The structural components of sports competitions and the characteristics of sport practices vary significantly. These differences may translate into different optimal employment arrangements for the professional coaches (those who prepare teams and athletes for competitions). While there has been academic inquiry into the practice of sport coaching, there has been little apparent research into the industrial organization of sport coaches. This paper presents a formal model of the coaching practice. The coaching roles as strategists and trainers are distinguished, variation in the significance of the connections in the nexus of team to individual relations is identified, and the various methods of sport preparation are classified. Predictions of the employment arrangements based on model parameters are made and related to some established stylized facts and survey results from both cycling training coaches and athletes. The model and data corroborate that cycling coaches be hired by the individual athletes not their cycling teams. JEL classifications: J22, J24, L23, L83
Larson is with the Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK. Maxcy is with the STHM Department, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.