The coach is a central figure within elite football and coaching a multifaceted, demanding and pedagogical process (Cassidy, Jones, & Potrac, 2009; Jones, 2006; Potrac, Gilbert, & Denison, 2013). The objective of this paper to show how national football associations have developed their coach education programs to produce coaches that could manage the elite coach position. Both contemporary and historical research stresses that there is and have been a fast track pathway for players into elite coach positions, and that a career as a player on a high level has recognized as important (Blackett, Evans, & Piggott, 2015; Peterson, 1993; Stodter & Cushion, 2014). Therefore the specific focus is on how the programs are developed to handle the transition from playing the game to coach the game. Through a comparison of the Football association of Ireland (FAI), The Scottish Football Association (SFA), The Royal Belgium Football Association (Kbvb) and The Swedish Football Association’s (SvFF) coaching education programs, the purpose of this study is to illuminate different ways to make elite football coaches out of players. The research question is: what content in the programs are directed to support the transition from playing to coach elite football?
The theoretical framework is a governmentality perspective (Foucault & Faubion, 2002; Rose, 1999; Walters, 2012). In short this perspective focus on the motives, tactics and consequences of and for governing. Governing is here understood as conduct of conduct (Foucault & Faubion, 2002). With references to Rose (1999) the governmentality perspective also implies the questions what authorities of various sorts want to happen, in relation to problems defined how, in pursuit of what objectives, through what strategies and technique. The “authorities” in this study are the national football associations. What they want is to conduct the conduct of the adepts to make them elite football coaches. What strategies and tactics they use are what we aim to cast light upon.
The method used is a text analysis of the educational material from coaching education programs in Ireland, Sweden, Scotland and Belgium. The analysis is in two steps. First we identify different areas of knowledge. Second we analyze if and how the different areas of knowledge support the transition from player to coach. We also carry out qualitative interviews (Kvale & Brinkmann, 2014) with the directors of the programs.
The analysis of the educational material in Sweden shows that over time there is less emphasis on the adept’s technical and physical skills, and more on the pedagogical and analytic dimensions. However, there is no particular segment of the programs that explicit deals with the transition from player to coach. The rest of the study will be carried out this spring.
European Conference on Educational Research, Dublin, Ireland, August 22-26, 2016