You can’t buy love at TESCO: observation field notes of a coach education event

Clive Palmer, David Grecic


This paper presents the observation field notes taken at a coach education event for young elite golf players and their parents and coaches. The structured notes may serve as a worked example of what field observations can look like in practice – although they are tied closely to the context of this event. In some ethnographic research there is a trend to present the raw data, if it is appropriate, to afford the reader a ring-side seat on actual goings on which is the intention here. From such a view there may be a claim for authenticity and truthfulness in research, and that interpretation for emergent themes can be traced back to a given reality. A conclusion from the research is that there may be a misalignment of expectations and roles between parents and coaches with some pressures over respecting what each party might bring to the coaching scenario of the young golf player. Nestling under the obvious façade of golf/sports Competition, there seemed to be an underlying competition over who provides what - between love, support and counselling from the parents, and expertise, skill development and competition readiness from the coach.

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