Control, consent and complicity in the coaching of elite women’s cycling in Australia: a media analysis
Zehntner, C, McGannon, KR & McMahon, J in press, 'Control, consent and complicity in the coaching of elite women’s cycling in Australia: a media analysis', Sport, Education and Society.
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The purpose of this study was to extend understanding of how athletes and coaches in a women’s cycling talent development and selection programme negotiate and normalise athlete abuse in the media. A thematic analysis of six online cycling magazine articles and their representations of the Australian women’s elite cycling development camp was analysed to explore athletic abuse and the (re)production of coaching practices using Bourdieusian theory. The findings revealed a link between the expression of coaching practice and the maltreatment of athletes. Analysis of these articles also revealed that athletes were complicit in the normalisation of coaching practices through the misrecognition of social power embedded in the coaching intervention. The representations by athletes within the articles contributed narratives related to the reproduction and proliferation of abusive coaching practices. This study extends understanding of how taken for granted and power laden aspects of coaching practices can be presented in the media and highlights the implications for coaches, athletes and the general public that consume online cycling media content.