An investigation of a successful foreign olympic coach’s cultural perspectives

Jin Wang * and Liwei Zhang **

(*) Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, USA
(**) Beijing Sport University Beijing, PR of China


Wang, J., Zhang, L. (2015). An investigation of a successful foreign olympic coach’s cultural perspectives. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 46(1), 39-60. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2015.46.039


In the 21st century, coaching industry becomes more internationalized. Kamphoff, Gill, Araki, and Hammond (2010) emphasizes that cultural competence is a critical professional skill for applied sport and exercise psychology. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the culture challenges a foreign coach faced and the successful strategies he implemented for leading 2 Chinese Olympic freestyle skiing aerial jump teams to achieve peak performances in 2 Winter Olympic Games in 1996 and 2000. This case study illustrates how a foreign coach faced and resolved tremendous challenges and obstacles and was thus able to work successfully in a country that is vastly different from his own. Not only will Coach Wilson’s success story inspire many international coaches to pursue their professional goals, but also his experiences will help other coaches be bettered prepared and avoid making mistakes when they work abroad. Hopefully, Coach Wilson’s cultural perspectives would provide valuable information to international coaches, practitioners and sport psychology researchers.

Keywords: Coaching, communication, cultural issues, cultural sport psychology, peak performance, foreign coach, and international coaching industry