University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Developing coach education to enhance rugby coaches’ understanding and application of game centred approaches—The importance of questioning

Pritchard, Rhys and Morgan, K. (2022) Developing coach education to enhance rugby coaches’ understanding and application of game centred approaches—The importance of questioning. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching. pp. 1-10. ISSN 1747-9541 Online ISSN: 2048-397X

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Although there seems a willingness to adopt pedagogical approaches that address the complexity of team games, there is little guidance as to how. Transforming coaching practice does not happen overnight, therefore developing non-linear approaches to coaching assumes the development of new knowledge. These approaches to coaching privilege social interaction and the use of questioning in the coaching process, which is far removed from the traditional approach to coaching. Greater exploration is needed as to how to support coaches in developing their application of non-linear coaching practices to support transformative coach learning. Research identified the challenges coaches face when trying to incorporate questioning into their practice. Recognising the pedagogical nature of coaching, this paper draws on Lev Vygotsky to support coaches in improving their coaching with game-centred approaches and the use of questioning. The study aim was to improve my practice as a coach educator to enhance rugby coaches’ understanding and application of the game-centred approach. It involved a group of six student rugby coaches. Using action research, coaches delivered an 11-week rugby programme to a class of year 5 children. Findings emphasised the importance of social interaction, privileging the use of language in developing coach autonomy. Providing time to build a collaborative relationship between the educator and coach assisted coach development. The major contribution this paper makes is to illustrate the value of effective questioning. The importance of questioning cannot be understated in coaching and coach education, with it leading to social interaction and facilitating opportunities to develop co-construction of new knowledge.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Children, sport pedagogy, teaching games for understanding, zone of proximal development
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
Related URLs:
Copyright Info: © The Author(s) 2022
Depositing User: Rhys Pritchard
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2022 11:52
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2022 11:52

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