Reflective practice and the origins of elite coaching knowledge
Kerwin, David G.
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This paper focused on identifying domain specific knowledge of gymnastic coaching. Detailed semi-structured interviews and inductive content analysis were employed to discover the nature and origins of elite coaching knowledge. Specifically, the paper explained how coaches obtained their knowledge and then used it within the coaching process. It highlighted the need to understand how this tacit knowledge is conceptualised in the development of gymnastics skills. Irwin’s contributions to this paper were: generation of the research question, collection and analysis of data, and production of the draft manuscript.
This study examines the origins of elite coaching knowledge and the use of this knowledge in the construction of progressions in men's artistic gymnastics. The focus of the current study was first to establish where these elite coaches learnt the skill of coaching, and second to identify the methods currently used by these elite coaches to increase their knowledge base. Sixteen elite men's artistic gymnastic coaches were interviewed using a semi-structured technique. Following inductive content analysis the findings of this investigation were contextualized within the framework of experiential learning, reflective practice and the existing coaching literature. Specifically, these coaches displayed a high level of individuality in terms of how they learnt the skill of coaching. These coaches identified that knowledge acquisition was facilitated mostly through interactive coaching clinics and mentorships that promoted critical inquiry and active experimentation. These experiences allowed the coaches to develop learning through reflective practice within the training environment. Subsequent investigations are recommended to identify how this knowledge is integrated into the coaching process and applied in the development of gymnastic skills.
Irwin, G., Hanton, S. and Kerwin, D. (2004) 'Reflective practice and the origins of elite coaching knowledge', Reflective practice, 5(3), pp.425-442.
This article was published in Reflective Practice in 2004, available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1462394042000270718
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