Discourse and the (re)production of coaching knowledge
This chapter examines the (re)production of coaching knowledge. This is particularly in relation to discourse; that is, the language used to describe and explain the activity. It considers how that language leads us to think about and perceive coaching, and those involved in it, in certain ways. The chapter is written from the premise that the creation of coaching knowledge doesn’t take place in a political vacuum or exists as a science of transmission, but operates within a hierarchy of social power relations (Brown 1999). A principal way such relations are contested and reaffirmed is through text and talk, which subsequently legitimize certain ways of thinking and being (van Dijk 2014). Knowledge acquisition then, is largely discursive with discourses formed by, and reflective of, ideologies, and power arrangements (Cherryholmes 1988). In short, discourse (and the pedagogy that it engenders) is concerned with the process of knowledge (re)production, as well as the (re)production of values, beliefs and attitudes (Tinning 2010). Consequently, the study of discourse is an examination of how influence is achieved in and through talk; of what is said and the way it is said (Faulkener & Finlay 2002). It pays attention to the language-in-use and the power that such language has over perception and behaviour (McGannon & Mauws 2000). In investigating the representation and (re)production of knowledge through language as it relates to coaching, the chapter examines the discourse used both by coach educators and practising coaches, and the influence this has on athletes.