Coaches’ Perspectives on Personal and Psychosocial Development in University Sport

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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  • 1 University of Lethbridge
  • 2 University of Ottawa
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Evidence suggests Canadian university sport programs can foster positive development. Further, university coaches have claimed to focus on their athletes’ personal and psychosocial development. Despite coaches’ claims, little is known about university coaches’ strategies for enhancing positive development. The aim of the present study was to explore the role of the coach in fostering positive development in the university context from the perspective of coaches. Specifically, this study addressed two research questions: (a) Who was responsible for athletes’ development? and (b) What is the role of the coach in athletes’ development? Semi-structured open-ended interviews were conducted with 14 recommended Canadian university coaches (9 male and 5 female). Interviews were analyzed using an inductive approach. Coaches highlighted the conditions of university sport that foster positive development. In addition, the coaches described how they maximized athletes’ development by establishing a support network, building team culture, and empowering athletes.

Scott Rathwell is with the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

Bradley W. Young is with the School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Scott Rathwell at scott.rathwell@uleth.ca.
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