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From ‘blame’ to ‘shame’ in a coach–athlete relationship in golf: a tale of shared critical reflection and the re-storying of narrative experience

Toner, John; Nelson, Lee; Potrac, Paul; Gilbourne, David; Marshall, Phil

Authors

Dr John Toner John.Toner@hull.ac.uk
Lecturer in Sports Coaching and Performance

Lee Nelson

Paul Potrac

David Gilbourne

Abstract

This paper is centered on the principle author's (John) personal narrative of a coach-athlete relationship in golf, and how the original story altered through a process of shared critical thinking. On first telling, John explained to his co-authors how he considered himself to be the victim of bad coaching practice following his coach's failure to correctly diagnose a key but subtle fault with his golf swing. The initial rendering was a story of blame, betrayal, and of a coach who ultimately failed to provide the expert service required. Having shared and critically reflected upon this comfortable version of events with his co-authors, John explores how he came to understand his role in an ultimately dysfunctional coaching relationship in a different way. Rather than being a blameless victim, John began to explore his own contribution to the process of relationship breakdown. For example, his conscious decision to not share his thoughts and feelings about his golf swing with his coach; an act of stubbornness that led John to ‘test’ his coach in a way that could only lead to failure. Finally, the author team considers the value, role and issues associated with reflective writing in coaching, especially as they relate to the development of co-constructed narratives.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 13, 2012
Journal Sports coaching review
Print ISSN 2164-0629
Electronic ISSN 2164-0637
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 1
Pages 67-78
Institution Citation Toner, J., Nelson, L., Potrac, P., Gilbourne, D., & Marshall, P. (2012). From ‘blame’ to ‘shame’ in a coach–athlete relationship in golf: a tale of shared critical reflection and the re-storying of narrative experience. Sports Coaching Review, 1(1), 67-78. doi:10.1080/21640629.2012.704193
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/21640629.2012.704193
Keywords Golf, Athlete Experiences, Critical Reflection, Reflexivity, Narrative Learning,
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21640629.2012.704193