Denison, Jim. “Social Theory for Coaches: A Foucauldian Reading of One Athlete’s Poor Performance.” International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching 2, no. 4 (December 2007): 369–83.
This paper explores my “sense making” when a male cross-country runner was coaching performed below expectation. My initial understanding of his poor performance was to blame him for “lacking” the appropriate mental toughness. As a result, I located the “problem” within him and subsequently ignored many of my own taken-for-granted coaching practices as perhaps contributing to his poor performance. In this paper, provide an alternative reading of my judgement of this athlete’s poor performance through Michel Foucault’s theory of disciplinary power. conclude by suggesting that many everyday coaching practices may have a number of “hidden” or problematic consequences attached to them that coaches should consider in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of their coaching and to enhance their athletes’ performances.
Disciplinary Power, Distance Running, Foucault