An interpretive phenomenological analysis of cricket coaches' experience of a Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) approach to coaching
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AbstractThesis (PhD)--University of Pretoria, 2015.
Performance development approaches in cricket are often aimed at enhancing the individual performance of cricketers. The aim of my study was to move from an individualistic utilisation of resources to an ecological and more holistic approach to performance development, by working with and educating coaches as central figures in sport, thereby becoming an extension of the work that sport psychologists do. This was attained by creating a performance development experience for cricket coaches through participation in a MAC program, which was mainly facilitated through experiential learning. The extent to which experiential learning occurred was established through analyzing semi-structured interviews with coaches using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Eighteen individual in depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with six Level III male Cricket South Africa (CSA) coaches and analysed using IPA. The major findings were: Firstly, coaches’ experienced the MAC program as flexible, accessible and a developmental psychological tool, which increased their knowledge of sport psychology. Coaches enjoyed the MAC program, and found the experiential learning and accompanying manual valuable. Secondly, coaches learned through the performance enhancing MAC program about the nature of mindfulness, acceptance and commitment, as well as the obstacles to being mindful, acceptant and committed. Thirdly, what the coaches experienced about mindfulness, acceptance and commitment became manifest in three “domains”, namely the self as a person, coaching and a better understanding of the game of cricket. Fourthly, coaches conveyed their experiential learning to their cricketers by means of educational methods (theoretical versus experiential learning), educational styles (formal versus informal styles) and educational formats (groups versus one-on-one).