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Socratic Case-Method Teaching in Sports Coach Education: Reflections of Students and Course Tutors

Despite reported increases in higher education (HE) sports coach education provision there are very few studies which have investigated student self-learning curricula as a mechanism to prepare sports coaches with the complexities of learning how to coach. Using an action research methodology, this article examines how case-method teaching (CMT) was introduced into an undergraduate sports coach education module at a HE institution in the northwest of England. Drawing on data gathered via student focus group interviews, course tutor reflections and in-class observations, our initial findings indicate that CMT offers valuable opportunities for students to engage in real-life coaching scenarios and thus provides a more contextualised view of the complexities of the coaching process. Although we are conscious not to eulogise over the merits of a particular pedagogy after only adopting it for one year, and in one core sports coaching module, our preliminary experiences suggest there is much potential for CMT within formal sports coaching programmes. Finally, despite our positive experiences of adopting CMT within sports coach education, we urge more research and discussion into the merits of CMT, to verify our initial claims.