The Practices and Developmental Pathways of Professional and Olympic Serial Winning Coaches

in International Sport Coaching Journal

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Sergio Lara-BercialLeeds Beckett University; International Council for Coaching Excellence

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Clifford J. MallettThe University of Queensland

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In 2011, the Innovation Group of Leading Agencies of the International Council for Coaching Excellence initiated a project aimed at supporting the identification and development of the next generation of high performance coaches. The project, entitled Serial Winning Coaches, studied the personalities, practices and developmental pathways of professional and Olympic coaches who had repeatedly achieved success at the highest level of sport. This paper is the third publication originating from this unique project. In the first paper, Mallett and Coulter (2016) focused on the development and testing of a novel multilayered methodology in understanding a person through a single case study of a successful Olympic coach. In the second, Mallett and Lara-Bercial (2016) applied this methodology to a large sample of Serial Winning Coaches and offered a composite account of their personality. In this third instalment, we turn the focus onto the actual practices and developmental pathways of these coaches. The composite profile of their practice emerging from the analysis revolves around four major themes: Philosophy, Vision, People and Environment. In addition, a summary of the developmental activities accessed by these coaches and their journey to success is also offered. Finally, we consider the overall findings of the project and propose the concept of Driven Benevolence as the overarching operational principle guiding the actions and behaviours of this group of Serial Winning Coaches.

Sergio Lara-Bercial is a Senior Research Fellow in sport coaching at Leeds Beckett University in the UK and the manager for Strategy & Development at the International Council for Coaching Excellence. A former international coach in basketball, he is also the coauthor of the International Sport Coaching Framework. His work is split equally between coaching research and coach development on the ground, and has taken him all over the world from the USA and Canada to South Africa, Japan and the Philippines.

Cliff Mallett is a professor of sport psychology and coaching in the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences at The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia. He is co-chair of Research for the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) and a former successful Olympic coach in track and field athletics. Cliff has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and is extensively involved in high performance coach development.

Address author correspondence to Sergio Lara-Bercial at
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