Coaching Strategies to Optimize Team Functioning in High Performance Curling

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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  • 1 University of Ottawa
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The purpose of this study was to investigate coaching strategies to optimize team functioning in the context of high performance curling. Strategies were elicited from 10 male coaches, 12 women’s teams (N = 49 athletes) and seven men’s teams (N = 29 athletes) competing at an elite level. Over 150 strategies were identified as being essential for functioning effectively as a team and they pertained to the following seven components: (a) individual attributes (e.g., create a player contract), (b) team attributes (e.g., determine and adjust game strategy), (c) the foundational process of communication (e.g., script routines for communication), (d) structural team processes (e.g., determine acceptable behaviour/standards), (e) individual regulation processes (e.g., do self-assessments/check-ins), (f) team regulation processes (e.g., discuss leadership behaviours), and (g) the context (e.g., prepare for the opposition). Implications for coaching interventions are provided.

Jamie Collins holds a PhD in human kinetics from the University of Ottawa. Her research has focused on the areas of self-regulation and optimal team functioning, with a particular emphasis on how coaches can contribute to high functioning individuals and teams. She is a mental performance consultant recognized by the Canadian Sport Psychology Association and co-founder of MarbleLabs, a performance psychology company striving to develop better people and better performers through science-based practice.

Natalie Durand-Bush is an associate professor in the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa in Canada. During the past 20 years, she has conducted extensive research and applied work in various sport contexts to help coaches and athletes achieve performance excellence and manage adversity. She co-founded the Canadian Sport Psychology Association in 2006, co-authored the Ottawa Mental Skills Assessment Tool, and impacted coaching practice through various coach-related publications, conference presentations, and hands-on workshops.

Address author correspondence to Jamie Collins at jamie_e_collins@yahoo.ca.
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