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Coach Logic and Athlete Learning

Vinson, Don and Beeching, Kelvin and Morgan, Michelle and Jones, Gareth (2016) Coach Logic and Athlete Learning. Technical Report. Coach Logic, Edinburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Introduction The ability of the coach to facilitate athlete learning has become an increasingly common topic of discussion within recent research in the field of sports coaching (Light, Harvey, & Mouchet, 2014; Padley & Vinson, 2013). How coaches can use video analysis to facilitate athletes to be more active in the learning process has not received much attention within recent research – this is especially true when considering the range of relatively new online systems which facilitate such processes. Coach Logic is an online coaching platform which is a commercial service paid for by annual subscription by each club. Within the ‘Video Room’ of Coach Logic, coaching staff are able to upload training and match footage for all their team to view. Subsequently, either players or coaches could create and apply ‘tags’ to the footage to highlight a particular element of play, for example, ‘successful line-out’. Finally, Coach Logic enables players and coaches to add comments to each individual tag and, more generally, to each video clip. These clips, tags and comments can be supplemented by other documents such as training plans, playbooks etc. which can be uploaded and shared through other ‘rooms’ within Coach Logic. Research aims The aim of this investigation was to examine Head Coaches’ use of Coach Logic with a particular focus on athlete learning through processes which encouraged active engagement from players. Furthermore, this project investigated the factors which determined athletes’ engagement with the platform, their broader perceptions of the importance of PA, as well as the perceived success of the various processes. Methods Seven head coaches (five rugby union and two field hockey), their assistant coaches and some of their players were interviewed. The interviews lasted between 17 and 85 minutes. All of the coaches, assistant coaches and players were male. Each interview was transcribed word-for-word and key processes and themes were drawn from the interview data. Results The analysis of data revealed three key principles that demonstrated how coaches had sought to use Coach Logic to benefit their teams. The first principle was ‘Getting athletes actively involved in the process of analysis’. This comprised genuinely seeking players’ input into the process of analysis by sharing match footage and asking for feedback in a number of different ways such as online comments and/or group discussion. The second principle was ‘Getting athletes to work collaboratively when analysing performance’. This comprised getting athletes to work together to come up with ideas – this was done both in general small groups but also in match-specific blocks such as scrummaging groups, line-out units and penalty corner teams. Finally, the third principle comprised ‘Getting senior and junior players to benefit from each other’s’ perspective’. Within this investigation there was some evidence of young athletes being paired with senior players to facilitate learning – this was very positively received. Conclusion We are confident that Coach Logic, and other systems of this type, have an important place in contemporary coaching practice and can benefit athlete learning. Other benefits might also be apparent in terms of the potential to enhance team culture and cohesion. The accessibility and practical functionality of Coach Logic is important in ensuring coaches, players and other support staff are engaged with the process. There are many potential contexts and applications for Coach Logic, although we consider that performance-focused sports teams operating at amateur level, such as those featured in this investigation, where face-to-face training time is precious and often greatly limited, have a great deal to gain by utilising this system. However, it should be remembered that such systems will only ever augment, and not replace, excellent coaching practice and the importance of coach-athlete contact time. Coach Logic enables the active involvement of athletes in the process of performance analysis and this appears to be valued and accepted by all parties. Utilising Coach Logic may enhance athletes’ intrinsic motivation as players will feel empowered by being involved. From a social perspective, we have shown that utilising Coach Logic has helped to develop a positive team environment and peer-to-peer working at a variety of levels. This investigation has evidenced considerable good practice, but also challenges coaches to consider how they frame the acquisition of knowledge for their athletes – are we merely leading our players to a pre-determined solution? Or are we genuinely interested in their opinion to the extent that we are willing to act on their suggestions – even if they conflict with our own assessment? Given the importance of the social processes outlined here, alongside the challenges experienced by some coaches in responding to the differing perspectives offered by players, it appears that coaches need support to develop their practice in facilitating a wholly inclusive learning community which embraces a wide range of experience, knowledge and abilities.

Item Type: Report (Technical Report)
Additional Information:

A research report prepared for Coach Logic by Dr Don Vinson, Kelvin Beeching, Michelle Morgan and Gareth Jones.

The full-text cannot be supplied for this item.

Uncontrolled Keywords: sports coaching, athlete learning, coaching, Coach Logic, video analysis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Sport and Exercise Science
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Don Vinson
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2017 08:16
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2017 10:23
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/5305

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