University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

“I felt I’d lost myself - not really knowing who I was”: Coach Developer learning as negotiating identity through engagement, imagination and alignment

Vinson, Don ORCID:, Simpson, Harley Jean and Cale, Andrew (2022) “I felt I’d lost myself - not really knowing who I was”: Coach Developer learning as negotiating identity through engagement, imagination and alignment. Sport, Education and Society. ISSN Print ISSN: 1357-3322 Online ISSN: 1470-1243

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Across the sporting landscape, there has recently been increased interest in how best to facilitate Coach Developer (CD) learning. The framework of Landscapes of Practice (LoP) encourages us to consider how CD learning can be better understood through consideration of individual negotiated identity as a process of engagement, imagination and alignment. This Participatory and Appreciative Action and Reflection (PAAR) investigation explores the journey of two cohorts of CDs (n =24) through a bespoke formal learning programme commissioned by a National Governing Body (NGB) of sport in the UK. Over a period of three years, data were captured through reflective materials, focus groups, individual interviews, field notes and professional discussions. Here we discuss three major categories namely, (a) (pre)dispositions to the course; (b) epistemological development, criticality and theoretical congruity; and (c) the learning community. CDs’ identities were highly individualized and there was evidence of deeply meaningful, and negotiated, identity work going on within each individual. We found that consideration of their engagement, imagination and alignment with the course helped to better understand the (re)negotiation of their identities as they deepened their understanding. By specifically addressing the CDs’ (pre)dispositions to the course we were able to offer the learners a more relevant and relatable programme to which they could choose to align – or not. Future research should explore the role and functions of the different forms of social learning leadership in longitudinal courses such as this and seek to better understand how these individuals shape the identities of the learners they support.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Sport, Education and Society on 13 Feb 2022, available online:

Staff and students at the University of Worcester can access the full-text of the online published article via the online Library Search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Landscapes of Practice, Communities of Practice, Knowledgeability, Formal learning, Participatory and Appreciative Action and Reflection, Wenger-Trayner
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Don Vinson
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2022 16:48
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2023 01:00

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