An Overview of Seven National High Performance Coach Education Programs

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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  • 1 Cape Breton University
  • | 2 University of Ottawa
  • | 3 University of Calgary
  • | 4 International Council for Coaching Excellence
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High quality education programs across the globe could help coaching move forward as a profession. Although there have been suggestions to improve sports coaching education programs by integrating theory and practice through alternative learning approaches such as mentoring and critical refection (Armour, 2010; Cushion, Armour, & Jones, 2003), it is unclear whether such approaches have been implemented in coach education programs and how different countries are educating their coaches. The purpose of this paper is to describe how seven high performance coach education programs are educating coaches and to what extent they are employing alternative learning approaches. The goals, curricula, and pedagogical approaches are described and implications for the professionalization of coaching are discussed.

Bettina Callary is an assistant professor in the Department of Community Studies at Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia, Canada. Her research interests include coach education, learning, and development pertaining to a wide range of coaches. Further research interests include coaches’ understanding of the Long Term Athlete Development model and qualitative research methods. She is an alpine ski coach and holds a High Performance Coaching diploma from the National Coaching Institute in Canada.

Diane Culver is an associate professor at the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa. She obtained her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Ottawa. She was a senior coaching consultant for the Coaching Association of Canada. Her research interests are in the area of coaching and coach development; social learning theory; and qualitative research methods. She is currently working with Wenger-Trayner and Wenger-Trayner to further develop social learning leadership skills and has worked with groups to facilitate learning in networks and communities of practice.

Penny Werthner is a professor and dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Canada. Her areas of expertise are coaching science, sport psychology, and women and sport. She has worked extensively with Olympic level athletes and coaches for over 25 years. She is a member of the editorial board of the International Sport Coaching Journal, a member of the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE), and past Chair of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association (CSPA/ACPS).

John Bales is president of the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE). He was chief executive offcer of the Coaching Association of Canada from 1996 to 2013. He has an MBA from the Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD) in Fontainebleau, France, and undergraduate degrees in physical education and mathematics from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and was a national and Olympic canoe coach for Canada.

Address author correspondence to Bettina Callary at

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