In this paper, the experiences of 12 NCAA Division I female head coaches exemplifying care in their coaching are described. After a brief review of literature and terms, coaches’ own words from interview transcripts are used to illustrate four major themes: (a) team as “family”; (b) holistic care of student-athletes; (c) development of the “self-as-coach”; and (d) institutional care. We conclude by addressing why we believe that care is a coach education issue and why coaches should engage with the ongoing development of exemplary care.
Susannah Kaye Knust is a Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Expert for Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) for the United States Army at Fort Campbell, KY. She holds a PhD in sport psychology and motor behavior from the University of Tennessee and has been a softball coach at high school and collegiate levels. She is a Certified Consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP).
Leslee A. Fisher is an associate professor of sport psychology at the University of Tennessee. She holds two Master’s degrees, one in counselor education (University of Virginia) and another in adult Fitness/exercise physiology (University Michigan), and holds a PhD in Sport Psychology (UC Berkeley). She has published 55 academic and applied articles and has presented at numerous national and international conferences. Her research focuses on the newly emerging field of cultural sport psychology.