Athletes’ experiences of the professionalization of sports coaching: a qualitative study with professional players from Sweden

Astrid Schubring, Suzanne Lundvall, Pär Rylander

Publication: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution - Other conference contributionsResearchpeer-review


The professionalization of sports coaching is differently approached and
practiced across the globe. In Sweden, social welfare ideals and voluntary
traditions have allowed sports coaching to be less formalized and
professionalized, also at the elite level. The aim of this presentation is to give
insight into athletes’ experiences of more or less professionalized coaching, and
the implications thereof on athlete career development and wellbeing. Based on
interviews with three men and three women top-level players from Sweden, we
compare the coaching experiences they make in Swedish team sports with their
coaching experiences in international elite clubs. We use Bourdieu’s theory of
social fields to identify different ‘fields of professionalization’ as well as the
coaching practices and athlete experiences they produce. The findings
presented allow to critically evaluate the benefits and problems of
professionalized coaching.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the European Association for Sociology of Sport : 20th European Conference for the Sociology of Sport Sport, Democracy, Inequalitiy and Beyond
Number of pages1
Publication date2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024
EventEuropean Conference for the Sociology of Sport : Sport, Democracy, Inequality and Beyond - Madrid, Spain
Duration: 04.06.202307.06.2023
Conference number: 20