Surfing the Turbulence: Fluctuations in Self-Perceptions of Expertise in the Long Term Developmental Journeys of Expert-Like Male Sports Coaches
The aim of this study is to investigate how self-perceptions of expertise among sports coaches may develop, regress, and redevelop over time within the context of coaching, in light of recent reconceptualisations of expertise, expertise development, sports coaching, coach development, and adult learning. The developmental journeys of four expert-like sports coaches are explored using a life history/life course approach. Written life history accounts are gathered, and repeated semi-structured interviews undertaken (six per participant over two years), focussing upon critical incidents related to coach development and perceptions of expertise, to capture interpretations and feelings. Narrative inquiry is employed to investigate and represent participants’ lived experiences, and how they create meaning and identity from them. Co-constructed storied accounts of expert-like coaches’ developmental journeys are produced featuring local exemplary knowledge. Looking across the stories and their respective interconnections, to speculate on wider theoretical implications is a further aspect of the study. Theoretical standpoints from a new wave of literature across different subject domains, and a Bourdieusian perspective, are used as guiding interpretive frameworks. This study reveals a more nuanced and complex holistic portrayal of perceived expertise development in contrast to oversimplified conceptions that currently dominate in this field of inquiry. This uniquely longitudinal in-depth exploration of the lived developmental journey of expert-like coaches provides illuminating detail on the process, influences, and continuation of expertise development (that may inform the facilitation and flourishing of other practitioners); uncovering a more intricate conceptualisation of expertise development, encompassing the importance of change and adaptation upon ongoing and recursive (re)development.