Cultivating a community of practice to enable coach development in alpine ski coaches

Paul Garner , Denise Hill

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Given the enduring focus of coach education on the development of professional knowledge (e.g., technique, strategy, and tactics), the current study aimed to explore how a Community of Practice (CoP) impacted coach development of interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge. Côté and Gilbert’s (2009) definition of coaching expertise was used as a model to observe learning in a community of practice (CoP; Wenger, McDermott & Snyder, 2002). A total of eight internationally qualified ski coaches (aged 27–44 years) took part in weekly meetings over a period of six weeks, with the lead researcher cultivating a CoP and ensuring coaching issues were the focus of discussion. Meetings were audio-recorded and the data transcribed and analysed thematically. Results revealed that coaches developed both interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge through enhanced emotional intelligence, gaining an athlete-centred approach, storytelling, group reflection and changing role frames. The findings are positioned within the extant literature, with implication for coach education practice identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-75
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Sport Coaching Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • interpersonal knowledge
  • intrapersonal knowledge
  • emotional intelligence
  • coach education


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