The Renewal of Manager/coach Knowledge for Elite Male Basketball Players in the 1950’s: Setting up, Debates and Stakes

By Éric Claverie

On the eve of the World War II, French basketball, despite its renewal in terms of media audience and technical progress related to its proximity to the Baltic States, still remained old-fashioned regarding its training conceptions. In addition, a certain number of cultural barriers – including self-attribution and attribution of stereotypes essentializing the national playing styles – restrained its technical progress. The immediate postwar witnessed a new phase. In ten years, a reconsideration of training principles tookplace. The easier dissemination of knowledge from the USA and the constitution of a very productive coaches association were strongly involved in the change: the integration of the interactive dimension of opposition for the game design, as well as rational and methodical observation, and the birth of the manager’s functions. These innovations made under the influence of key actors, came into conflict with more traditional positions. The bone of contention between protagonists was mainly due to the conflict between a rational, scientific and theorized conception of the game as opposed to a more intuitive and spontaneous vision of the processes involved. Furthermore these disagreements reveal the struggle between social rival groups, often Physical Education teachers, on one side, and the autodidacts on the other side, for a legitimate definition and control of coaching and managing knowledge.


  • basket-ball
  • training
  • management
  • Cold War
  • Amicale des Entraîneurs
  • coaching
Go to the article on