The 'Lieutenants' of Coaching: How Materiality Shapes Coach Developers' Practices



Maclean J (2021) The 'Lieutenants' of Coaching: How Materiality Shapes Coach Developers' Practices. Somatechnics, 11 (2), pp. 265-282.

One might assume that sport coaches are experts in coaching relationally as they do, after all, have to consider how their lieutenants work together in any given practice. If true, then coach developers, who coach the coaches, might be thought of as superior experts in relational provision. If also true, then a relational inquiry into coach education programmes is necessary for conceptualising learning. But previous conceptualisations of learning have neither considered relational analyses nor viewed learning as something that is not derivative from the coach. In this article, I examine how materials participate in and the ways materiality shapes two coach developers’ practices. Methodologically, I draw inspiration from actor-network theory, which is a sociomaterial approach that focuses on the relations of humans and nonhumans in practices. Methods include the ‘interview to the double’ (Nicolini 2009), followed by observations during two level one coach education programmes: children and youth. Two vignettes of cones and the CD-ROM describe how social and material relations come together and shape coach developers’ practices in surprising and unexpected ways. The coach developers grappled with their ‘educator’ role so that coaches were better prepared to articulate the materiality of practices. Based on my analysis, I conclude by making a case for a material engagement with coach development.

actor-network theory; coach developer; coach development; coach education programmes; Lieutenant; sociomaterial

Somatechnics: Volume 11, Issue 2

Publication date31/08/2021
Publication date online30/06/2021
Date accepted by journal01/06/2021
PublisherEdinburgh University Press

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Dr Jordan Maclean

Dr Jordan Maclean

Research Assistant, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology