University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Deaf International Futsal Players’ Learning Experiences in Preparation for a Major Competition: a Longitudinal Study

De Martin Silva, L. and Francis, John ORCID: (2018) Deaf International Futsal Players’ Learning Experiences in Preparation for a Major Competition: a Longitudinal Study. In: UK Coaching Applied Coaching Research Conference 2019: Shaping the Future of Coaching, 19th February 2019, Derby County Football Club, Derby, UK. (Unpublished)

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Working in disability sport presents its own unique sets of challenges, especially regarding how to best support learning, which has been highlighted as key for enhancing performance and well-being (e.g., Stevens and Huddy, 2016). The aim of this longitudinal study was to explore the learning experiences of deaf international futsal players when using an online platform to support face to face learning in preparation for a major competition.

This study adopted a longitudinal design (8 month duration). Data was collected from 10 players and 3 staff members who were part of an International Deaf Women’s Futsal team. As an attempt to provide players with ‘contemporary learning solutions’ to best cater for their needs, this project focused on using an online learning platform to complement face to face learning. In this sense, participants had access to an online learning system, ‘Hive Learning’ and were encouraged to contribute to discussions regarding specific topics. Content included videos, pictures, diagrams and text. Data was collected via contributions to ‘Hive Learning’ as well as six focus groups during the 8 month period. Participants were encouraged to actively contribute to the variety of learning activities during and following attendance to each one of the six training camps leading up to the 2018 European Deaf Futsal Championships.

The purpose of this ‘discovery session’ is to share the research findings from both an academic and practitioner's perspectives. The study will be presented by one of the Joint Head Coaches and the Performance Analyst of the team (who are also the researchers who developed this study). The session will be delivered in a ‘research showcase’ seminar format to allow coaches to reflect upon the findings in light of their own coaching context. It is hoped that this study can shed light on how coaches can develop ‘contemporary learning solutions’ to best cater for their players.

Findings showed some players’ initial resistance to playing an active role in ‘co-constructing’ knowledge (i.e., learning as’ participation’ and ‘transformation’). Here, they showed signs of lacking confidence to express their opinion and/or perceived the value of the online platform only as a repository of information (i.e., learning as acquisition). As the study developed, more players started engaging in critical thinking when trying to support each other’s’ learning as a team.

The lessons learned which can be directly applied in coaching practice are:
• The use of online platforms can be beneficial to complement face to face learning as long as they offer flexibility and evolve according to participants' needs.
• Coaches should interpret what players’ needs and wants are. At times, challenging a player’s view (in a supportive environment) is necessary;
• Performance analyst roles should include more emphasis on analysis ‘for’ learning (it often focuses on analysis ‘of’ learning).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: coaching practice, coach experience, research practice, coaching research, disability sport, learning experiences, deaf international futsal players
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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Depositing User: John Francis
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2018 12:19
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:25

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