makers to consider how they can ensure that care is not peripheral to, but rather at the heart of the coaching process. After all, caring about communities and their inhabitants is essential to community sports coaching.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports > GV711 Coaching
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2020 11:16
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 22:58
Editors: Gale, L and Ives, B
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11970
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