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Research Reviews

The Coaching Process in Football – A Qualitative Perspective

Hugo Sarmento, Antonio Pereira, Maria T. Anguera, Jorge Canpanico, and Jose Leitao

The Big Idea

What separates this research paper on coaching football from so many coming before it is the decision of method.  If you are looking for yet another theoretical and quantitatively-driven model of how coaches should coach football, keep looking.  In this paper, the reader will certainly find a suggested model; but it is one that doesn’t depend on theory-building or statistics.  Instead it is derived from the practices and reflective voices of real, experienced professional football coaches.  Hence, this is a qualitative study of a quality-based process that experienced coaches see in a game.

Based on semi-structured interviews with eight experienced First Portuguese League coaches, these researchers systematised in a detailed manner the different tasks necessary to being a professional football coach.  By way of these reports, four central coaching tasks surfaced in this integrated approach to elite football match analysis:  preparation, observation, evaluation/diagnosis, and intervention.


  • The sport of football was designed by humans, is played by humans, is coached by humans, and ought...

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