The perceived value of formal and informal coach education for coaches: a case study
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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This paper summarises findings from a case study which investigated the value of formal and informal learning. The study investigated football courses run by the football Association (FA). Four football coaches attended a focus group which discussed coach education in football and formal and informal learning as well as the value of coach education to future development. An analysis of current views on formal and informal learning found that the majority of authors believed informal practical experience was more beneficial. The four participants on this study were currently undertaking a degree in Sports Coaching or already had. The results gathered from the case study found that coaches were in favour of informal practical experience rather than formal learning. They believed the practical experience helped them develop as a coach rather than the formal education courses, which they related to as a 'tool box'. Courses run by the FA were described as having a healthy mix, of classroom based formal lessons and informal practical sessions. Therefore the coaches felt the courses run by the FA were professional, fun and to the best standard possible considering the barriers to coach practitioners. Learning from the courses was evident, however only in the higher courses of level 2 and 3 with the level 1 being described as basic and not useful. Coaches also believed they and other coaches undertook the courses to ‘tick a box’ and to get to the next level, with little emphasis being placed on learning.
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