AN AUTOETHNOGRAPHY: AN EXPLORATION OF SOCIAL POWER AND SOCIAL CAPITAL WITHIN A FEMALE NATIONAL LEAGUE HOCKEY TEAM
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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This study builds upon existing socio-cultural work into sports coaching by probing the meanings to gain greater understanding of the interpersonal relationships between athletes of a competitive team sport (Purdy et al, 2008; 2009). The study itself utilises an autoethnographic approach in attempt to represent (Jones, 2006) the dynamic relationships that influence such bold actions from team’s performances within training sessions, league matches and competitive tournaments. Data was abstracted and drawn from memories and training diaries that were logged over a period of nine months where the competitive seasons overlapped. The data is presented through two separate stories where each plot instigates from the personal perceptions of both myself and team members where power and social capital influences our interactions and distinguishes the more dominant and recessive characters within the squad. The findings are predominantly theorised through Nyberg’s concept of Power and Bourdieu’s conceptual framework of social capital as the superficial relationships between team members certainly flourished into dysfunctional behaviours and incidents that significantly influenced the team cohesion and performances (Nyberg, 1981, Bourdieu, 1988; 1989). The conclusion emphasises the importance of recognising the power dynamics within sport teams as it can highly influence the nature of the coaches and how such natures adopted by team members can have such an impact on the overall success of performances by the team as a whole.