Tacit knowledge in expert coaching: Science or art?

Christine Nash*, Dave Collins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Effective coaching is a mixture of pedagogy and principles of sciences, e.g., motor skill acquisition, sociology, and physiology, often referred to as the science of coaching. Instinctive or intuitive coaching has often been incorrectly viewed as the art of coaching. More important should be how coaches develop knowledge, how they access that knowledge at the appropriate times and how this affects their decision-making process. The study of expert coaches should allow inferences to be drawn from their development and applied to coach education. This article intends to clarify coaching expertise and examine the role of tacit knowledge within coaching. The lack of a clear development pathway for aspiring expert coaches is a clear indicator that the current coach education system needs review. Any effective education system should be based on knowledge and understanding rather than mimicry and the implications for the future of coach education are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-477
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jul 2012


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