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Athletic Coaching

A Communication Perspective

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Gregory A. Cranmer

Each year, millions of youth athletes participate in organized sport under the guidance of a coach, who is entrusted with overseeing their development and performance, as well as providing a safe environment. A communicative approach to coaching recognizes that the skills, lessons, values, and experiences that athletes gain are determined by how coaches interact with athletes and structure their sporting environments. Athletic Coaching: A Communication Perspective provides a foundation for a communicative perspective of coaching in an effort to better understand and promote coach effectiveness. As part of this effort, this book conceptualizes coaching as a communicative endeavor, provides a framework from which to understand coaching effectiveness, and explicates four common perspectives (i.e., instructional, organizational, group, and interpersonal) utilized by communication scholars to examine coaching. Moreover, this book forwards a scholarly agenda for building a holistic framework of coaching and increasing the applied value of coach communication scholarship via methodological and theoretical considerations. Athletic Coaching is of benefit to many audiences, including communication students and scholars who are developing their understanding of coaching literature, interdisciplinary scholars who seek a representation of a communicative perspective of coaching, and coaches who may use this text as a self-reflective tool for pedagogical refinement.

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Chapter 2: Defining Effective Coaching

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DEFINING EFFECTIVE COACHING

Winning is fun … Sure. But winning is not the point. Wanting to win is the point. Not giving up is the point. Never letting up is the point. Never being satisfied with what you’ve done is the point.—Pat Summitt1

One of the few ideas around which there is consensus among coaching scholars and practitioners is that their efforts should encourage effective coaching (Horn, 2002; Potrac, Denison, & Gilbert, 2013; Rhind & Jowett, 2012; Turman, 2008). This consensus, however, is hollow, as what constitutes effectiveness is not readily agreed upon or clear. What is clear is that coaching effectiveness is a multifaceted and complex concept that varies based on context (Becker, 2009; Nash, Sproule, & Horton, 2011; Vella, Oades, & Crowe, 2011). Yet, formalizing an understanding of coaching effectiveness provides a shared focus and purpose for researchers and allows for better integration of findings across studies (Duffy, 2010). The purpose of this chapter is to forward an understanding of coaching effectiveness that recognizes specific domains of outcomes and the pertinent contextual features that determine how effectiveness is valued and achieved.

Before such a purpose can be fulfilled, it is important to explicate how effectiveness is understood within this chapter. One approach for understanding effective coaching is to determine the telos of a coach. Telos is a Greek ← 21 | 22 → term that is rooted within Aristotelianism, and refers to the purpose or goal of an...

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