Werthner, P., & Trudel, P. (2006). A new theoretical perspective for understanding how coaches learn to coach. Sport psychologist, 20(2), 198.
Mentioned: Moon, J.A. (2004). A handbook of reflective and experintial learning: Theory and practice. London: Routledge Falmer
by Rachel Webb
The purpose of the material presented is to more thoroughly investigate the way in which coaches learn how to be coaches. Authors Werthner and Trudel use a new theoretical perspective that looks at a generic view of learning as applied to elite coaches (2006).
Coaches must develop both a sport specific knowledge and a knowledge base about coaching, and the latter has shown to be effected by many aspects. There are two ways to view learning and according to Moon when coaches are subject to viewing learning as a network rather than building up a wall, they will be able to build upon their cognitive structuring rather than taking an inactive role in retaining new coaching information (Moon, 2004). This network is described as the knowledge and emotions resulting in a cognitive structure that represents what the coaches know at any given point in time. This view allows coaches to accept the learning process as a process of changing conceptions rather than an accumulation of information. This research is especially important because this cognitive structure acts as a guide as to what coaches will choose to pay attention to and what they choose to learn.
With that distinction being made the article explores Moon’s views of learning, which includes three types of learning situations that elicit how coaches may develop their coaching perspective and why many of their paths are so distinct. The learning situations range from mediated (formal learning), unmediated (external experiences, and internal learning situation (no new information). The network view of coaches’ learning processes has the potential to provide a way to see coach development from the coaches’ perspective and can increase our ability to understand the particular path of different coaches. This study stresses the importance of how the material is presented to coaches, what the coaches cognitive structure is already made up of, and it draws attention to the ways we can use the three learning situations to foster the development specific to each coach. There are numerous inferences that can now be drawn after this extensive study done on elite coaches. It is important to recognize the support being made for the differences in coaches’ cognitive structures and how their internal experiences will influence what they are learning and choose to incorporate in their coaching down the line.