Process and Outcome Evaluation of a Positive Youth Development-Focused Online Coach Education Course

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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Coach education courses can be designed to help youth sport coaches improve their ability to foster positive youth development (PYD). To date, few studies have investigated coaches’ perspectives on their participation in PYD-focused coach education courses, and even less have observed coaches in the act of coaching before, during, and after course delivery to assess the extent to which they are implementing course material. The purpose of the present study was to conduct a process and outcome evaluation of a PYD-focused coach education course that was delivered online. Participants were seven Portuguese youth sport coaches who coached athletes between 10 and 18 years of age. Data were collected through non-participant qualitative observations, field notes, semi-structured interviews, and reflective journals. Process evaluation findings indicated that the coaches felt the course was well structured and appropriately delivered, yet limited in its ability to effect change due to the absence of a practical component. Outcome evaluation findings showed how coaches made efforts to implement the course material in their coaching practice, but their implementation efforts were met with limited success. Overall, the findings suggest that although online coach education courses are of interest to coaches due to their flexibility, they could be supplemented by practical components to enhance coaches’ ability to implement course content.

Fernando Santos is with the Higher School of Education, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Porto, Portugal; Higher School of Education, Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, Viana do Castelo, Portugal; and inED, Center for Research and Innovation in Education Porto, Portugal. Martin Camiré is with the School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Dany J. MacDonald is with the Dept. of Applied Human Sciences, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Henrique Campos, Manuel Conceição, and Ana Silva are with the Portuguese Hockey Federation, Porto, Portugal.

Address author correspondence to Fernando Santos at fsantos@ese.ipp.pt.
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