chapter  11
16 Pages

Understanding athletes’ identities

Coaching is recognising situations, [it’s] recognising and responding to the people that you work with (Steve Harrison in Jones et al. 2004: 18). This quotation is taken from an examination of the philosophies and practices of eight top-level coaches. In reflecting upon what made them successful (and sometimes less than successful), the coaches highlighted the importance of relating to their athletes as social beings and not just performing bodies. Considerable emphasis was placed ‘on getting to know them [the athletes] and what makes them tick’ in the quest to facilitate high-level sporting performances (Jones et al. 2004: 18).