Exploring and Comparing Coach-Athlete Interaction Strategies in an Elite male and Female Football Academy
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this investigation is to explore the interaction strategies used by an elite coach, when working with male and female athletes within a football academy at a professional club. A qualitative research design was adopted, with twelve hours of observations of the coach working with both male and female teams were conducted. The observations focused on the behaviours of the coach and the players’ subsequent reactions. A follow-up semi structured interview with the coach then followed to gain the coach’s perceptions to understand what influenced the coach’s observed behaviours, and to act as a data check. A key finding was that the coach used completely different interaction strategies when interacting with the male and female teams. Although, it was apparent from both observations and interview that the coach wanted the best outcomes for all athletes. However, due to the stereotypical outcomes which are structurally available to the players, such as a lucrative, professional contract for the male athletes the interactions differed between genders.
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