Effective and ethical sport coaching practice to improve participant and performer development experiences and outcomes

The ultimate aim of this theme is to provide a basis for improved development experiences for participants and performers.

This theme embraces research and good practice to explore the crucial issue of what constitutes effective and ethical coaching.

Our interests range from conceptual debate about effectiveness as a construct, to the coach resources, reasoning/decision making, strategies, and actions that underpin effective planning and delivery.

The aim is to contribute to a greater understanding of coaching effectiveness and ethical practice, and to work with practitioners to improve sport coaching as a vocational and occupational area.


The centre is particularly interested in:

  • The range of conceptual tools that are used to understand coaching effectiveness, and whether it is possible to development an integrative position
  • What is generic and what is contextual about sport coaching across roles, domains, and different forms of sport
  • How does effective coaching link to our understanding of ethical practice
  • How does an understanding of coaching effectiveness provide a foundation for quality coach learning and development experiences?

Group of students analysing exercise test results in lab

Expert, effective and ethical coaching

Since the London and Rio Olympic cycles there have been growing concerns about the balance between the demands of high-performance sport and athlete and coach welfare.

Long term in situ study of sport coaching practice and effectiveness

To better understand the practical and social complexities of sport coaching, our researchers spend time with sport coaches and participants.

These projects - that span a number of disciplines and take between 12 and 24 months - provide a detailed understanding of sport coaching. This includes the factors underpinning effectiveness and the link between ethical coaching and effectiveness.

This important research also draws attention to the good practice ideas that can be shared across domain and sport, and those that are much more contextual.

To better understand the practical and social complexities of sport coaching, our researchers spend time with sport coaches and participants.

These projects - that span a number of disciplines and take between 12 and 24 months - provide a detailed understanding of sport coaching. This includes the factors underpinning effectiveness and the link between ethical coaching and effectiveness.

This important research also draws attention to the good practice ideas that can be shared across domain and sport, and those that are much more contextual.

Student teaching tennis to children