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UK Coaching Team
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Developing Mindsets Self-care and development

Coaches Wear Many Hats

Simon Phelan, Senior Lecturer in Sport, Coaching and Physical Education at Oxford Brookes University, explores the many roles and responsibilities of the modern coach

The role of the sports coach has evolved over the last 20 years, beyond characterisations that focus mainly on the transfer of technical knowledge, towards more holistic conceptions of person development.

Despite this growing appreciation, what has not become available is a distinct definition of the role a coach must fulfil, where the list of job descriptions and responsibilities remains as disparate as the range of sports within which they are found.

However, where consensus does exist is in the acceptance that the coach’s role is multifaceted, with the ‘humble’ coach tasked with far more than simply supporting safe and performatively driven skill development.

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