Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Timothy Konoval, Jim Denison & Joseph Mills (2019) The cyclical relationship between physiology and discipline: one endurance running coach’s experiences problematizing disciplinary practices, Sports Coaching Review, 8:2, 124-148,
DOI: 10.1080/21640629.2018.1487632

There have been numerous calls by coaching researchers for Foucauldian-informed coach developers to help coaches change their practices to be less reliant on discipline’s techniques and instruments. In this paper, we explored what it might mean for a Foucauldian-informed coach developer to work collaboratively with a male university endurance running coach as he learned how to problematize the use of discipline. More specifically, we examined some of the barriers, challenges, and opportunities that the coach experienced as he attempted to learn, in collaboration with the first author, how to question the unintended consequences of discipline’s techniques and instruments and rethink the “total effects” of his coaching practices. The results revealed that the coach was able to show a degree of problematization, however, in the field the deep-rooted connection between endurance running, physiology, and discipline made coaching for him in a less disciplinary way a challenge. To conclude, Foucauldian-informed coach developers working in sports where physiology is the predominant sport science could use specific pedagogical strategies that work with and explicitly complicate the strong cyclical relationship between discipline and physiology to help coaches implement practices that are less dominated by, not absent of, physiology.

Coach learning, problematization, disciplinary power

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