A comparative study of coaches’ perception and implementation of athlete-centred learning compared with the interpretation of their athletes.
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The purpose of this study was to explore coaches‟ perspectives and implementation of athlete centred learning to coaching, with the interpretation of their athletes. Four athlete centred learning themes were examined; Creating a learning environment, Empowerment, Meaningful Questioning and Learner voice, across two separate coaching environments. Participant observations were undertaken in each environment. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with each coach (both male), coaching National level athletes within the sport of athletics. Two separate focus group interviews were performed with a total of five athletes. The data were analysed qualitatively using thematic content analysis. Data revealed that although coaches did not have much exposure to the four themes, their understandings were akin to the existing literature. However, their perceived implementations of such themes were at times, in contradiction to their athletes interpretations. Athlete learning was stifled by a sometimes prescriptive coach-led approach in both environments. Although one environment allowed for more athlete interactions, both coaching environments were centred on performance outcomes. The findings of this study suggest that the widespread implementation of athlete centred learning towards elite level environments has its implications. Therefore the importance lies with developing critically thinking individuals from a younger age, providing them with the opportunity to engage with their own learning in a less pressured environment.
- Masters Degrees (Sport) 
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