Coaches’ Experiences Learning and Applying the Content of a Humanistic Coaching Workshop in Youth Sport Settings

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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  • 1 McGill University
  • | 2 Western Sydney University
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The purpose of this study was to develop and deliver a humanistic coaching workshop, as well as investigate coaches’ perceptions of this workshop and their experiences using humanistic coaching. Participants were 12 coaches of grade 7–11 basketball teams from schools in low socioeconomic communities in a major Canadian city. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and personal journals. An inductive thematic analysis revealed coaches perceived the workshop to be effective in teaching the humanistic principles and how to apply them in youth sport settings. The perceived strengths of the workshop included the group discussions, use of videos, practical coaching examples, and learning about the findings from empirical studies. The participants applied the humanistic principles with their teams by asking questions that guided athlete learning and by requesting feedback about various individual and team matters. Despite facing challenges such as increased time and effort to implement humanistic coaching principles, the participants reported positive outcomes in their athletes related to autonomy, communication, motivation, and willingness to help teammates. These results are discussed using literature on youth sport coaching, knowledge translation, and youth development through sport. Findings from this study can be used to enhance youth sport coach training protocols.

William Falcão is a doctoral student in sport psychology in the Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education at McGill University. His research focuses on coaching strategies that promotes personal development, health, and well-being of athletes through sport. His research emphasizes the experiences of coaches and athletes in low-socioeconomic settings as well as the parasport context.

Gordon Bloom is a professor and director of the Sport Psychology Research Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education at McGill University in Canada. He has developed an internationally recognized coaching research program that deals with aspects of knowledge, leadership, and mentoring that are employed by coaches to help create a positive environment for excellence and participation in sport.

Andrew Bennie is director of the Health and Physical Education program at Western Sydney University, Australia. His research interests include sport coaching, First Nations Peoples’ sport participation, physical activity, and teaching and learning in health and physical education. He is currently leading a team of collaborators who are exploring the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sport coaches in Australia.

Address author correspondence to Gordon Bloom at
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