University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

“You can stay now, you are trusted”: (Re)negotiating the researchers’ role within qualitative fieldwork in sports coaching.

Simpson, Harley Jean, Vinson, Don ORCID:, Cale, Andrew and Edwards, Christian ORCID: (2022) “You can stay now, you are trusted”: (Re)negotiating the researchers’ role within qualitative fieldwork in sports coaching. In: Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, 26th-28th July 2022, Durham. (Unpublished)

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Objectives: The present study aims to tell my story as a researcher, addressing the complexities and challenges within coaching qualitative fieldwork. I will present a confessional tale providing an in-depth reflective account of how I negotiated my role(s) within a professional sports club. I story how, during a season-long ethnographic study on coaches’ decision-making, I negotiated my role as a researcher and became an integral and trusted part of the coaching team.

Methods: Drawing upon coach observations, field notes, a reflective journal, professional discussions, and multiple semi-structured interviews. I critically reflect on how I navigated interactions with players and coaches and (re)negotiated my role within this club.

Findings and Discussion: I crafted three central stories detailing my experiences in this context: (1), ‘who is Harley?,’ highlights how I journeyed in and through the field, (2), ‘passing Coach’s test,’ illustrates how I presented my worth within the environment, (3), ‘you are trusted now, you can stay,’ captures how I became part of the team. These stories artfully convey the challenges, negotiations, messiness, and power strains of negotiating a dual role in qualitative research. These findings reveal my struggles and how building trust is central to high-quality fieldwork. To conclude, I highlight the lessons I took
from this immersive study and offer insights for those wishing to conduct in-depth sports coaching fieldwork.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Depositing User: Christian Edwards
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2022 11:12
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 11:12

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