The Coaching Process as Sensemaking


  • John Alder The Coaching Process as Sensemaking by: John P. Alder, AUT University, Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand


Kinesiology, Sport Coaching Pedagogy, Athlete Centered Coaching


The last decade has seen the concept of ‘player’ or ‘athlete centered coaching’ firmly established in the coaches’ lexicon amongst both practitioners (Sport New Zealand; International Rugby Board) and academics (de Souza and Oslin, 2008; Kidman, 2005; Kidman and Lombardo, 2010). Therefore, as an academic, I was delighted that in the first edition of the Journal for Athlete Centered Coaching, Lynn Kidman and Dawn Penney recognized the need to ignite some scholarly discussion surrounding athlete centered coaching, and in doing so explore the meanings, values and practices of this coaching approach. I certainly concur with Kidman and Penney (2014) that in attempts to operationalize what athlete-centered coaching may look like for the practicing coach, “there are dangers that the significance of underpinning values may become lost amidst somewhat functional ways of thinking about Athlete Centered Coaching” (Kidman and Penney, 2014, p. 2). Therefore, in response to the call to arms to “re- think and extend the meanings of athlete centered coaching” (Kidman and Penney, 2014, p.2), I present my commentary to extend our understanding of athlete centered coaching through the application of sensemaking (Weick, 1995).


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