“Good Athletes Have Fun”: a Foucauldian reading of university coaches’ uses of fun

Avner, Zoe, Denison, Jim and Markula, Pirkko (2019) “Good Athletes Have Fun”: a Foucauldian reading of university coaches’ uses of fun. Sports Coaching Review, 8 (1). pp. 43-61. ISSN 2164-0629

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/21640629.2017.1400757


Fun is deeply ingrained in the ways we talk about and understand sport: Having fun is what makes sport positive and healthy. Drawing on a Foucauldian perspective, we problematize how fun, a psychological construct, informs coaches’ practices. Interviews with 10 varsity coaches from a Canadian university indicated that the coaches used fun to overcome the ‘grind’ of physical skill training. In addition, fun was used to develop and naturalize a need for athletes’ positive psychological traits and skills. In their training contexts, thus, the coaches clearly employed fun to reinforce their use of a number of dominant disciplinary training practices. As a result, instead of operating as a positive force for athlete engagement, the incorporation of fun further legitimized and perpetuated coaches’ ‘normal’ training practices.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fun, Foucault, coaching
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2018 08:04
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 11:37
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/35975

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