Workplace learning of high performance sports coaches

Steven B. Rynne, Clifford J. Mallett, Richard Tinning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The Australian coaching workplace (to be referred to as the State Institute of Sport; SIS) under consideration in this study employs significant numbers of full-time performance sport coaches and can be accurately characterized as a genuine workplace. Through a consideration of the interaction between what the workplace (SIS) affords the individual and the agency of the individual SIS coaches, it is possible to gain an understanding how high performance sport coaches learn in the workplace. Analysis of data collected by means of semi-structured interviews with a group of coaches (n=6) and administrators (n=6), revealed that coaches learned through a variety of sources both within and outside of (but often influenced by) the SIS. In addition, there were a range of factors such as the working climate and the physical environment that were reported to have an impact on the learning of the coaches (structure). In keeping with Billett's (2006) theorizing, aspects of the individuals' agency (e.g. passion for the sport, drive to be the best) were also found to be critical to the learning in the workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-330
Number of pages16
JournalSport, Education and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Learning
  • Sport coaching
  • Sport institute


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