From tracksuit to trench coat – The changing position of the Swedish elite soccer coach from the 1960s to the 2010s
Robert Svensson, Örebro University
During the last 50 years the coach position within elite soccer has changed radically, both internationally and in Sweden. The aim of this study is to get a deeper understanding of this change. From previous research we can conclude that the coach position has changed. To go further I study the Swedish elite soccer coach from the 1960s until today guided by the questions: Why and how?
The history of the Swedish soccer coach is analyzed through the lens of the Foucauldian perspective governmentality. Government is understood as the “conduct of conduct” and mentality as the aims, strategies, and consequences of government. I examine the governmentalities of prominent organizations within Swedish soccer, with focus on the consequences for the coach position. Thus, carried out from the governmentality perspective, this study will cast light upon not only the coach, but on how sport organization have been governed.
The methods are text analysis of board minutes and annual reports from a Swedish club and education material from coaching courses organized by the Swedish football association (SvFF), and semi structured interviews with persons that have been coaches in Sweden.
Findings: In the 1960s the coach assignment were limited to train the player’s technic and condition two times a week. However, to be competitive internationally SvFF in 1967 overturned the amateur regulations. Due to the professionalization the board of the clubs got occupied with administrative work and within the clubs it opened up for someone to take command of the up to then somewhat divided responsibility of the sport activities. Contemporaneously SvFF, to improve the players, turned to science and experts and in the coaching courses the attendants got physiological, tactical, pedagogical and psychological knowledge. This new knowledge entitled the coach to govern new dimensions of the players. As a consequence the coach strengthened its position and became the one to come to power of the sport activates, and today the coach is in charge of who and how to play, communicates the team to media and fans, and train the players technical, physical, psychical, and tactical skills, everyday all the year round.
2017. 36-36 p.