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Examining coaching practices and philosophy through the lens of organizational culture in a Danish high-performance swimming environment
University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Health and Sport. University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6198-0784
2018 (English)In: International journal of sports science & coaching, ISSN 1747-9541, E-ISSN 2048-397X, Vol. 13, no 6, p. 1108-1119Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Interest in coaching and coaches, as well as coach–athlete relationships, has for a long time been a traditional and solid part of talent development literature. In recent times, talent development research has employed a holistic ecological approach and emphasized the important role of a broader athletic environment in athletes’ development and a constitutive role of organizational culture in the success of such an environment. This case study uses the holistic ecological perspective to examine coaching practices and philosophy through the lens of organizational culture in a Danish high performance swimming environment. The environment was selected based on its performance success but also because of its nontraditional organization compared to typical Danish swimming clubs. Data were generated from in-depth interviews with six coaches, 30 h of participant observation of training and meetings, and analysis of related documents. Thematic data analysis was guided by Schein’s model of organizational culture. The findings revealed the organizational culture that incorporates specific features of coaching practices and philosophy through cultural artifacts, espoused values, and basic assumptions. In the artifacts, coaching practices were explicit (e.g. flexible training groups and schedules) and philosophy implicit (e.g. ongoing flow of feedback), while in the espoused values, coaching philosophy was explicit (e.g. swimmers as whole persons, long-term development focus) and consistent with basic cultural assumptions(e.g. swimmers’ autonomy as a basis for progress). The study revealed that the cultural lens was helpful in exploring consistency between what coaches communicate about what they do (and how and why they do it) and what they actually did (and how they did it). © The Author(s) 2018.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Sage Publications, 2018. Vol. 13, no 6, p. 1108-1119
Keywords [en]
Coaching, coach–athlete centered coaching, organizational culture, swimming, talent development environment
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-37874DOI: 10.1177/1747954118796914Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85053408767OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-37874DiVA, id: diva2:1244505
Available from: 2018-09-02 Created: 2018-09-02 Last updated: 2018-11-26Bibliographically approved

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