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What experiences are needed to become a high-performance coach? The present study addressed this question through structured retrospective quantitative interviews with 10 team- and 9 individual-sport coaches at the Canadian interuniversity-sport level. Minimum amounts of certain experiences were deemed necessary but not sufficient to become a high-performance coach (e.g., playing the sport they now coach and interaction with a mentor coach for all coaches, leadership opportunities as athletes for team-sport coaches only). Although coaches reported varying amounts of these necessary experiences, general stages of high-performance coach development were traced. Findings serve to identify and support potential high-performance coaches and increase the effectiveness of formal coaching-education programs.
The authors are with School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada.