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A New Theoretical Perspective for Understanding How Coaches Learn to Coach

Penny Werthner and Pierre Trudel

The purpose of this paper is to present, using Moon’s (1999, 2004) generic view of learning, a new theoretical perspective in order to understand how coaches learn to coach. After presenting her main concepts, a case study of an elite Canadian coach is used to illustrate the different learning processes in three types of learning situations: mediated, unmediated, and internal. We believe this new view of how coaches learn provides a way to see coach development from the coach’s perspective and helps us understand why the path to becoming a coach is often idiosyncratic. Finally, the potential of this conceptual research framework for the study of coaches’ development, specifically at the elite/expert level, is discussed.

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Reflection in Coach Education: The Case of the National Governing Body Coaching Certificate

Lee J. Nelson and Christopher J. Cushion

Research frequently demonstrates that coaches learn by reflecting on practical coaching experience (Gilbert & Trudel, 2001), hence both reflection and experience have been identified as essential elements of coach education (Cushion, Armour, & Jones, 2003). The case being studied was a United Kingdom (UK) National Governing Body (NGB) in the process of developing a coach education program. The purpose of this study was to empirically explore the use of reflection as a conceptual underpinning to connect and understand coach education, theory, and practice. Findings suggest that the curriculum could promote reflective practice, albeit in a largely decontextualized learning environment. Future research should attempt to directly measure, in situ, the impact of such courses on coaching knowledge and coaching practice.

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Women in Coaching

Katie Kilty

The purpose of this article is to review the challenges that women coaches must overcome and to discuss coach education strategies for facilitating the development of women coaches. Changes in representation of women in positions of leadership in sport have created a social context in which the experience of female coaches is referenced from a predominantly male perspective. As such, recurring issues elicited by attendees at the USOC/NCAA sponsored Women in Coaching Conferences are discussed. Coach education strategies are addressed in three main areas: (a) the continuation of women and sport programs, (b) restructuring the work environment to recognize and value relational work skills, and (c) relational mentoring models to navigate career and life transitions and advocate for change.

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Working at the Edge of Chaos: Understanding Coaching as a Complex, Interpersonal System

Imornefe Bowes and Robyn L. Jones

Drawing on ideas from social psychology, in particular those associated with relational schemas and complexity theory, the purpose of this paper is to present an alternative perspective of coaching. Following the introduction, current conceptualizations of coaching are critiqued as being inadequate. The case is then made that such work could alternatively profit from an examination of coaches’ agency within their structurally created relational schemas to better understand the nature of the activity. Recent empirical work on coaches is subsequently drawn upon to support the theoretical position proposed, which postulates practitioners as working near or on “the edge of chaos.” Finally, a conclusion draws together the main points made, particularly in relation to the value of the position taken for coach education.

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You Haven’t Taught Until They Have Learned: John Wooden’s Teaching Principles and Practices.

Gordon Bloom

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Volume 20 (2006): Issue 1 (Mar 2006)

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Analysis of Affect-Related Performance Zones: An Idiographic Method Using Physiological and Introspective Data

William A. Edmonds, Derek T.Y. Mann, Gershon Tenenbaum, and Chris M. Janelle

An exploratory investigation is reported to test the utility of Kamata, Tenenbaum, and Hanin’s (2002) probabilistic model in determining individual affect-related performance zones (IAPZs) in a simulated car-racing task. Three males completed five separate time-trials of a simulated racing task by which self-reported affective states (i.e., arousal and pleasure) and physiological measures of arousal (i.e., heart rate and skin conductance) were integrated with performance and measured throughout each trial. Results revealed each performer maintained unique IAPZs for each of the perceived and physiological measures in terms of the probability and range of achieving each zone. The practical applications of this approach are discussed.

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Changes in Perceived Stress and Recovery during Heavy Training in Highly Trained Male Rowers

Jarek Mäestu, Jaak Jürimäe, Kairi Kreegipuu, and Toivo Jürimäe

The aims were to assess (a) the usefulness of RESTQ-Sport in the process of training monitoring and (b) whether a change in psychological parameters is reflected by similar changes in specific biochemical parameters. The high volume training period, in general, caused increases in stress scales and decreases in recovery scales of the RESTQ-Sport, while during recovery period, stress levels declined. Cortisol was not changed during the study period, but significant increases in creatine kinase activity were found during the high training period compared to reference period. The results of the present study demonstrate that changes in training volume were reflected by changes in the RESTQ-Sport scales. A close relationship was found between cortisol and creatine kinase activity and subjective ratings of stress and recovery.

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Contextual Influences on Moral Functioning of Male Youth Footballers

Maria Kavussanu and Christopher M. Spray

This study examined the network of relationships among moral atmosphere, perceived performance motivational climate, and moral functioning of male youth football players. Participants were 325 footballers recruited from 24 teams of a youth football league. They responded to scenarios describing cheating and aggressive behaviors likely to occur during a football game by indicating their moral judgment, intention, and behavior, which represented moral functioning. The moral atmosphere of the team and participants’ perceptions of the team’s performance motivational climate were also measured. Structural equation modeling indicated that perceptions of an atmosphere condoning cheating and aggressive behaviors were associated with views that a performance motivational climate is salient in the team, while both moral atmosphere and perceived performance climate corresponded to low levels of moral functioning in football. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for eliminating unsportsmanlike conduct from sport.

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A Grounded Theory of Elite Male Table Tennis Players’ Activity during Matches

Carole Sève, Germain Poizat, Jacques Saury, and Marc Durand

This article describes the main features of a collaborative project involving researchers, coaches, and elite table tennis players. The project was carried out between 1997 and 2002 with funding from the French Ministry of Youth and Sports, in response to a request by French Table Tennis Team coaches to improve the training of table tennis players. Matches were videotaped during international meets and followed by interviews during which the players described and commented on their activity as they viewed the tapes. A grounded theory of players’ activity emerged from the data collected and the ensuing theoretical issues that were raised. The findings on table tennis players’ activity pointed to a new direction for training proposals, for example the organization of reflexive practices during training.