The Spectrum: A philosophy of deliberate coaching

Shane Pill, Brendan SueSee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Spectrum offers a framework for the application of a range of teaching styles. ‘The fundamental proposition of The Spectrum is that teaching is governed by a single unifying process: decision making. Every act of deliberate teaching is a consequence of a prior decision’. The Spectrum enables sport coaches to understand the possible combinations of coaching as teaching decisions by looking at the practice task as a coach-learner relationship. Sport, like any form of physical play, has the unique ability to deliberately contribute to developmental opportunities in cognitive, physical, social, emotional and ethical development channels. The Spectrum theory postulates that all the developmental channels have an inseparable connection. Mosston adopted a cognitive orientation to The Spectrum theory, believing learning occurs when something triggers coaches to engage in memory, discovery or creativity. Mosston suggested that the search for answers started with cognitive dissonance, a state of ‘needing to know’. This search may involve memory, discovery process, creative process, or all three.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Spectrum of Sport Coaching Styles
EditorsShane Pill, Brendan SueSee, Joss Rankin, Mitch Hewitt
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-04144-3
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-48522-1 , 978-0-367-48518-4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • teaching framework
  • decision making
  • coaching
  • coach-learner relationship
  • teaching styles


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