Dr Lee Nelson

Reader in Sports Coaching

Research Group and Institute

  • Politics, Pedagogy & Practice Research Group
  • Sport, Work & Health Research Group


Lee Nelson is a Reader in Sports Coaching and Chair of the Learning and Teaching Committee in the Department of Sport and Physical Activity. He joined Edge Hill in 2014 having worked at the University of Hull as a Lecturer in Sports Coaching and Performance (2009-2014). He was awarded his PhD from Loughborough University in 2010 having completed his MSc in Sports Coaching (2004) at Brunel University and BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science (2003) at the University of Bedfordshire.


Lee’s research focuses on the relational, (micro)political, and emotional features of sports work, with a particular emphasis on coaching and coach education contexts. He acted as lead editor of the Learning in Sports Coaching and Research Methods in Sports Coaching Routledge books. Lee’s research principally utilises qualitative research methods and interactionist theoretical frameworks to understand sports workers’ experiences of the everyday social realities of organisational sporting life. Dr Nelson has also helped to initiate a novel strand of academic research that seeks to understand coaches’ uses as well as athletes’ experiences of video-based feedback. Lee has supervised to completion the academic studies of postgraduate students that have investigated these research topics.

External Engagement

Lee’s external engagement activities include:

  • Associate Editor of the Sports Coaching Review (2014-)
  • Editorial Board Member of the International sports coaching journal (2018-)
  • Member of postgraduate supervisory panels at Manchester Metropolitan University (2015-2018) and Northumbria University (2018-)

Selected Publications

  • Potrac, P., Mallett, C., Greenough, K. and Nelson, L. (2017). Passion and paranoia: An embodied tale of emotion, identity, and pathos in sports coaching. Sports Coaching Review, 6(2), 142-161. https://doi.org/10.1080/21640629.2017.1367067
  • Magill, S., Nelson, L., Jones, R. and Potrac, P. (2017). Emotions, identity and power in video-based feedback sessions: Tales from women’s professional football. Sports Coaching Review, 6(2), 216-232. https://doi.org/10.1080/21640629.2017.1367068
  • Taylor, W.G., Potrac, P., Nelson, L., Jones, L. and Groom, R. (2017). An elite hockey player’s experiences of video-based coaching: A poststructuralist reading. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 52(1), 112-125. https://doi.org/10.1177/1012690215576102
  • Oldridge, L., Nelson, L., Greenough, K. and Potrac, P. (2016). Exploring the interplay between learning, knowledge, biography and practice: The tale of an experienced track and field athletics coach. International Sports Coaching Journal, 3(3), 257-268. https://doi.org/10.1123/iscj.2016-0020
  • Booroff, M., Nelson, L. and Potrac, P. (2016). A coach’s political use of video-based feedback: A case study in elite-level academy soccer. Journal of Sports Science, 34(2), 116-124. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2015.1039464
  • Huggan, R., Nelson, L. and Potrac, P. (2015). Developing micropolitical literacy in professional soccer: A performance analyst’s tale. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise & Health, 7(4), 504-520. https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2014.949832