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Reflecting on reflective practice: A coach’s action research narratives

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-379
JournalQualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
Issue number4
Early online date17 Mar 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Mar 2016


Reflection is now advocated by coach education programmes around the world as a framework for coaches to learn from their experience. Yet, there is a paucity of empirical and critical work focussed on coaches’ experiences of reflective practice. Consequently, we lack understanding as to the utility of reflection in the messy realities of practice, and of what is meaningful to those who engage in such a personally involving, emotive and challenging process. This article presents a series of narratives that evoke the dilemmas I (the lead author) experienced reflecting on my reflective practice within an action research process. The narratives tell a highly personal tale about the temporal, emotional and contextual qualities of reflective practice, a tale that counters traditional presentations of the coach as a calculated, dispassionate and rational being who operates as if in a social vacuum. By providing insight that befits the problematic nature of practice, we hope to contribute to a more authentic and holistic epistemology in sports coaching.

    Research areas

  • sports coaching, narrative research, reflection, coach development, coach learning

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