CARING WITHIN ELITE PARALYMPIC SPORT - COACH ATHLETE RELATIONSHIPS AN AUTOETHNOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNT
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This piece of research builds on existing work into sports coaching by exploring the complexities of the coach-athlete relationship. This study is written in the form of an autoethnography in an attempt to examine the complex and dynamic relationships that happened between myself an elite Paralympic athlete and my coach during my career, with him by my side for over thirteen years. This personal coach-athlete relationship was focused around to main chapters of my career and these presents as two short stories, the first of which looks at the pressures based around selection for major championships, the second story looks at dealing with surgery, both stories looks at caring and how have a caring coach and a good coach athlete relationship can benefit the athletes performance and wellbeing. Although the stories are separate they are connected, with links to similar social issues of caring and coach-athlete relationships. The stories are then linked to theory to help understand and distinguish why certain feeling were felt and then the subsequence reactions to these feelings, and potential reactions and how they could be recreated in other studies. The final thoughts connect the two critical incidents together and the conclusion offers a summary of the paper and the value of autoethnography in understanding the aims of the study. A future implication that could be considered would be to use the study as a reference for future coaches with an interest in caring through the coach-athlete relationship. The research could inform the decisions and practices of other coaches in helping to develop a positive coach-athlete relationship based on caring across a wider field of coaching.
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