An exploration of participation football coaches' philosophies from development to expression

Horsley, Dan, Cockburn, Emma and James, Ian A. (2015) An exploration of participation football coaches' philosophies from development to expression. Sport and Exercise Psychology Review, 11 (2) . pp. 22-36. ISSN 1745-4980 [Article]


The coaching philosophies of elite coaches have been examined widely, and they have been shown to influence the behaviours, communication styles and attitudes of coaches towards their athletes (Bennie & O’Connor, 2010). The influence of philosophies is less clear in participation coaching contexts, where the aims are to promote the ‘taking part’ in sport rather than achieving elite performances. This study uses a qualitative design to examine the coaching philosophies of nine participation youth football coaches. A constant comparative technique was used to analyse the contents of the interviews and a model emerged, which was composed of a number of themes and sub-themes, such as: philosophical expression; coaching objectives; processes; and external pressures. The key findings illustrated that participation coaches adopted aspects of holistic philosophies but, with one exception, were unable to provide evidence of using a coherent philosophical approach. Many of the coaches showed a lack of understanding of what constituted a philosophy, and how to both implement one and deal with the barriers to its implementation. Of concern was that winning was overly prioritised in some coaches’ approaches to youth football. This paper provides an understanding of the nature of participation coaching perspectives and provides a framework to help move the topic forward.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > London Sport Institute > Sports Psychology at the London Sport Institute
Item ID: 17559
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Emma Cockburn
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2015 09:29
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2017 14:22

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.