Show me, tell me: An investigation into learning processes within skateboarding as an informal coaching environment

Rosie Collins*, Dave Collins, Howie J Carson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Coach education is a learner-centred process, which often fails to consider the preferences of the consumer. Historically, research into performers' experiences of coaching have been influenced by the social constructivism of learning: in short, an expressed preference for what the performer has experienced as determined by their coach, rather than their own personal preferences. Therefore, this research used skateboarding as a natural laboratory in order to explore the current practices and preferences of performers in a coach-free environment. Ninety-one skateboarders from parks in the United Kingdom and New Zealand offered information relating to their current learning practices, how they learnt about learning, and how the top-level performers in their environment were differentiated. Findings suggest that a number of learning tools are used by performers, which are closely aligned with a more traditional, cognitive view of coaching (e.g., demonstration, drills, and error usage). Results also suggest that performers deployed a number of cognitive skills (e.g., imagery, analogy, and understanding) to enhance storage of a movement as an internal representation. Finally, in the absence of formal coaching, performers use their knowledge of learning to appoint informal leaders. Implications for practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number812068
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • cognitive psychology
  • demonstration
  • imagery
  • psychological skills
  • understanding


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