Developing a coaching philosophy: exploring the experiences of novice sport coaching students

Laura Graham, Scott Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sport coaches play an essential role in developing positive and engaging sport climates and coach educators have identified that a strong coaching philosophy is a central factor in the provision of these positive experiences. A coach's philosophy is composed of their values and beliefs and is influenced by their life experiences and background. This study explored the coaching philosophies of 1st year sport coaching degree students in order to establish; their understanding of the concept of philosophy, the primary values and beliefs expressed, and the origins of these beliefs. The written coaching philosophy statements of 77 sport coaching students, submitted during their first semester were examined. Inductive content analysis generated several key areas to which students tended to refer; Defining Success, Encouraging Fun, Building Character, and Origin of Beliefs. Consistent with previous research on novice coaches, it was noted that participants appeared to struggle to articulate the precise nature of their philosophy and in particular, how it would translate into action. Developing coach education systems which encourage deep reflection and critical analysis of coaching philosophies is imperative for inclusive and effective sport provision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-84
Number of pages21
JournalThe Journal of Athlete Centered Coaching
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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