Interpersonal and intrapersonal considerations for the delivery of coaching and coach education: A critical realist perspective

Garner, Paul ORCID: 0000-0003-4414-0577 (2023) Interpersonal and intrapersonal considerations for the delivery of coaching and coach education: A critical realist perspective. Doctoral thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/SS65D9X7

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Coaching is fundamentally a relational process that requires effective interpersonal communication. Contemporary work that supports this notion, has promoted a holistic, person-centred approach that advocates an altruistic intent to foster human flourishing. However, given the dominant, extant focus on sport specific professional knowledge in typical coach education settings, an enhanced understanding of interpersonal knowledge is needed to help coaches adopt a person-centred approach in practice. Furthermore, useful tools to assist developing coaches in their thinking, planning, action and reflection are essential in managing the multiple stakeholders who operate in complex coaching environments. Accordingly, this thesis investigates the interpersonal approach of expert adventure sport coaches (ASCs) in alpine skiing, using two studies that were published during the doctoral journey. Study 1 explored the leadership tone of expert coach behaviours, using semi-structured interviews and observational data, collected with the Coach Leadership Assessment System (CLAS). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis and interpretations were made to support how we might develop interpersonal knowledge in coach education. Study 2 investigated the intentions that triggered behaviour, where data were collected using video stimulated interviews, and analysed using thematic analysis. Interpretations were made to support how we might develop the intrapersonal knowledge required to deliver effective interpersonal knowledge in coach education. Adopting a critical realist lens, an iterative research strategy involved investigation into the domain of the actual and empirical in study 1, towards a deeper investigation into the domain of the real in study 2. Findings from study 1 substantiated previous research that suggests behaviours consistent with transformational leadership (TFL) support learning and development environments characterised by trust and autonomy support. However, results also highlighted the important role of context in determining effective behaviour that was not always aligned with TFL, but instead supported the use of transactional behaviours in certain circumstances. Challenging the behaviours approach to effective coaching, study 2 identified the four-component POWA model that promotes: perspective, other-centredness, a willingness to learn and an accurate self-assessment, as guiding intentions behind person-centred practice. Having considered each level of critical realism’s stratified ontology, the POWA model provides a thinking tool to guide person-centred decision-making, in a way that recognises the vagaries of context. The model can be used to scaffold delivery, planning and reflection, with notable implications for the ongoing development of interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge within coach education. Finally, this work has the potential to cultivate greater levels of humility in sport coaching settings which, in these troubled times, is a virtue much required that is often in scant supply.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sports coaching; Expert adventure sport coaches (ASCs) in alpine skiing; Leadership; POWA model
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports > GV0711 Coaching
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV191.2 Outdoor Life. Outdoor recreation.
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2024 11:33
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2024 11:33

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