Planning, practice and performance: The discursive formation of coaches' knowledge

  • Denison J
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Abstract

This paper takes as its starting point that coaches' efforts at planning their athletes' training are a complex practice involving so many variables that the logic of how they all 'fit together' to produce a peak performance is never obvious or clear. However, many coaches operate as if their athletes' training programmes can be assembled in a coherent, rational manner, or as if 'systems' exist to make planning an orderly sequence of steps or stages. Drawing on the work of Foucault, and his call to problematise the development and formation of dominant practices, I examine in this paper the discursive construction of contemporary planning practices used by middle- and long-distance running coaches. Further, I discuss how coaches' knowledge of planning is enmeshed within relations of power, that weaved in discourses, and imprinted on athletes' bodies and bodily practices, attempt to assert the 'truth' about the practice of planning.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Coaching
  • Foucault
  • Running
  • Sport science
  • The body

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Authors

  • Jim Denison

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