Mindfulness and its relevance for sports coaches adopting nonlinear pedagogy
Kee, Y. H. (2019). Mindfulness and its relevance for sports coaches adopting nonlinear pedagogy. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 14(3), 419-427. http://doi.org/10.1177/1747954119830819
Nonlinear pedagogy is an approach for structuring skills acquisition that is underpinned by dynamical systems theory and ecological psychology approach of appreciating motor behavior. Given that nonlinear pedagogy calls for a different set of coaching strategies that departs from the traditional prescriptive approach, a heightened level of mindfulness—underpinned by attention/awareness and acceptance (Bishop et al., Mindfulness: a proposed operational definition. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 2004; 11(3): 230–241)—on coaches’ part may be particularly pertinent for facilitating this creativity-based and learner-centered approach. In this paper, the relevance of the mindfulness construct is discussed with reference to the need for coaches implementing nonlinear pedagogy to (a) develop sensitivity towards the dynamics of the movement system, (b) be open about impending variability and creativity in learner’s behavior, and (c) be accepting towards learners for who they are. The case for how coaches with heightened mindfulness might be better apt to accomplish the above is put forth. Some suggestions for future work in this area are also suggested. In line with the complex systems perspective in skills acquisition, perhaps it is not too far-fetched to consider a coach’s level of mindfulness during the coaching session as an important control parameter within a larger movement system that has a role in determining learner’s success in skill acquisition.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching. The published version is available online at http://doi.org/10.1177/1747954119830819