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UK Coaching Team
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Self-care and development

Understanding Co-Creation in Coaching

Senior Lecturer in Sport at Oxford Brookes University Simon Phelan explores the concept of co-creation, its value to coaches and some examples of how you can use co-creation effectively in your environment

To give a range of examples and help you understand what co-creation might look like in your world, this guide contains insight from six coaches in different sports from around the world and the recordings of reflective conversations between Coach Developers at UK Coaching Jenny Coady and Tom Hartley.

What is co-creation?

In contrast to coach-led, traditional top-down approaches, co-creation occurs when the coach becomes part of the learning experience as a participator or a guide.

This means that the relationship between the coach and the participant is more democratic, driven by shared inquiry and curiosity.

This in turn means that athletes are encouraged to become more responsible for their learning, engaging in the meaningful (as opposed to rote) learning of skills/tactics/strategies. The breaking down of the difference in power between themselves and the coach offers a real opportunity for them to become critical thinkers and critical beings.

[Co-creation is] an educational approach which privileges peer-based support and communication, educational facilitation (rather than teaching) and learner self-efficacy."

García-Peñalvo et al., 2013

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