Shifting Perspectives: Transitioning from coach centred to athlete centred – Challenges faced by a coach and an athlete
This paper outlines the voices of a practising coach and also athlete who
reveal their experiences as they transitioned from the coach centred approach to
the athlete centred approach within the Australian swimming culture. Using
narrative accounts, their stories of experience are presented. While the bene!ts
that the athlete centred approach to coaching can have for both athletes and
coaches have been detailed in numerous research investigations, not as much has
been done in relation to challenges faced by the coach and athlete as the
transition occurs from coach centred to athlete centred. Inherent challenges in
the transition phase from coach centred to athlete centred are important to
understand in order to assist coaches and athletes when such a transition occurs.
The athlete and coach in this study revealed a number of challenges. Firstly, the
extent to which dominant cultural ideologies had permeated their thinking and
doing was extensive even though both of them had self-‐determined the
transition. Other issues that arose included disciplinary power and a concern for
the approach being untested in terms of competitive performance. From these
!ndings, the authors make a number of suggestions to better support both
athletes and coaches during the transition from coach to athlete centred.
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