Reflective practice and the origins of elite coaching knowledge
This study examines the origins of elite coaching knowledge and the use of this knowledge in the construction of progressions in men's artistic gymnastics. The focus of the current study was first to establish where these elite coaches learnt the skill of coaching, and second to identify the methods currently used by these elite coaches to increase their knowledge base. Sixteen elite men's artistic gymnastic coaches were interviewed using a semi-structured technique. Following inductive content analysis the findings of this investigation were contextualized within the framework of experiential learning, reflective practice and the existing coaching literature. Specifically, these coaches displayed a high level of individuality in terms of how they learnt the skill of coaching. These coaches identified that knowledge acquisition was facilitated mostly through interactive coaching clinics and mentorships that promoted critical inquiry and active experimentation. These experiences allowed the coaches to develop learning through reflective practice within the training environment. Subsequent investigations are recommended to identify how this knowledge is integrated into the coaching process and applied in the development of gymnastic skills.
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