The quest for confidence: sports leadership training and its impact on individuals

Scott, David (2015). The quest for confidence: sports leadership training and its impact on individuals. Journal of Sports Management and Commercialization, 6(1) pp. 13–23.



This study critically examines the experiences of individuals during sport-for-development courses in order to better understand the role sport can play in shaping identities. Sports leadership training was investigated using a qualitative ethnographic approach, which involved observing four sports leadership courses across the North-West of England, a cyclic interview process with participants over 6-9 months, and discourse analysis of the training provider’s artefacts. Results suggest that the participants understand and assess their experiences of sports leadership courses through the concept of confidence, which is employed in a variety of ways in order to explore their own identities within their social context. These findings contribute to previous discussions that suggest the content of sport-for-development courses is less important than providing the space for individuals to explore their identity within a social environment. From the findings it is argued that sport provides the opportunity for individuals to embody their learning. This study presents a critical view of how individuals experience sport-for-development training, points of connection and disconnection encountered by participants, and the impact courses can have upon personal and professional identities. This research was co-funded by Sports Leaders UK, and the results will inform future practice.

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