Power and knowledge in a coach mentoring program

Document Type


Publication details

Zehntner, C & McMahon, J 2019, 'Power and knowledge in a coach mentoring program', Sports Coaching Review, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 62-82.

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In order to broaden our understanding of beginner (mentee) coach learning, we must consider how coach education, in particular prescribed mentoring programs may come to influence what is and what is not taken up by mentee coaches. In this article, narrative ethnography is used to explore six beginner (mentee) coaches’ learning experiences in a prescribed mentoring program within a coach education pathway. A Foucauldian perspective, specifically the concept of panopticism is used to analyse the beginner coaches’ experiences. Special attention is paid to the systems of oppression that beginner coaches may be subjected to along with the complex power relationships that may exist between mentor and mentee coaches in prescribed mentoring programs. This article illustrates how within the mentor-mentee coach relationship, subordination of beginner coaches occurs. In particular, beginner coaches are subtly disciplined and controlled so their coaching practices and ideas align with mentors and the culturally accepted coaching model.

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