Professor Robyn Jones, PhD, FAcSS, FHEA


Professor of Sport and Social Theory

Telephone number: 029 2041 7316
Email address:

I am a Professor of Sport and Social Theory, and a former Associate Dean of Research (Sport), at the Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University. Principal duties within this latter role included directing and developing the research culture within the School and, in particular, the collective and individual investigative agendas of over 100 academic staff.

During my time as ADR research outputs from Sport academics increased from 65 in 2018-19 to 96 in 2021-22. Similarly, income from research and innovation activities increased from circa 165k in 2018-19 to approximately 500k in 2022-23. This growth was also mirrored in our most recent REF submissions (UoA 24) from 11 staff in 2014 to 42.5 in 2021; an increase of over 300%.

I am currently also a Visiting Professor at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), Sogndal, Norway, having served in a similar capacity at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NIH), the University of Malaysia, and the University of South East Norway (USN). I am the General Editor of the Taylor & Francis journal Sports Coaching Review, and a founding Trustee of CRiC (Critical Research in Coaching). Finally, I am a Fellow of both the Academy of Social Sciences and the Higher Education Academy.

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 12 books, 40 book chapters, 80 peer-reviewed articles and 135 conference presentations of which 54 were invited/key note addresses. A selection is presented below.



  1. Jones, R.L. (2019). Studies in sports coaching. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  2. Cassidy, T., Jones, R.L., & Potrac, P. (2016) (3rd ed.) Understanding sports coaching: The social, cultural and pedagogical foundations of coaching practice. London: Routledge.
  3. Jones, R.L., & Kingston, K. (2013) (Eds.) (2nd ed.) An introduction to sports coaching: Connecting sports science theory to practice. London: Routledge
  4. Jones, R.L., Potrac, P., Cushion, C., & Ronglan, L.T. (2011) (Eds.) The sociology of sports coaching. London: Routledge.
  5. Jones, R.L. (2006) (Ed.) The sports coach as educator: Re-conceptualising sports coaching. London: Routledge
  6. Jones, R.L., Armour, K.M., & Potrac, P. (2004). Sports coaching cultures: From practice to theory. London: Routledge.


  1. Jones, R.L. (2019). Sports coaching research: A brief look around and forward. In C. Edwards & C. Corsby, Context and contingency: Exploring research in sport coaching pedagogy (pp.153-158). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars.
  2. Jones, R.L., Allison, W., & Bailey, J. (2016). Coaching journeys. In W.Allison, A.Abraham & A.Cale (Eds.), Advances in coach education and development: From research to practice (pp.149-159). London: Routledge.
  3. Jones, R.L., Thomas, G., Felix, T., Viotto Filho, T., & Edwards, C. (2016). Yrjö Engeström. In L. Nelson, R. Groom & P.Potrac (Eds.), Learning in sports coaching: Theory and application (pp.113-122). London: Routledge.
  4. Matthews, N., Fleming, S., & Jones, R.L. (2013). Sociology for coaches. In R.L. Jones, M. Hughes & K. Kingston (Eds.), (2nd ed.) An introduction to sports coaching: Connecting sports science theory to practice. (pp. 69-82). London: Routledge.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Morgan, K., Jones, R.L., Gilbourne, D., & Llewellyn, D. (2013). Innovative pedagogies in coach education. In P.Potrac, W.Gilbert & J.Denison (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of sports coaching (pp.486-496). London: Routledge.
  8. 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.
  9. Jones, R.L., Santos, A.S., Mesquita, I., & Gilbourne, D. (2012). Visual methods in coaching research. In K.M. Armour & D.Macdonald (Eds.), Research methods in physical activity and youth sport. (263-275). London: Routledge.
  10. 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.
  11. Jones, R.L., & Bailey, J. (2011). Peter Blau: Power and social exchange: Giving and taking in coaching. In R.L.Jones et al. (Eds.) The sociology of sports coaching (pp. 108-121). London: Routledge.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Jones, R.L., & Standage, M. (2006). First among equals: Shared leadership in the coaching context. In R.L.Jones (Ed.), The sports coach as educator: Re-conceptualising sports coaching, (pp. 65-76). London: Routledge.
  16. Jones, R.L. (2000). Toward a sociology of coaching. In R.L. Jones & K.M. Armour (Eds.), The sociology of sport: Theory and practice, (pp.33-43). London: Addison Wesley Longman. 


Peer reviewed articles/ Erthyglau a adolygwyd gan gymheiriaid


  1. Edwards, C.N. & Jones, R.L. (2022). Humour, agency and the [re]negotiation of social order within workplace settings. Sports Coaching Review.
  2. Corsby, C., Jones, R.L. & Lane, A. (2022). Contending with vulnerability and uncertainty: What coaches say about coaching. Sports Coaching Review.
  3. Santos, S. & Jones, R.L. (2022). Charming, influencing and seducing: A portrayal of everyday coaching. Sport, Education and Society.
  4. Corsby, C., Jones, R.L., Thomas, G.L. & Edwards, C.N. (2022). Coaching and ‘self-repair’: Examining the ‘artful practices’ of coaching work. Sociological Research Online.
  5. Jones, R.L. & Hemmestad, L.B. (2021). Reclaiming the ‘competent’ practitioner: Furthering the case for the practically wise coach. Sports Coaching Review, 10(1), 1-19.
  6. Corsby, C., & Jones, R.L. (2020). Complicity, performance, and the ‘doing’ of sports coaching: An ethnomethodological study of work. The Sociological Review, 68(3), 590-605.
  7. Corsby, C., & Jones, R.L. (2020). Observation, evaluation and coaching: The local orderliness of ‘seeing’ performance. Sport, Education and Society, 25(3), 348-358.            
  8. Bailey, J., & Jones, R.L. (2019). Sports coaches’ mentorship: Experience and a suggested future framework. European Journal of Human Movement, 43, 67-85.
  9. Hemmestad, L.B., & Jones, R.L. (2019). Deconstructing high performance Nordic sport: The case study of women's handball (‘the team as method’). Sport in Society, 22(4), 671-688.           
  10. Edwards, C., &Jones, R.L. (2018). Humour in sports coaching: ‘It’s a funny old game’. Sociological Research Online, 23(4).
  11. Jones, R.L., Thomas, G.Ll., Nunes, R.L. & Viotto Filho, T. (2018). The importance of history, language, change and challenge: What Vygotsky can teach sports coaches. Motriz; Journal of Physical Education, 24(2)
  12. Jones, R.L., & Ronglan, L.T. (2018). What do coaches orchestrate? Unravelling the 'quiddity' of practice. Sport, Education and Society. 23(9), 905-915.               
  13. Gomes, R., Jones, R.L., Batista, P., & Mesquita, I. (2018). Latent learning in the work place: The placement experiences of student-coaches. Sport, Education and Society, 23(1), 68-81.
  14. Jones, R.L., Edwards, C., & Viotto Filho, I.A.T. (2016). Activity theory, complexity and sports coaching: An epistemology for a discipline. Sport, Education and Society, 21(2), 200-216. 
  15. Jones, R.L., & Thomas, G. Ll. (2016). Coaching as ‘scaffolded’ practice: Further insights into sport pedagogy. Sports Coaching Review, 4(2), 65-79.                              
  16. De Martin Silva, L., Fonseca, J., Jones, R.L., Morgan, K., & Mesquita, I. (2015). Understanding undergraduate sports coaching students’ development and learning: The necessity of uncertainty. Teaching in Higher Education, 20(7), 669-683.
  17. Thompson, A., Potrac, P., & Jones, R.L. (2015). I found out the hard way’: Micro-political workings in professional football. Sport, Education and Society, 20(8), 976-994.
  18. Jones, R.L., & Corsby, C. (2015). A case for Coach Garfinkel: ‘Decision making’ and what we already know. Quest, 67(4), 439-449.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Purdy, L. & Jones, R.L. (2011). Choppy waters: Elite rowers’ perceptions of coaching. Sociology of Sport Journal, 28(3), 329-346.
  28.  Jones, R.L. (2011). Leaving. Qualitative Inquiry, 17(7), 631-638.
  29. Hardman, A., Jones, C.R. & Jones, R.L. (2010). Sports coaching, virtue ethics and emulation. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 15(4), 345-359.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. Potrac, P. & Jones, R.L. (2009). Micro-political workings in semi-professional soccer coaching. Sociology of Sport Journal, 26(4), 557-577.
  33. *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.
  34. Purdy, L., Jones, R.L. & Cassidy, T. (2009). Negotiation and capital: Athletes' use of power in an elite men's rowing programme. Sport, Education and Society, 14(3), 321-338.
  35.   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.
  36. Potrac, P. & Jones, R.L. (2009). Power, conflict and co-operation: Towards a micro-politics of coaching. Quest, 61(2), 223-236.
  37. Purdy, L., Potrac, P. & Jones, R.L. (2008). Power, consent and resistance: An autoethnography of competitive rowing. Sport, Education and Society, 13(3), 319-336.
  38. Jones, R.L. (2007). Coaching redefined: An everyday pedagogical endeavour. Sport, Education and Society, 12(2), 159-174.
  39. Potrac, P., Jones, R.L. & Cushion, C. (2007). Understanding power and the coach's role in professional English soccer: A preliminary investigation of coach behaviour. Soccer in Society, 8(1), 33-49.
  40. 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.
  41. Jones, R.L. (2006). Dilemmas, maintaining ‘face’ and paranoia: An average coaching life. Qualitative Inquiry, 12(5), 1012-1021.
  42. Bowes, I. & Jones, R.L. (2006). Working at the edge of chaos: Understanding coaching as a complex, interpersonal system. The Sport Psychologist, 20(2), 235-245                      
  43. Jones, R.L. & Turner, P. (2006). Teaching coaches to coach holistically: The case for a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach.Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 11(2), 181-202.
  44. Cushion, C., Armour, K.M. & Jones, R.L. (2006). Locating the coaching process in practice: Models ‘for’ and ‘of’ coaching.Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 11(1), 83-99
  45. Jones, R.L., Glintmeyer, N. & McKenzie, A. (2005). Slim bodies, eating disorders and the coach-athlete relationship: A tale of identity creation and disruption. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 40(3), 377-391                 
  46. Jones, R.L. & Wallace, M. (2005). Another bad day at the training ground: Coping with ambiguity in the coaching context. Sport, Education and Society, 10(1), 119-134.
  47. Jones, R.L., Armour, K.M. & Potrac, P. (2003). Constructing expert knowledge: A case study of a top-level professional soccer coach. Sport, Education and Society, 8(2), 213-229.
  48. *Cushion, C., Armour, K.M. & Jones, R.L. (2003). Coach education and continuing professional development: Experience and learning to coach. Quest, 55, 215-230.

    *Listed as one of Quest’s most viewed 3 articles, 2003-2010.

  49. Potrac, P., Jones, R.L. & Armour, K.M. (2002). ‘It’s all about getting respect’: The coaching behaviours of an expert English soccer coach. Sport, Education and Society, 7(2), 183-202.
  50. Jones, R.L., Armour, K.M. & Potrac, P. (2002). Understanding the coaching process: A framework for social analysis. Quest, 54(1), 34-48.
  51. Potrac, P. & Jones, R.L. (1999). The invisible ingredient in coaching knowledge: A case for recognising and researching the social component. Sociology of Sport Online, 2(1). [On line]. [Available]

Teaching and Supervision

I have successfully supervised 22 PhD and 2 MPhil projects to completion. Recent student completions include;

  1. PhD, (by publication), My coaching life: Discourses, power structures and changing identity, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Jake Bailey, 2023.
  2. DSC (Doctorate in Sports Coaching), Coaching language and meaning; Back to the rough ground of practical action. Daniel Spencer, 2019-22.
  3. DSC, Developing coaches’ creative practice: An action research approach. Manuel Santos 2018-2022.
  4. PhD, Trust and distrust in coaching: Better understanding sporting relationships. Chris Baker, 2018-2022 (ESRC-DTP funded)
  5. PhD, Sports coaching students’ learning experiences and identity development: A Portuguese case study, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Joana Fonseca, 2012-2021.
  6. DSC, Living coaching: A personal phenomenological analysis. Marink Reedijk, 2019-2021
  7. PhD, Exploring the impact of a ‘Teaching Games for Understanding’ approach within coaching: An action research study. Cardiff Metropolitan University, Jose Castro (Second supervisor). 2011-2020.
  8. Sport D, An ethnographic study of student-coaches’ experiences when undertaking work-based learning. Martin Longworth. 2014-2018.

External Links

A summary of the most recent is presented below/ Gwelir crynodeb o'r diweddaraf isod:

2021 Member of the 'Expert Panel' for the evaluation and re-accrediation of the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Croatia

2020/1 Evaluation Panel member for Reykjavik University’s (Iceland) six-yearly assessment of research activity.

2020 Member of the Scientific Committee for the ‘Prince Faisal Bin Fahad Award for Sports Research’ awarded by the International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS) (Olympic Park, Lausanne).

2020 Member of the 'Expert Panel' for the evaluation and re-accrediation of the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Croatia.

2018/20 - External reviewer and advisor for Northumbria University, UCLan’s, and Manchester Metropolitan University’s REF 2021 submission

2018/19 – Member of the Scientific Committee of the 3rdInternational Football Conference: Training methods and social issues, Torrent, Valencia, Spain, March 6th-8th, 2019.

2017 – Member of the Scientific Committee of the 4th CriC Coaching Conference, Cardiff, Wales, September 6-7th, 2017

2016/17 – Member of the Scientific Committee of the 2nd International Football Conference: Training methods and social issues, Torrent, Valencia, Spain, March 1st-3rd, 2017.

2015 – A 'Routledge Sport: Featured Author' (a collection highlighting the work of authors who have made significant contributions to the field of Sport and Exercise Studies' [Available]:

2015-20 – Consultancy work carried out for many sporting bodies including; the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), Welsh Rowing, High Performance Sport New Zealand ('Coach Accelerator Programme'), Swim Wales, the Football Association (FA), Welsh Cycling, Sport Wales and the British Canoe Union (BCU).

External advisor of the University of Hull's 2014 REF submission


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) (2000-2002). Additionally I was also the Assistant Manager and Coach of the Cardiff Met University men's football team (from 2011-19) during its rise to Europa League qualification (2019).