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Carl Rogers, learning and educational practice: critical considerations and applications in sports coaching

Nelson, Lee and Cushion, Christopher J. and Potrac, Paul and Groom, Ryan (2012) Carl Rogers, learning and educational practice: critical considerations and applications in sports coaching. ISSN 1470-1243

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Abstract

Discussions about ‘athlete-centered’ coaching and ‘coach-centered’ coach education have started to gain increasing popularity in the field of coaching science. While it has been suggested that these ‘learner-centered’ approaches arguably align with the theoretical ideals of humanistic psychology, an in-depth examination of the implications of this learning orientation to sports coaching remains elusive. Rather, discussions have tended to be detached from theory, focusing instead on practices and methods. In light of this development, the present paper provides a detailed and critical overview of one of the leading humanistic thinkers’ work, namely Carl Rogers, in order to consider what implications his theorising about ‘person-centered’ learning could have for the development of athletes and coaches. In doing so, we hope that this article will serve to advance understanding and theoretically underpin what have tended to be largely a-theoretical and superficial discussions about ‘athlete-centered’ coaching and ‘coach-centered’ coach education.

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