Training or education? Negotiating a fuzzy line between what “we” want and “they” might need

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Douglas, K ; Carless, D (2008)
  • Publisher: Multi-Science Publishing

In this article, we reflect on what we consider to be an over-reliance among many in golf – including coaches, sport psychologists, and governing bodies – on a training-dominated vocabulary. To do so, we adopt a narrative approach to explore: i) the kinds of stories which circulate in golf; and ii) the stories women professional golfers told of their development and progression during life history interviews. By analysing these stories, we hope to provide a contrasting perspective on golfers’ long-term needs and show that alternatives to a training-dominated vocabulary are both possible and desirable. Through these reflections, we aim to present some more general insights concerning how to negotiate the fuzzy line between what “we” (as coaches, psychologists, governing body officials, performance directors, etc.) want and what “they” (players) might need in development terms. We conclude by suggesting an education-based alternative to the current training-dominated discourse which offers a healthier path to player retention, wellbeing, development, and progression in golf.
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