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Contemplations on sport, complexity, ages of being and practice

Gilbourne, David


David Gilbourne


From my experience of working alongside coaches, I would say that they are complexpeople. The people they coach are complex too. In the present paper, I considercomplexity as an underlying dynamic to (coaching) practice, something that might beunderstood, not only through one's own life, but through the notion of shared lives.The central thematic of the story to follow is that we live and practice through different‘ages of being' and that our complication changes as we age. These ideas and theirrelevance to critical thinking and personal practice are illustrated through a personal story,a father and son story. The tale begins, as many sporting father and son stories might, asthey run together on a windswept beach. From that childhood memory, a meandering taleof growth, companionship and critical reflection unfolds. By charting this particularrelationship, one shaped and sustained by a shared history, yet defined by different ‘agesof being', I contemplate often fractured and sometimes shared relationships betweenourselves and with sport. It is a story described partly in parallel, across generational andworking contexts and in life-long terms. The story telling ends with an attempt at definingmyself, my complexities and my own practice in the present day. Through this, I urge al lcoaching practitioners to reflect on their work and on the intentions and scope of theirresearch and, finally, the associations of such thinking with their own ages of being.


Gilbourne, D. (2012). Contemplations on sport, complexity, ages of being and practice. Sports Coaching Review, 1(1), 4-16.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 18, 2012
Online Publication Date Aug 13, 2012
Publication Date 2012-05
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Sports coaching review
Print ISSN 2164-0629
Electronic ISSN 2164-0637
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 1
Pages 4-16
Keywords Contemplations on sport; Complexity; Ages of being and practice; Autoethnography; Narrative storytelling; Creative analytic practice
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Sports coaching review on 13th August 2012, available online:


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