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Erratum: Developing Coaches’ Knowledge of the Athlete–Coach Relationship Through Formal Coach Education: The Perceptions of Football Association Coach Developers

International Sport Coaching Journal

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International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) 14th Global Coach Conference

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Volume 10 (2023): Issue S1 (Nov 2023)

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Exploring the Daily Hassles of Neophyte Cycling Coaches

Samuel Wood, David Richardson, Simon J. Roberts, and David Fletcher

Sport coaching is increasingly acknowledged as a stressful activity, especially for those coaching in community contexts. This highlights the significant need to identify the diverse sources of key stressors. The aim of this research was to explore the recurrent stressors experienced by novice coaches to better inform their coping strategies and reduce the dropout rate caused by stress. The novelty of this research lies in its longitudinal exploration of the daily hassles experienced by community sport coaches within their coaching role. Ontologically and epistemologically positioned within the interpretivist paradigm, we interviewed eight recently qualified cycling coaches over an 18-month period. Reflective thematic analysis developed three themes highlighting sources of stress over time: at the start of their participation, coaches discussed the hassles of accessing facilities and struggling to fit in; toward the end of their participation, coaches discussed feeling isolated. Results from this study can better inform the education and support delivered by national governing bodies of sport across the community and club landscape and increase sport psychology practitioners’ awareness of the daily hassles experienced by coaches.

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The reROOT Coaching Program: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating Its Impact on Coaching Style and Athlete Sports Development

Emilie Lemelin, Joëlle Carpentier, Sophie Gadoury, Élodie Petit, Jacques Forest, Jean-Paul Richard, Mireille Joussemet, and Geneviève A. Mageau

The reROOT program teaches coaches 40 behaviors belonging to a need-supportive coaching style (including structure, involvement, and autonomy support), as defined by self-determination theory. This pilot randomized controlled trial, conducted during the COVID-19-related lockdown, evaluated the impact of this 18-hr program on coaching style (e.g., Problems in Sports Questionnaire) and on athlete motivation (Motivation Underlying Achievement Goals Questionnaire), performance (tactical, technical, physical, and psychological skills), and well-being (Satisfaction with Life Scale; Positive and Negative Affect Schedule). Twenty-three sports teams from two universities were randomized in the experimental or the wait-list control condition. Coaches in the experimental condition evaluated autonomy-supportive coaching styles more favorably than those in the control condition at the 1-year follow-up, but not 2 months after the end of the program. Athletes whose coaches participated in the program did not rate them as having a higher need-supportive coaching style, but experienced greater autonomous motivation and (potentially) performance, and under certain circumstances greater well-being and less controlled motivation 2 months after the end of the program compared with the wait-list condition. These findings suggest that the reROOT program could potentially improve readiness to rely on more autonomy-supportive skills and promote some aspects of sports development in athletes.

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U.S. High School Coaches’ Knowledge, Perception, and Current Practices Regarding Exertional Heat Illness

Bailey Thompson, Angela R. Hillman, and Ellen K. Payne

Exertional heat illness (EHI) is a dangerous, but preventable and treatable condition that affects approximately 9,000 athletes each year in the United States. Unfortunately, less than 30% of schools in the United States have access to an athletic trainer, making coaches responsible for the safety of the athletes during practices and games. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the knowledge, perception, and procedures of high school coaches in the United States regarding heat illness recognition, prevention, and treatment. An online survey including Likert items and open-ended questions was completed by 1,676 coaches from 16 states and compared between age, coaching experience, gender, education level, experience handling EHI, state, and the completion of either a general coaching certification or a heat safety certification. Average knowledge score among coaches was 74%. Coaches with experience handling or witnessing EHI, more years of coaching experience, older age, and the completion of a coaching certification had significantly higher level of knowledge than others. Results revealed that evidence-based strategies and state mandates aimed at preventing EHI are not being implemented. More training in prevention, recognition, and treatment of EHI is necessary for all individuals involved with high school athletes to prevent avoidable deaths.

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A Project-Led Framework for Coach Development in English Men’s Professional Football: A Premier League Case Study

Liam McCarthy and Claire-Marie Roberts

Coach education and development programmes are central to the professional development experiences of sport coaches. Typically, these programmes are structured and sequenced in a linear pathway, and present an opportunity for certification which can be a prerequisite to practice and/or employment. Increasingly, as learning becomes viewed as part of a coach’s lifeworld, versus simply as a means to an end, education and development provision is beginning to reflect this. This article introduces and explores the Coach Development Institute Programme, part of the Premier League’s Elite Coaching Plan, which seeks to improve the quality of football coaching in English boys’/men’s football by engaging coaches in a 2-year work-based learning opportunity. Built around a core of project-based learning and assessment, coaches are supported as they examine a series of meaningful performance problems in their unique practice environments. Through this work, we demonstrate how theories, concepts, and principles from the adult education and assessment as learning literature might work as they are applied in a coach education and development context. With such sparsity of case-based examples like this within the peer-reviewed literature, we intend that our contribution could inform, promote dialogue, and raise questions about authentically supporting coaches beyond a minimum standard of practice.

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Developing Coaches’ Knowledge of the Athlete–Coach Relationship Through Formal Coach Education: The Perceptions of Football Association Coach Developers

Andrew Newland, Colum Cronin, Gillian Cook, and Amy Whitehead

Developing high-quality athlete–coach (A–C) relationships improves both athlete performance and well-being. However, content relating to the A–C relationship has been underrepresented within coach education. The study evaluates how coaches completing the English Football Association’s Union of European Football Associations A and B licenses develop knowledge of the A–C relationship. It does so by drawing on the perspectives of those who design and deliver the courses. Semistructured interviews were completed with nine experienced Football Association coach developers alongside a document analysis of seven key course documents. Data were analysed through an inductive thematic analysis and five themes were generated: (a) coach developers understand that the A–C relationship is built on trust, care, and hard and soft interpersonal approaches; (b) the triad of knowledge impacts on the A–C relationship, not just interpersonal knowledge; (c) the A–C relationship is not meaningfully addressed in the formalised course content; (d) in situ visits provide an effective medium to develop knowledge of the A–C relationship; and (e) the assessment framework does not align with the formalised course content. Findings demonstrate, despite a diversification in content, the A–C relationship is introduced in a superficial manner. Future research should clarify the knowledge coaches require to develop high-quality A–C relationships within a high-performance footballing context.

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Acceptability and Preliminary Efficacy Testing of a Web-Based Coach Development Program Addressing Gender Essentialism Among Coaches of Adolescent Girls

Anna Goorevich, Courtney Boucher, Jekaterina Schneider, Hannah Silva-Breen, Emily L. Matheson, Aline Tinoco, and Nicole M. LaVoi

Gender essentialism in coaching discourses often goes unnoticed by coaches yet promotes gender stereotypes. Currently, no coach development program addresses gender essentialism. This study tested the acceptability and preliminary efficacy of a novel web-based coaching intervention comprising seven self-led modules, aimed at reducing gender essentialism among coaches. A pilot randomized controlled trial was conducted with 102 coaches of adolescent girls across multiple sports. Coaches were randomized into the intervention condition (n = 54) or a waitlist control condition (n = 48). Both intervention and control group participants completed a baseline self-assessment prior. Intervention group participants undertook Coaching HER Foundation modules over 2 weeks and completed a postintervention self-assessment. Control group coaches completed the postintervention assessment without completing the Coaching HER Foundation modules. Based on the data, coaches found the intervention easy to follow, relevant, applicable, and enjoyable. Efficacy analyses illustrated the intervention group reported lower levels of gender essentialism at postintervention compared with the control group. Study results must be considered in relation to the small sample size and high attrition rate (72%). Study findings will inform intervention optimizations based on participant feedback, after which Coaching HER Foundation will be made freely available within a wider coach education and training framework.

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“Walking the Tightrope”: Reflections on Mobilizing Foucauldian Theory Within an Endurance Running Coach Development Intravention

Zoë Avner, Jim Denison, Tim Konoval, Edward T. Hall, Kristina Skebo, Royden Radowits, and Declan Downie

This paper presents our efforts and subsequent reflections in attempting to make Foucauldian theory accessible and relevant to a group of high-performance endurance-running coaches within the context of a coach development intravention and Foucauldian inspired workshop series. Specifically, we reflect upon our efforts to introduce coaches to Foucauldian ideas and concepts such as the knowledge–power–practice triad and upon the tensions we experienced in doing so. These tensions were related to the power of the theory–practice divide to set expectations around what it means to be an effective coach developer and a high-performance coach but also in the main related to our intentions regarding a broader shift in the coaches’ thinking concerning the influence of a number of social forces in the formation of their practices. We contend that coaching scholars invested in mobilizing ways of knowing underpinned by a different logic (e.g., relationally informed ways of knowing) within coaching and coach development settings would benefit from a deeper understanding of the politics of sports coaching knowledge and practice and how relations of power–knowledge impact learning within pedagogical contexts. Such an awareness, we believe, would in turn support more targeted pedagogical frameworks, practices, and strategies specifically aimed at disrupting established relations of power–knowledge and related problematic binary understandings such as the theory–practice divide which stand in the way of more diverse and ethical knowledge production processes in sports coaching and coach development work.