Coaches’ Use of Remote Coaching: Experiences From Paralympic Sport

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Sarah Taylor School of Nutrition and Exercise Science, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Paralympics Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6674-4358 *
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Ian Renshaw School of Nutrition and Exercise Science, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3694-9915
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Ross Pinder Paralympics Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia

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Remco Polman Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Federation University, Berwick, VIC, Australia

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Scott Russell School of Nutrition and Exercise Science, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

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Remote coaching via the use of digital technologies has been utilized within Paralympic Sports since 2015 to address challenges experienced by coaches. These technologies have connected coaches and athletes in real time, alleviating time and travel costs. However, very little is known about the experience of coaching in these environments. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the experiences of coaches’ use of remote coaching technologies. Seven coaches from five Paralympic Sports were recruited for this study and participated in semistructured interviews. Additionally, observations were conducted of remote coaching sessions that were part of their regular training schedules. Coaches’ insights highlight that remote technologies created opportunities to increase coach–athlete interactions and positively impact the development of interpersonal relationships. This allowed coaches to explore and exploit newly discovered information from within training environments to aid athletes in skill development. Additionally, remote coaching provided unexpected opportunities for coach development. However, coaches also reported new environmental and logistical challenges which disrupted their usual coaching approach. Overall, remote coaching technologies were perceived as being beneficial despite the challenges experienced. However, future research that looks to understand how to impact coach and athlete development through the online environment is encouraged.

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