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Reflection and the art of coaching: fostering high-performance in Olympic Ski Cross

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Abstract:

In preparation for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, the lead author engaged in systematic reflection in an attempt to implement coaching behaviours and create practice environments that promoted athlete development (psycho-social and physical performance). The research was carried out in relation to his work as head Ski Cross coach working with (primarily) three athletes in their quest for Olympic qualification and subsequent performance success in the Olympic Games. This project sought to examine coach-athlete interactions. Of particular interest were coach and athlete responses regarding the implementation of autonomy supportive coaching behaviours in a high context. Autonomy supportive coaching behaviours have previously been strongly associated with positive athlete psycho-social and performance outcomes, however, a paucity of research has examined its implementation in high-performance contexts. Through the use of participant ethnography, it was possible to gain considerable insights regarding athletes’ perceptions of choice, implications of perceived athletic hierarchies, as well as cultural and experience-related influences on training and performance expectations.

Keywords: Winter Olympics; athlete; ethnography; reflective practice; sport

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2012.670629

Affiliations: The University of Queensland, School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland,4072, Australia

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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