Learning in development research framework for athlete development and sports science support

O'SULLIVAN, Mark (2023). Learning in development research framework for athlete development and sports science support. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00572


Understanding how we become skillful is an essential for those working in athlete development settings. Research has shown how socio-cultural factors can continually shape an athlete’s development journey, highlighting the potential for a myriad of possible complex challenges. Scholars have argued that traditional research approaches towards optimising athlete development have tended to neglect critical features that have important implications for transferring findings to applied settings. There is a need for a framework to guide both research and practice within specific sports organisations. The objective of this thesis is to introduce methodological possibilities to investigate and illuminate (i) form of life at a professional youth football club, and (ii) address a research gap on the need for a more contemporary research framework to guide reliable ways of conducting research and designing practical applications. To achieve this, underpinned by an ecological dynamics rationale, I introduce the Learning in Development Research Framework (LDRF). To provide a strong justification for the nature of the fieldwork and methods adopted, I present a 4-year ethnographic study from a professional football club in Sweden that has adapted the framework. In chapter 1 I introduce literature relevant to the study and discuss the significance of the thesis. The theoretical perspective presented in Chapter 2, illustrates concepts and ideas that inform the approach I have adopted throughout the thesis. In Chapter 3 I provide an indepth explanation of the LDRF, adapted from its published form (see O’Sullivan et al., 2021). Chapter 4 investigates the socio-cultural context in which the phenomenon has been historically constructed. In Chapter 5, I present an investigation of a form of life at a professional youth football club. Chapter 6 highlights how the impact of being immersed in a local setting can be complemented by subsequent action cycles that aim to implement its findings. In Chapter 7, I present, adapted from its published form, a contemporary Player Learning in Development Framework (O’ Sullivan et al., 2021), that has been brought to life, as a direct consequence of implementing the LDRF. The thesis concludes with a summary, some limitations and challenges and future recommendations for research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Rumbold, James [0000-0002-1914-1036] (Affiliation: Sheffield Hallam University)
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr. James Rumbold
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00572
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2023 16:57
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2023 02:01
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/32917

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