Coaching as caring ('The smiling gallery'): Accessing hidden knowledge
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
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Background: Recent research into coaching has been critical of much previous work, particularly in terms of the tendency to paint a rather unproblematic portrayal of the activity. The criticism has focussed on the erroneous supposition that method can be substituted for individuals, thus giving a synthetic account of a most messy of jobs. Consequently, a call has arisen to expand traditional lines of investigation into 'what' and 'how' to coach to incorporate the related question of 'who' is coaching. Purpose: The principal purpose of this article is to argue for writing about coaching from a personal or autoethnographic perspective. This is supported by presenting an autoethnographical account of myself as coach of a national age-group boys football team. The case for autoethnography: The first half of this paper is given over to constructing a case for autoethnography as being an alternative, pertinent means through which to research and represent coaching. Here, the autoethnographical text is presented as holding the capability to better explore beyond the surface of coaching to highlight what coaches see and feel and how they deal with the dilemmas that arise than much previous work. It contains a discussion concerning the space within such writings for a recognition of both structure and agency in guiding coaches' actions. A debate is then embarked upon in relation to if and how theory should be used to accompany such evocative, personal writing. Here, Noddings' work on caring within pedagogical settings is suggested as an appropriate framework to interpret my upcoming tale. Borrowing from the recent work of Sparkes, among others, this is followed by an evaluation of the criteria by which such stories can be judged as 'good' work. Finally, the implications that autoethnographies could have for coach education and, subsequently, practicing coaches are discussed. My story: 'the smiling gallery': The final part of the article is given over to my story where the importance of caring in the coach–athlete relationship, and of actively nurturing such an ethic to realise the potentialities of others, is emphasised. More specifically, the tale is located within a national age-grade football training camp where I am the head coach. Here, an incident with a particular player recalls my own personal need as a young insecure footballer to be recognised and acknowledged by established coaches as someone who mattered.
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy;
Jones, R.L. (2009) 'Coaching as caring (the smiling gallery): Accessing hidden knowledge', Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 14(4), pp.377-390
Winner of PESP 'Best Paper of the Year Award' by British Education Research Association (BERA – PE, SIG), 2009.
- Sport Research Groups 
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