What does it mean to be a sport coach? How does coaching show up as a meaningful life project? What is the essence of being a coach? These are questions that are is best addressed using a phenomenological research approach. This exciting episode focuses on the phenomenology of sport coaching and what coaching is about. Dr Colum Cronin has spent time exploring sport coaching both as a personal life project and as a topic of his academic work, and shares stories from his personal experience and research.
Our discussion draws on the article ‘Being’in the coaching world: new insights on youth performance coaching from an interpretative phenomenological approach, where Colum and his colleagues share the findings from their phenomenological study that sought to understand what it means to be a youth performance sport coach. They identified three essences – (1) care, (2) a commitment to educate athletes, and (3) working with others to achieve corporeal excellence. The first essence, care, would become the key concept which Colum continued to explore in his research, for example in the book Care in Sport Coaching: Pedagogical Cases co-edited with Kathleen Armour.
Dr Colum Cronin is Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching and Physical Education at Liverpool John Moores University and serves as an associate editor for Sports Coaching Review. In his doctoral research, he drew on a phenomenological approach to explore the meaning of coaching. He has later used a range of qualitative methodologies and methods and his current research focuses on care in coaching.
You can follow Colum on Twitter @columcronin