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Young Coaches: Indispensable to the Swedish Sports Movement but Are They on Equal Terms?
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6629-613x
Linnéuniversitetet.
2011 (English)In: 19 th I.C.P.E.S.S., 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Sport is a very popular activity for young people in Sweden, and without recourse to a large number of coaches (> 600,000), it would be more or less untenable. Despite many people being involved in coaching roles, the sports movement continually wrestles with the issues of a shortage of coaches and how to encourage more people to become involved. In 2007, the Swedish Parliament decided to support sporting activities for young people by investing SEK 2 billion over a four-year period. This initiative was given the name Idrottslyftet and one of its goals was to recruit and retain young coaches.

The aim of the study was to investigate young coaches’ influence, participation, and conditions in the Swedish sports movement. The research questions were: (i) which young coaches have been recruited? (ii) how do they view sport and the coaching role? and (iii) what means do the young coaches have to influence and participate?

The data consisted of ten focus-group interviews with a total of thirty-seven young coaches (twenty women and seventeen men). The study had a cultural-sociological perspective based on Bourdieu’s theories and concepts.

The analysis shows that the young coaches have a sport habitus, which means that they have incorporated the values and norms of the sport, are familiar with the sports movement’s ‘rules’, and have sufficient sporting competence. The majority of those who have been asked to become coaches are, for some reason, no longer active sportspeople. The recruitment of young coaches is often a short-term investment. On the one hand, the coaching role appears to be an investment for the individual him- or herself and a way to give back to sport. On the other hand, the coaching role entails huge sacrifices. It is obvious that maintaining the prevailing power structure prevents the young coaches from being able to exert an influence. Without the ‘right’ symbolic capital, it is impossible for them to participate. As a young coach, you are not invited; you have to fight your way in.

In conclusion, the findings indicate that within the Swedish sports movement there is a belief that a re-examination of the traditionally prominent values is required if young people are to be recruited as coaches and offered influence and participation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011.
Keyword [en]
young coaches, idrottslyftet, values, Bourdieu, recruit
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-1935OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-1935DiVA: diva2:450630
Conference
19th International Conference on Physical Education and Sport Science; Komotini Grekland
Projects
RF finansierat projekt: Idrottslyftet
Available from: 2011-10-21 Created: 2011-10-21 Last updated: 2014-05-08Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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More styles
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