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Participation vs.

Ben Mills (Spilsby Tennis Club) Blog Post 1: Reflective Portfolio on Coaching Placement
This post reflects upon Lyle’s (2002) Participation and Performance coaching.

It is our role as coaches to ‘manage and direct’ the coaching process through a co-ordinated and integrated agreement of goals between coach and participant (Lyle, 2002). In order to achieve this, a coach must first conceptualise his/her role in relation to their participants.

Participation and Performance Coaching
This table is effective in clarifying two distinct coaching roles/contexts (Participation and Performance Coaching) to help guide the coaching process: Participant Coaching Participation Coach
Involvement Irregular; formal organisation but loose membership; some improvement objectives but participation emphasized over practice. Increasing commitment; stable relationship with coach; specific competition objectives; commitment to preparation.

Competition Profile
Competition involvement, but unlikely to be at a high level

Deployment Characteristics
Leadership/organisational roles; recreation sport context

Boundary Note.
Little formal progression in a very limited preparation programme; short term goals; intensity low even if long term involvement; not all performance components given attention. Full to partial implementation of the coaching process; most boundary marker thresholds reached.

Performance Coach

Formal competition structures.

Club/squad coaches; contractual arrangements and full time posts more likely; admin and other institutional duties increase.

Figure 2.2: A typology of sport leadership roles and organisational contexts (Lyle, 2002). However, the above table makes the assertion that the two coaching contexts are dichotomous. The criteria outlined (see Figure 2.2) is illustrated in a simplistic diagram (see Figure 3.3) detailing the performer’s aspirations, involvement in recognised competition structures and the performer’s development stages/pathway.




Participation Coaching: This is largely to do with initiation into sport and with basic skills teaching. Some individuals, usually young people with greater levels of potential will progress though this stage quickly. Others will become more recreational or casual participants. Developmental Coaching: This is characterised by rapid skills learning and a developing engagement with a sport-specific competition programme. This is a key stage for talent identification. This stage is almost exclusively for younger persons in age-group sport who are accelerating their way through performance standards. Performance Coaching: Performers and circumstances come together to fulfil the majority of the coaching process boundary markers and it is characterised by a relatively insensitive completion based programme.

Figure 3.3: The relationship between forms of coaching and boundary criteria (Lyle, 2002) Therefore, by utilizing the criteria outlined above it was identified (see needs analysis) that this group is predominantly a ‘participation’ coaching group. Therefore, the orientation of the coaching practice will be episodic in nature and will be characterised through the implementation of basic skills training however, as identified above (see Figure 1.1) participation coaching is characterised as having a loose membership, which alternatively means that commitment of the participants is deemed as low.

What’s next?
Blog 2 will aim to discuss the methodology utilized in the delivery of basic skills training towards a ‘participation’ coaching group in order to retain levels of commitment through increasing levels enjoyment.