Coach education researchers have suggested that coaches require ongoing support for their continued learning and development after initial certification. Communities of practice have been used in a variety of settings, and have been identified as an effective means for supporting coach learning and development. However, researchers have yet to fully explore the value that can be created through participating in them within sport settings. The purpose of this study was to collaboratively design, implement, and assess the value created within a coach community of practice, using Wenger, Trayner, and De Laat’s (2011) Value Creation Framework. Participants included five youth sport coaches from a soccer organization. Data collection included observations and reflections from the first author throughout the study, two individual interviews with each coach, and interactions via an online discussion platform. The findings revealed that the coaches created value within each of the five cycles of value creation in Wenger and colleagues’ framework, and that they created value that was personally relevant to their immediate coaching needs. The coaches’ learning led to an increase in perceived coaching abilities.
Rachael Bertram recently defended her PhD, which she will receive in June of 2016 from the University of Ottawa. Bertram holds a master’s degree in Sport Psychology, and has many years of sport experience as an athlete, coach, and researcher. She has consulted with sport organizations and businesses on the creation of development programs and the supervision of coaches.
Diane Culver is an associate professor in the School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Canada. Her research on coaching and coach development has been funded by The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Coaching Association of Canada. She has a particular interest in promoting and assessing social learning for coaches and her applied research has involved her with coaches of athletes at all levels including those with a disability.
Wade Gilbert is an award-winning professor in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, Fresno. Gilbert has more than 20 years of experience conducting applied research and consulting with coaches from youth sport to the Olympic level. Gilbert is also editor-in-chief of the International Sport Coaching Journal.