Problematizing the Pursuit of Personal Development and Performance Success: An Autoethnography of a Canadian Elite Youth Ice Hockey Coach

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Performance success and positive development are goals of youth sport coaching that need not but often do find themselves in conflict with each other, yet there is a dearth of research that has inquired into the tensions between these 2 goals for sport coaches. Adopting an autoethnographic research design, this study explored the first author’s coaching experiences with a focus on his attempts to facilitate players’ personal development and the team’s performance success in a Canadian elite minor ice hockey context. Framed in a positive-youth-development approach, the first author’s philosophy and behaviors were informed by key tenants of achievement goal theory and self-determination theory. Three key areas were problematized: pursuing personal development and performance success, creating a task-oriented environment, and implementing autonomy-supportive behaviors. Practical implications for elite youth coaches and coach educations programs are discussed.

The authors are with the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Preston (cpreston@yorku.ca) is corresponding author.
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