Five Perspectives on Pursuing Mastery in Coaching

in International Sport Coaching Journal

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Pete Van MullemLewis-Clark State College

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Sean DahlinThe Ohio State University

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The pursuit of mastery in coaching is an ongoing journey, requiring a commitment to life-long learning (Gallimore, Gilbert, & Nater, 2014). The purpose of this paper is to share the insight of five professionals (i.e., educator, sport ethicist, administrator, sport researcher, and a coach), participating in a panel session at the 2016 U.S. National Coaching Conference, on pursuing mastery as a coach. The term mastery is often associated with expertise. To be considered an expert, a coach must also be effective (Côté & Gilbert, 2009). Coaches that have achieved this level of effectiveness are often referred to as master teachers. Across the session the views of the panel members emphasized the pursuit of mastery as an ongoing journey of continuous learning. Insight from the panelists is compared with literature in coaching science and recommendations are provided for coaches and coaching educators on how to deliberately pursue mastery as a coach.

Pete Van Mullem is an associate professor in sport administration at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, USA. He has over 14 years of professional experience in coaching and athletic administrative positions at the interscholastic and intercollegiate level. He holds a doctorate in sport ethics from the University of Idaho and a master’s degree in sport administration from the University of Kansas.

Sean Dahlin is at the ABD stage in the final year of his doctoral program in sport management at Ohio State University. His research interests focus on sport coaching, intercollegiate athletics, and leadership styles in sport. Originally from Orem, Utah, he has experience in athletic administration at the intercollegiate level and has coached baseball at the high school and intercollegiate levels.

Address author correspondence to Pete Van Mullem at
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