Power in coaching

Paul Potrac*, Robyn L. Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Acknowledging the significance of the above quote, the attempt to theorise and understand power has been one of the principal concerns of sociological analysis. Indeed, power is considered an omnipresent feature of social life, with even the most basic interaction being ‘tinged by issues of power differences’ (Snyder & Kiviniemi, 2001: 133). Despite acknowledgement of its pervasiveness, agreement on a common perception of power has not been forthcoming. The purpose of this chapter is to locate some of the conceptualisations of power introduced in Part II within the field of sports coaching. It builds on earlier discussions of coaches’ power and how it is evidenced (e.g., Cassidy et al., 2009; Jones et al., 2004). Some of this previous work has tended to view power as a finite resource, part of a zero-sum game, where one party has power and the other does not (e.g., Jones et al., 2005; Johns & Johns, 2000). It is analogous here to a football game where one team has possession of the ball and the other does not (Westwood, 2002), emphasising notions of repression and coercion, and power as ‘power over’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Sociology of Sports Coaching
EditorsRobyn L. Jones, Paul Potrac, Chris Cushion, Lars Tore Ronglan
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)0203865545, 9780203865545
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2010


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