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More Than Meets the (Rationalistic) Eye: A Neophyte Sport Psychology Practitioner’s Reflections on the Micropolitics of Everyday Life within a Rugby League Academy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
Early online date26 Sep 2018
StateE-pub ahead of print - 26 Sep 2018
Despite the welcome contributions of the reflective practice literature, understanding of the complexities, nuances and dilemmas of applied sport psychology practice is in need of further development. For example, there remains a paucity of inquiry addressing how practitioners make sense of, and subsequently write themselves into, the (micro)political landscape of a sporting organization. Utilizing a reflective, ethnographic approach, this paper examined the first author’s engagement with the socio-political dynamics of everyday life within a professional rugby league academy. Key themes identified were that; a) players simultaneously collaborate and compete with one another; b) tensions exist between the coaches; and c) most players end up being released. The micro-political workings of Ball (1987), and Kelchtermans (1996, 2009a, 2009b, 2011) were used as the primary heuristic frameworks, thus promoting the utility of these theories to inform critical appreciation of the day-to-day realities of applied sport psychology practice. The paper concludes by highlighting the potential benefits of researchers, educators, and practitioners better engaging with the contested, ambiguous, and professionally challenging demands of practice than that which has been achieved to date.

    Research areas

  • reflective practice, ethnography, vulnerability, stakeholders

Related faculties, schools or groups

External organisations

  • University of Northumbria
  • Liverpool John Moores University

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