Coaching athletes with disability: preconceptions and reality

Y. Wareham, B. Burkett, P. Innes, G. P. Lovell

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


It is now widely recognized that athletes with disability compete at an elite level which parallels that experienced by non-disabled athletes. The importance of quality coaching to develop an athlete’s full potential is similarly recognized. However, research in the area of coaching athletes with disability is still lacking compared to its counterpart in non-disabled sport. This research explored the holistic experience of coaching elite athletes with disability, and therefore encompassed not only the coaches’ preconceptions, but the rewards and challenges of their coaching experience. Semi-structured interviews were held with 12 coaches of elite athletes from sports including swimming, athletics, cycling, canoeing, triathlon, equestrian sport and wheelchair basketball. The results of the study identified that, although the coaches reported their experience as being overwhelmingly positive, they were also regularly confronted with difficulties not generally faced by coaches of non-disabled athletes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1202
Number of pages18
JournalSport in Society
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Coaching athletes with disability: preconceptions and reality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this