Evaluating a Multiplier Approach to Coach Education Within the German Football Association’s Talent Development Program: An Example of an Intervention Study Targeting Need-Supportive Coaching

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Svenja Wachsmuth Institute of Sports Science, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

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Johannes Raabe West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA

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Tucker Readdy University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA

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Damir Dugandzic Deutscher Fußball-Bund (German Football Association), Frankfurt, Germany

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Oliver Höner Institute of Sports Science, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
Bund Deutscher Fußball-Lehrer e.V. (German Association of Football Coaches), Frankfurt, Germany

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Coaches are among the most important agents for young football talents’ development. Their coaching style may impact not only players’ skill acquisition but also their motivation to meet their full potential. This study begins by presenting an intervention promoting need-supportive coaching to facilitate holistic talent development within the German Football Association (Deutscher Fußball-Bund [DFB]). The intervention was grounded in Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory and designed as a hybrid model of coach education (i.e., online and in-present elements). In addition, DFB competence center coordinators were utilized as multipliers to reach a large population of approximately 1,300 coaches across Germany. The specific aim of this paper is to examine how these coordinators experienced the development and implementation process of the intervention. Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, coordinators’ satisfaction and experiences with the intervention were evaluated via a quantitative online survey (n = 23) and qualitative follow-up interviews (n = 8). Overall, the findings suggest that the presented approach may be suitable to address potential barriers in coach education, such as gaining coaches’ buy-in, transferring scientific knowledge into practice, and supporting long-term behavioral modifications in coaches. Specific recommendations (e.g., knowledge translation, gaining buy-in) for designing future interventions are highlighted.

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