WHERE DO WE DEVELOP OUR ABILITIES AS COACHES? FORMAL VS INFORMAL EDUCATION
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study attempts to identify how both formal and informal education can contribute to a coach’s knowledge, skills and philosophy. This was done so in an attempt to identify how formal coach education courses could be progressed with the use of more informal learning styles and gain an insight to what coaches truly valued in their education. An intensive focus group was conducted with three graduate coaches to try and gain an accurate description of their experiences of both formal and informal education. Formal coach education courses were deemed to be lacking in addressing the social aspects and complex realities of the coaching process. When considering where coaches developed their abilities, the results brought to light the backgrounds of each of the coaches; both their under-graduate and post-graduate education were found to be fundamental in their professional development. Informal interactions, from within this education, were identified as being a major factor in developing the coaches’ knowledge bases and philosophies due to the levels of critical thinking they were required to engage in. Resultantly it is the view of this study that informal interactions need to be better facilitated by formal coach education to aid coaches in developing a sufficient knowledge on which to base their philosophies. A future direction, to further this study, would be for the same research to be conducted amongst coaches that did not have a background in higher education. A group of coaches who had based their education purely upon experiences and formal coach education could potentially provide a different perspective of valued learning methods.
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