Leadership, Bridging, and Group-Game Engineering: Guidelines for Community Sport Coaches

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Purposeful engagement with community matters continues to underpin the U.K. government’s approach to sport and sports coaching. However, although there is an emerging body of work related to the domain of community sport coaching, the development of skills, knowledge, and competencies for sports coaches is often focused in the field of sports performance. This leaves questions regarding the nature, function, supportive coaching strategies, and contextual effectiveness for coaches working within community sport settings/initiatives. The purpose of this study is to share suggestions for how community sports programs can be best managed and facilitated by sports leaders and coaches. Results of an action research project with 13 community sport coaches in the United Kingdom are used to inform the discussion. Four approaches to community sports coaching are shown contribute to building coach–participant relationships, satisfaction, and project/practice success: (a) establish common ground, (b) develop relationships, (c) prioritize inclusivity (through establishing behavioral boundaries and through game/activity management), and (d) highlight meaningful activity and contribution to games for all participants.

Crisp is with the University of Chichester, Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom.

Crisp (phil.crisp@chi.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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