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Myths of Sport Coaching

Edited by Dr Amy Whitehead & Jenny Coe

Myths of Sport Coaching addresses fundamental gaps in understanding, practice & expectations. This work, illuminated by leading authors, scholars & practitioners, is indispensable for anyone supporting & championing others through coaching”

Dr Steve Ingham
Supporting Champions

“Awesome things can happen when great people come together and this is a prime example of such an occurrence. I’ll summarise; if you want to become a great coach, this book is an absolute must-read.”

Nick Levett
Head of Coaching at UK Coaching

“A really interesting journey through some of the ‘rules’ of coaching that have become embedded within our language and the reality behind them. This book uses all the developments which have taken place in coaching understanding and knowledge in the last few years and offers really up to date advice and recommendations for those wanting their coaching practice to be both highly effective and enjoyable.”

Dr Josephine Perry
Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist

“Amy and Jenny have put together a book that might just make you stop… and think. If you are interested in growing as a coach, what’s the benefit of not having more options and a better understanding of what might work when and why? Enjoy!”

Russell Earnshaw
Director, the Magic Academy

“A broad spanning volume that invites one to pause and ask the pertinent critical questions of why we do what we do within the field of sports coaching.”

Craig Morris
Podium Technical Coach, British Canoeing

“By highlighting the myths within coaching, this book forces you to question the conscious and unconscious biases within your own coaching practice, and where these come from. It challenged me to differentiate between what I know and what I believe and look for ways to better align the two.”

Sara Francis-Bayman
Director of netball for Loughborough Lightning, and Scottish Thistles assistant coach.

“I’m fortunate to spend my days speaking with head coaches all around the world, and the questions they’re pondering are answered in this book. What Whitehead and Coady have done is given us a blueprint for the next decade of coaching craft – Which myths still persist without reason? Where have we taken great ideas too far? What will take my coaching to the next level? Whether you’re decades into your coaching journey or just getting started, Myths of Sport Coaching will help you become the best coach you can be.”

Cody Royle
Former Head Coach of AFL Team Canada, Author of “The Tough Stuff” & “Where Others Won’t”

“It is a great collaboration of minds from both the academic and applied worlds that helps open your thinking to the many different aspects and ways of coaching. The concepts raised and some fresh perspectives offered, present useable information for coaches to take away and apply in their own practice.”

Mel Marshall MBE
National Lead Coach, British Swimming, 3x Olympian and 6 time Commonwealth Games Medalist.


Paperback isbn: 9781914110122
Pages: 264
Publication Date: December 17th 2021


£17.99Add to basket

Table of contents

    1. Myths about Deliberate Practice

    Edward Coughlan

    1.  The Science of Fun in Sport: Fact over Fiction

    Amanda J. Visek & Anna Feiler

    1.  Communities of Practice: Common Misconceptions

    Diane M. Culver, Tiago Duarte, and Don Vinson

    1. A ‘Fundamental’ Myth of Movement with a ‘Functional’ Solution

    James R Rudd, Jonathan D Foulkes, Mark O’Sullivan, and Carl T. Woods

    1. The Stepping Stone?: Challenging the Myth that Women’s Sport
      is Less Significant than Men’s Sport

    Ali Bowes

    1. Myths about Learning Styles in Sport Coach Education

    Anna Stodter

    1. Common Misconceptions about Parental Involvement in Youth
      Sport: Insights for coaches

    Sam Elliott

    1. Coaching is a 24­ hour ­a ­day job

    Brendan Cropley, Sheldon Hanton, & Lee Baldock

    1. 10,000 hours and Early Specialization: Short­ term Gains or Long­
      term Pain?

    Jody McGowan, Simon Walters, and Chris Whatman

    1. They Really Are ‘a Different Kettle of Fish’: Myths Surrounding
      the ‘Effective Coaching’ of the Female Athlete

    Luke Jones & Zoë Avner

    1. Common Sport and Exercise nutrition Myths Encountered by
      Coaches and Athletes

    Liz Mahon, Claire Blennerhassett, & Andy Sparks

    1. Reflection is ‘Wholly Beneficial’ for Coaches

    Lauren Downham & Chris Cushion

    1. Do you have to walk it to talk it? The significance of an elite
      athletic career in becoming a high­ performance coach in men’s
      football and rugby union

    Alexander D. Blackett

    1. ‘Questioning in Coaching Leads to Learning’: A Deconstruction
      of Questioning

    Mark Partington

    1. The Evolving Role of the Sport Psychologist and the Myth that
      their Sole Role is to ‘Fix’ Athletes

    Laura Swettenham, Kristin McGinty-Minister, & Stewart Bicker

    1. Is Goal­ Setting an Effective Way to Improve Athletic Performance?

    Laura C. Healy and Desmond McEwan

    1. Clutch Plays, Clutch Performances, and Clutch Performers:
      Separating Myth from Reality

    Matthew J. Schweickle & Patricia C. Jackman

    1. Caring Coaching: Examining the notion of ‘cruel to be kind’ and
      other caring myths

    Colum Cronin

    1. Psychological Resilience in High­ Performance Athletes:
      Elucidating Some Common Myths and Misconceptions

    Jolan Kegelaers & Mustafa Sarkar

    1. The Coach–Athlete Relationship: What Are we Missing from the Sociocultural Context

    Christopher R. D. Wagstaff


About the book

10,000 hours? Learning styles? Coaches need to be cruel to be kind? Coaches should have previous elite competing experience? Parental involvement? Coaching female athletes is different?

Sport Coaching is complex and multi-faceted, and the role of the coach involves an unlimited number of theories and responsibilities. With this, comes a plethora of information on how to coach effectively and what we should be aware of as coaches.

Sometimes this information can become ‘muddied’ and misconstrued. This book aims to unpick some of the key ideas, practices and messages within the domain and determine what credible research has actually concluded.

Myths of Sport Coaching is written by leading international researchers and practitioners and offers invaluable theoretical and practical guidance, debunking some common myths and misconceptions in an engaging and informative way.

The book supports an evidence-based practice approach and is an important companion for all those learning through sport and hopefully to reflect critically on the way you operate within your sport.

Each chapter contains a QR code to a video from the chapter author and this connection introduces the wonderful people we share this book with and their passion.

We hope this book helps you demystify some of the challenges you are facing on your journey.

About the author

Dr Amy. E Whitehead, PhD, CPsychol, HCPC is Reader (Associate Professor) in Sport Psychology and Coaching at Liverpool John Moores University. Dr Whitehead is a sport and exercise psychologist accredited with the British Psychological Society and is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. Dr Whitehead delivers sport psychology support and coach development to a range of athletes and coaches, and also brings this work into her teaching in the classroom.

Jenny Coe is Head of Performance and Wellbeing with West Ham United Women’s Team. She also works across a number of Olympic sports as a high performance coach developer and performance analyst. Her athletic career spanned 15 years of international basketball, and she also has a wealth of experience coaching internationally. On the back of that, she is a founding member of the company Impact the Game that aims to support athletes and coaches in all areas of performance. She is an advocate for mental wealth and women in sport, and she continues to support and influence change in these areas.

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