‘I found out the hard way’: micro-political workings in professional football

Andrew Thompson, Paul Potrac*, Robyn Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


This paper examines the micro-political experiences of Adam (a pseudonym), a newly appointed fitness coach at a Football Association Premier League club, in his search for acceptance by senior colleagues. Data were collected through a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews, before being subject to a process of inductive analysis. Goffman's writings on impression management and stigma, Kelchtermans's micro-political perspective and Garfinkel's notion of status degradation are primarily utilised to make the sense of Adam's perceptions and actions. The findings point to the value of developing coaches’ micro-political understandings, and of including their formal facilitation within given professional preparation programmes. Doing so, it is argued, would better equip coaches for the problematic realities of their practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)976-994
Number of pages19
JournalSport, Education and Society
Issue number8
Early online date3 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


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