Investigating the Barriers and Facilitators to Achieving Coaching Certification

in International Sport Coaching Journal
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $41.00

1 year subscription

USD  $54.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $77.00

2 year subscription

USD  $101.00

Despite a significant number of coaches pursuing formal coach training through the National Coaching Certification Program in Canada each year, very few complete the entire certification process. The purpose of this study was to investigate the barriers and facilitators that influence Canadian coaches’ decisions to acquire coaching certification. A mixed-methods convergent parallel design was employed to address the research question. The participants included 1,518 certified and noncertified coaches across Canada who completed an online questionnaire identifying the barriers and facilitators to pursuing coaching certification; of this sample, 38 coaches participated in a follow-up telephone interview. Using the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, the findings suggest that most coaches reside in the precontemplation stage, in which they believe in and are thinking about certification, but have yet to engage in preparation. The barriers to pursuing certification included time, cost, tediousness of the process, and inaccessible evaluators, whereas the facilitators included enhanced knowledge and skills and improved coaching reputation. Future directions for increasing participation rates in the certification process include clearly identifying and broadly disseminating the benefits of acquiring certification, clarifying the criteria for evaluation, streamlining the certification process and incorporating online models, enhancing accessibility of evaluators, and incentivizing and rewarding certification.

The authors are with the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Gurgis (joseph.gurgis@mail.utoronto.ca) is corresponding author.
  • Baker, P.S. (2016). Making paradigms meaningful in mixed methods research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 10(4), 319334. doi:10.1177/1558689815575861

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bishop, F.L. (2014). Using mixed methods research designs in health psychology: An illustrated discussion from a pragmatist perspective. British Journal of Health Psychology, 20, 520. doi:10.1111/bjhp.12122

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77101. doi:10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Braun, V., Clarke, V., Terry, G., & Hayfield, N. (2018). Thematic analysis. In P. Liamputtong (Ed.), Handbook of research methods in health and social sciences (pp. 843860). Singapore: Springer.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Callary, B., Werther, P., & Trudel, P. (2011). A brief online survey to help a sport organization continue to develop its coach education program. International Journal of Coaching Science, 5(2), 3148.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carbonaro, M., & Bainbridge, J. (2000). Design and development of a process for web-based survey research. The Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 46(4), 392394.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cassidy, T., Potrac, P., & McKenzie, A. (2006). Evaluating and reflecting upon a coach education initiative: The CoDe of rugby. The Sport Psychologist, 20(2), 145161. doi:10.1123/tsp.20.2.145

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cassidy, T., & Rossi, T. (2006). Situating learning: (Re) examining the notion of apprenticeship in coach education. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 1(3), 235246. doi:10.1260/174795406778604591

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coaching Association of Canada. (2015). Developing and delivering world-class coach education: Coaching Association of Canada: 2014–2015 Annual report. Retrieved from https://www.coach.ca/files/2014_15_ANNUAL_REPORT_FINAL_ENG.pdf

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coaching Association of Canada. (2017). Coaching Association of Canada 2016–2017 Annual report. Retrieved from https://www.coach.ca/files/CAC_ANNUAL_REPORT_2016_17__ENGLISH.pdf

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coaching Association of Canada. (2018). Coaching Association of Canada 2017–2018 Annual report. Retrieved from http://coach.ca/publications/2017-18_AnnualReport/#zoom=z

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coaching Association of Canada. (2019). Trained vs. certified. Retrieved from https://www.coach.ca/trained-vs-certified-s16468

  • Côté, J. (2006). The development of coaching knowledge. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 1(3), 217222. doi:10.1260/174795406778604609

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Creswell, J. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. London, UK: SAGE Publications.

  • Culver, D., & Trudel, P. (2008). Clarifying the concept of communities of practice in sport. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 3(1), 110. doi:10.1260/174795408784089441

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cushion, C., Nelson, L., Armour, K., Lyle, J., Jones, R., Sandford, R., & O’Callaghan, C. (2010). Coach learning and development: A review of literature. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e49a/977bffada328cef99351c35a7c814c1e984e.pdf

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dattilio, F.M. (2002). Board certification in psychology: Is it really necessary? PsycEXTRA Dataset, 33(1), 5457.

  • Gilbert, W., & Trudel, P. (1999). An evaluation strategy for coach education programs. Journal of Sport Behavior, 22(2), 234250.

  • Gowan, G.R. (1992). Canada’s national coaching certification program (NCCP)—past, present, & future. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 63(7), 5054. doi:10.1080/07303084.1992.10609919

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Green, J., & Thorogood, N. (2009). Qualitative methods for health research. London, UK: Sage Publications.

  • Greene, J.C. (2006). Toward a methodology of mixed methods social inquiry. Research in the Schools, 13(1), 9398.

  • Jones, S., Torres, V., & Arminio, J. (2014). Negotiating the complexities of qualitative research in higher education. New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kubayi, A., Coopoo, Y., & Morris-Eyton, H. (2016). Coaches’ preferences for continuing coaching education in South Africa. Journal of Human Kinetics, 50(1), 229234. doi:10.1515/hukin-2015-0160

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lester, S.W., Fertig, J., & Dwyer, D.J. (2011). Do business leaders value human resource certification? Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 18(3), 408414. doi:10.1177/1548051811404422

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Libman, S. (1998). Adult participation in youth sports: A developmental perspective. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 7(4) 725744. doi:10.1016/S1056-4993(18)30208-6

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lyle, J., & Cushion, C. (2010). Sport coaching: Professionalisation and practice. Edinburgh, UK: Elsevier.

  • Marcus, B.H., Eaton, C.A., Rossi, J.S., & Harlow, L.L. (1994). Self-efficacy, decision making, and stages of change: An integrative model of physical exercise. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 24, 489508. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.1994.tb00595.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mesquita, I., Ribeiro, J., Santos, S., & Morgan, K. (2014). Coach learning and coach education: Portuguese expert coaches’ perspective. The Sport Psychologist, 28(2), 124136. doi:10.1123/tsp.2011-0117

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Misener, K.E., & Danylchuk, K.E. (2009). Coaches’ perceptions of Canada’s national coaching certification program (NCCP): Awareness and value. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 4(2), 233243. doi:10.1260/174795409788549580

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nash, C., & Sproule, J. (2012). Coaches’ perceptions of their coach education experiences. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 43(1), 3352.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nelson, L., & Cushion, C.J. (2006). Reflection in coach education: The case of the national governing body coaching certificate. Sport Psychologist, 20(2), 174183.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nelson, L.J., Cushion, C.J., & Potrac, P. (2006). Formal, nonformal and informal coach learning: A holistic conceptualisation. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 1(3), 247259. doi:10.1260/174795406778604627

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Planchard, J., Corrion, K., Lehmann, L., & d’Arripe-Longueville, F. (2018). Worksite physical activity barriers and facilitators: A qualitative study based on the transtheoretical model of change. Frontiers in Public Health, 6, 19. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2018.00326

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Potrac, P., Gilbert, W., & Denison, J. (2013). Routledge handbook of sports coaching. New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Prochaska, J.O., Butterworth, S., Redding, C.A., Burden, V., Perrin, N., Leo, M., … Prochaska, J.M. (2007). Initial efficacy of MI, TTM, tailoring and HRI’s with multiple behaviors for employee health promotion. Preventive Medicine, 46(3), 226231. PubMed ID: 18155287 doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.11.007

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Prochaska, J.O., & Diclemente, C.C. (1982). Transtheoretical therapy: Toward a more integrative model of change. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 19(3), 276288. doi:10.1037/h0088437

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Søvik, M.L., Larsen, T., Tjomsland, H.E., Samdal, O., & Wold, B. (2017). Barriers in implementing coach education in grassroots youth football in Norway. International Sport Coaching Journal, 4(2), 162176. doi:10.1123/iscj.2016-0106

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stewart, C. (2006). The Montana model. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 77(4), 3444. doi:10.1080/07303084.2006.10597861

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stoszkowski, J., & Collins, D. (2017). Using shared online blogs to structure and support informal coach learning-part 1: A tool to promote reflection and communities of practice. Sport, Education and Society, 22(2), 247270. doi:10.1080/13573322.2015.1019447

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Summers, S.R. (2002). Implementing ISO 14001—An international survey assessing the benefits of certification. Corporate Environmental Strategy, 9(4), 418426. doi:10.1016/S1066-7938(02)00009-X

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tashakkori, A., & Teddlie, C. (2010). SAGE handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

  • Trudel, P., & Gilbert, W.D. (2006). Coaching and coach education. In M. Kirk, M. O’sullivan, & D. McDonald (Eds.), Handbook of physical education (pp. 516539). London, UK: Sage.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Trudel, P., Gilbert, W.D., & Werthner, P. (2010). Coach education effectiveness. In J. Lyle& C. Cushion (Eds.), Sports coaching: Professionalisation and practice (pp. 135152). London, UK: Elsevier.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • van Bekkum, J.E., Williams, J.M., & Morris, P.G. (2011). Cycle commuting and perceptions of barriers: Stages of change, gender and occupation. Health Education, 111(6), 476497. doi:10.1108/09654281111180472

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Van Dyke, P.R. (2014). Virtual group coaching: A curriculum for coaches and educators. Journal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture, 5(2), 7286. doi:10.1002/jpoc.21145

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vella, S.A., Crowe, T.P., & Oades, L.G. (2013). Increasing the effectiveness of formal coach education: Evidence of a parallel process. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 8(2), 417430. doi:10.1260/1747-9541.8.2.417

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weiss, I.R., & Young, A.D.G. (1981). Professional certification programs. Personnel Administrator, 26(4), 6368. PubMed ID: 10250821

  • Wiersma, L.D., & Sherman, C.P. (2005). Volunteer youth sport coaches’ perspectives of coaching education/certification and parental codes of conduct. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 76(3), 324338. PubMed ID: 16270709 doi:10.1080/02701367.2005.10599303

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 58 58 53
Full Text Views 12 12 10
PDF Downloads 6 6 4