Harvey, S.D.L., Gearity, B.T., Kuklick, C.R.
Just keep swimming: setting the stage for disrupting the sports coaching épistémè
(2020) Sports Coaching Review
Despite attempts to decrease mental illness in the United States, mental illness and death by suicide are still prevalent in the sports community. The most significant barrier to athletes seeking help is stigma produced through the social construction of normal subjectivity. We drew upon Michel Foucault’s concepts of discourse and power to problematise the current state of effective sports coaching, coach education, and how stigma is produced in a particular coaching context. Using an autoethnographic approach, we delve into the lived experiences of a former collegiate-level swimmer with depression and suicidal ideation, who would later as a coach, manage a non-fatal suicide attempt from an athlete he coached. We conclude with a critical reflection on the narrative and discursive relations of power, as well as implications for athlete mental health and wellbeing, which include the need for critical coach education on coaching discourses, practices, and the current sports coaching épistémè. © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
autoethnography; coaching; Foucault; mental health; narrative; stigma