Adapting self for private and public audiences

the enactment of leadership identity by New Zealand rugby coaches in huddles and interviews

Kieran File, Nicholas Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Struggle is inherent in social interaction and meaning making. The argument proposed in this chapter is that rugby coaches face a struggle when moving between private-facing (intra-team) and public-facing aspects of their leadership role, due largely to the need to adapt to shifts in the interactional frameworks and goals of these different settings. Using a bottom up, comparative genre analysis of the linguistic behaviour of coaches in a private-facing coaching interaction (the half-time team huddle) and a public-facing interaction (the half-time media interview), we locate linguistic differences that potentially hint at this struggle. The findings of this analysis suggest that coaches need to discursively realise a shift between their role as motivator (in private-facing interactions) and their role as public representative of the team (in public-facing interactions) and associated tasks and goals that come with enacting their coaching role in these different settings. The need to present themselves differently in these two settings can be seen to complicate the role of the rugby coach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIdentity struggles
Subtitle of host publicationevidence from workplaces around the world
EditorsDorien Van De Mieroop, Stephanie Schnurr
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789027265883
ISBN (Print)9789027206602
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameDiscourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture
PublisherJohn Benjamins
ISSN (Print)1569-9463


  • private-facing interaction
  • public-facing interaction
  • leadership
  • sports discourse
  • rugby coaches

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