The Coaching Model: A Grounded Assessment of Expert Gymnastic Coaches’ Knowledge

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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An expert system approach (Buchanan et al., 1983) was used to identify and conceptualize the knowledge of 17 Canadian expert high-performance gymnastic coaches. The knowledge elicitation process consisted of open-ended questions and various questioning methods to unveil, explore, and prove important information (Patton, 1987; Spradley, 1979) about coaching. All coaches’ interviews were transcribed verbatim, and the unstructured qualitative data were inductively analyzed following the procedures and techniques of grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). The inductive analysis process allowed the meaning units of the interview transcripts to be regrouped into properties, categories, and components. The components emerging from the analysis consisted of (a) competition, (b) training, (c) organization, (d) coach’s personal characteristics, (e) gymnast’s personal characteristics and level of development, and (f) contextual factors. These components were further developed into a model representing coaches’ knowledge.

Jean Côté is with the Department of Physical Education at Brock University, St. Catharines, ON Canada L2S 3A1. John Salmela, Pierre Trudel, and Abderrahi Baria are with the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa, 125 University, Ottawa, ON Canada KIN 6N5. Storm Russell is with the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute, 1600 Naismith Dr., Gloucester, ON Canada K1B 5N4.