Professor Robyn Jones


Professor of Sport and Social Theory

Telephone number: 029 2041 7316
Email address:​

I am currently a Professor of Sport and Social Theory at the Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University, and a Visiting Professor at both the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences and the University of Malaysia. 

My research area comprises a critical sociology of sports coaching in respect of examining the complexity of the inter-active coaching context and how practitioners manage the power-ridden dilemmas that arise. 

I am the General Editor of the Taylor & Francis journal Sports Coaching Review, while also serve on the editorial boards of Sport, Education and Society, Theories & Applications: The International Edition, and the European Journal of Human Movement.​

Research / Publications

Broadly speaking, my research area comprises a critical sociology of sports pedagogy and coaching. The purpose is to generate critical insight into an increasingly important part of cultural life, namely that of sports participation, and how that experience is framed by coaches. It is an outcome-focussed investigative agenda, which currently includes 11 books, 37 book chapters, over 60 peer-reviewed articles and 100 conference presentations of which 32 were invited/key note addresses. A selection is presented below.

Cassidy, T., Jones, R.L. & Potrac, P. (in press) (3rd ed.) Understanding sports coaching: The social, cultural and pedagogical foundations of coaching practice. London: Routledge.
Jones, R.L. & Kingston, K. (2013) (Eds.) (2nd ed.) An introduction to sports coaching: Connecting sports science theory to practice. London: Routledge
Jones, R.L., Potrac, P., Cushion, C. & Ronglan, L.T. (2011) (Eds.) The sociology of sports coaching. London: Routledge.
Jones, R.L. (2006) (Ed.). The sports coach as educator: Re-conceptualising sports coaching. London: Routledge.
Jones, R.L., Armour, K.M., & Potrac, P. (2004). Sports coaching cultures: From practice to theory. London: Routledge.

Book chapters
Jones, R.L., Thomas, G., Felix, T., Viotto Filho, T., & Edwards, C. (in press). Yrjö Engeström. In L. Nelson, R. Groom & P.Potrac (Eds.), Learning in sports coaching: Theory and application. London: Routledge.
Potrac, P., Jones, R.L., Purdy, L., Nelson. L. & Marshall, P. (2013). Coaches, coaching and emotion. In P.Potrac, W.Gilbert & J.Denison (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of sports coaching. (pp.235-246). London: Routledge.
Jones, R.L., Bailey, J. & Thompson, I. (2013). Ambiguity, noticing, and orchestration: Further thoughts on managing the complex coaching context. In P.Potrac, W.Gilbert & J.Denison (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of sports coaching (pp.271.283). London: Routledge.
Jones, R.L., Bailey, J., Santos, S. & Edwards, C. (2012).  Who is coaching? Developing the person of the coach. In D.Day (Ed.), Sports and coaching: Pasts and futures (pp.1-12). Crewe: MMU press.
Jones, R.L., Kingston, K. & Stewart, C. (2011). Negotiating expectations in football’s complex social culture. In D. Gilbourne & M. Andersen (Eds.), Critical essays in sport psychology. (267-288). London: Human Kinetics.
Jones, R.L. et al. (2011). Erving Goffman: Interaction and impression management: Playing the coaching role. In R.L.Jones et al. (Eds.) The sociology of sports coaching (pp. 15-26). London: Routledge.
Jones, R.L., Bowes, I. & Kingston, K. (2010). Complex practice in coaching: Studying the chaotic nature of coach-athlete interactions. In J. Lyle & C. Cushion (Eds.), Sports coaching: Professionalism and practice (15-26). London: Elsevier.
Jones, R.L. (2006). How can educational concepts inform sports coaching? In R.L.Jones (Ed.), The sports coach as educator: Re-conceptualising sports coaching, (pp. 3-13). London: Routledge.
Jones. R.L., & Wallace, M. (2006). The coach as orchestrator. In R.L.Jones (Ed.), The sports coach as educator: Re-conceptualising sports coaching, (pp.51-64).London: Routledge.

Peer reviewed articles

Jones, R.L., Edwards, C. & Viotto Filho, I.A.T. (in press). Activity theory, complexity and sports coaching: An epistemology for a discipline. Sport, Education and Society.
Thompson, A., Potrac, P & Jones, R.L. (in press). I found out the hard way’: Micro-political workings in professional football. Sport, Education and Society.
Jones, R.L. & Allison. W. (2014). Candidates’ experiences of elite coach education: A longitudinal study (‘tracking the journey’). European Journal of Human Movement, 33, 110-122.
Cushion, C. & Jones, R.L. (2014). A Bourdieusian analysis of cultural reproduction: Socialisation and the hidden curriculum in professional football. Sport, Education and Society, 19(3), 276-298.
Gilbourne, D., Jones, R.L. & Jordan, S. (2014). Applied utility and the auto-ethnographic short story:Persuasions for, and illustrations of, writing critical social science. Sport, Education and Society, 19(1), 80-92.
Morgan, K., Jones, R.L., Gilbourne, D. & Llewelyn, L. (2013). Changing the face of coach education: Using ethno-drama to depict lived realities. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 18(5), 520-533.
Santos, S., Jones, R.L. & Mesquita, I. (2013). Do coaches orchestrate? The working practices of elite Portuguese coaches. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 84(2), 263-272.
Jones, R.L., Bailey J. & Santos, S. (2013). Coaching, caring and the politics of touch: A visual exploration. Sport, Education and Society, 18(5), 648-662.
Purdy, L. & Jones, R.L. (2013). Changing personas and evolving identities: The contestation and re-negotiation of researcher roles in field work. Sport, Education and Society, 18(3), 292-310.
Potrac,. P., Jones, R.L., Gilbourne, D. & Nelson, L. (2013). ‘Handshakes, BBQs and bullets’: Self-interest, shame and regret in football coaching. Sports Coaching Review,1(2), 79–92.
Jones, R.L., Morgan, K. & Harris, K. (2012). Developing coaching pedagogy: Seeking a better integration of theory and practice. Sport, Education and Society, 17(3), 313-329.
Purdy, L. & Jones, R.L. (2011). Choppy waters: Elite rowers’ perceptions of coaching. Sociology of Sport Journal, 28(3), 329-346.
Jones, R.L. (2011). Leaving. Qualitative Inquiry, 17(7), 631-638.
Hemmestad, L.B., Jones, R.L.& Standal, Ø. F. (2010). Phronetic social science: A means of better researching and analysing coaching? Sport, Education and Society, 15(4), 447-459.
Chesterfield, G., Potrac, P. & Jones, R.L. (2010). ‘Studentship’ and ‘impression management’: Coaches’ experiences of an advanced soccer coach education award. Sport, Education and Society , 15(3), 299-314.
Potrac, P. & Jones, R.L. (2009). Micro-political workings in semi-professional soccer coaching. Sociology of Sport Journal, 26(4), 557-577.
*Jones, R.L. (2009). Coaching as caring (‘The smiling gallery’): Accessing hidden knowledge. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 14(4), 377-390. *Winner of PESP ‘Best Paper of the Year Award’ by British Education Research Association (BERA – PE, SIG), 2009.
Jones, R.L., Harris, R.A. & Miles, A. (2009). Mentoring in sports coaching: A review of the literature. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 14(3), 267-284.
Potrac, P. & Jones, R.L. (2009). Power, conflict and co-operation: Towards a micro-politics of coaching. Quest, 61, 223-236.
Purdy, L., Potrac, P. & Jones, R.L. (2008). Power, consent and resistance: An auto-ethnography of competitive rowing. Sport, Education and Society, 13(3), 319-336.
Jones, R.L. (2007). Coaching redefined: An everyday pedagogical endeavour. Sport, Education and Society, 12(2), 159-174.
Cushion, C. & Jones, R.L. (2006). Power, discourse and symbolic violence in professional youth soccer: The case of Albion F.C. Sociology of Sport Journal, 23(2), 142-161.
Jones, R.L. (2006). Dilemmas, maintaining ‘face’ and paranoia: An average coaching life. Qualitative Inquiry, 12(5), 1012-1021.

    Teaching and Supervision

    On-going PhD supervision (as lead supervisor)
    My coaching life: Discourses, power structures and changing identity (by publication), Cardiff Metropolitan University, Jake Bailey, 2010+
    Understanding the every-day complexity of coaching, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Ana Sofia Santos, 2010+
    How humour contributes to coaching practice, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Christian Edwards, 2011+
    A longitudinal study of sports coaching students' learning experiences and identity development, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Luciana De Martin Silva, 2011+
    Sports coaching students' learning experiences and identity development: A Portuguese case study, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Joana Fonseca, 2012+
    Exploring the impact of a 'Teaching Games for Understanding' approach within coaching: An action research study. Cardiff Metropolitan University, Jose Castro (Second supervisor). 2011+
    Perspectives on progression and development in elite developmental performance domains, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Edd Vahid (Second supervisor). 2010+
    Coaches’ social competencies: Garfinkel, contingency and the ethno-methods of context. Cardiff Metropolitan University, Charles LT Corsby. 2013+
    An ethnographic study of student-coaches’ experiences when undertaking work-based learning’ (SportD) Martin Longworth. 2014+

    Qualifications and Awards

    Ph.D. at the University of Southern Mississippi in the School of Human Performance and Recreation, Mississippi, USA.
    M.A. in Comparative Physical Education at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, Wales.
    B.Sc. (Econ.) at University College Swansea, Wales.
    Fellow of the Higher Education Authority

    External Links

    I have several external links in various areas. A summary of the most recent is presented below:
    External Professorial Panel member at the University of Northumbria (2015)

    Wales Subject Advisory Board Panel (WJEC) – Physical Education (2014)

    Consultancy work carried out for the Football Association (FA) and the British Canoe Union (BCU) (2014)

    Grant reviewer for the British Academy (2014), the Slovenian Research Agency(2012), the European Science Foundation (European Collaborative Research Projects) (2010) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada(SSHRC).

    External advisor of the University of Hull’s 2014 REF submission (UoA 26)

    2010+ Advisor to ‘High Performance Sport New Zealand’ governance structure as member of the Coach Accelerator Advisory Group.

    2008+ External advisor for research project entitled "Coach education in Portugal: A current assessment" Project funded (35.000) by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), under the Competitiveness Factors Thematic (COMPETE) from the Community Support Framework III Project.

    2009- 11 PhD external examinerships at various universities (including Loughborough, Edinburgh, Hull, Bath, Alberta, and Liverpool John Moores).

    I have extensive research links with colleagues at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, the University of Malaysia (where I hold formal positions), the University of Porto (Portugal), the State University of Sao Paulo (UNESP) (Brazil), Loughborough University, and Edge Hill University (UK) among others.

    Sport / Coaching Profile

    I have extensive experience of coaching football over the past 30 years. These include being the u-15 coach at Queens Park Rangers Football Club (1998-99), and the Director of Football for Soccer New Zealand (Federation 7) (200-2002). I continue to help coach the Cardiff Met University men’s football team.