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Research Reviews

Excellence in Coaching: The Art and Skill of Elite Practitioners

Charles S. Nash, John Sproule, and Peter Horton

The Big Idea

Albert Einstein was said to have said this about the nature of research: “If we knew what it was we were doing, it wouldn’t be called ‘research,’ would it?”  And so, it goes.  Researchers try to figure out creative ways to answer the questions they ask themselves, knowing all along they have no idea what they are doing.  Not knowing in advance provides the go-juice to power the research process.

Sometimes it is best to simplify the research process by asking significant others to answer the question they themselves (the researchers) are asking.  Presumably there are others who are “in the know.”  In this study, the three researchers do just that.  “What is coaching expertise?” is their question.  With the help of ten hands-down “expert” coaches, they investigate the rationale underlying the decision-making process of coaching experts (as represented by these ten).

The training session is the core of any coach’s art and skill.  Hence, it is the practices of elite coaches in the design and conduct of training...

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