ISCJ Special Issue


Call for Papers:
Exploring coaching delivery in an online/digital environment


Guest Editors:
Dr. Christoph Szedlak (, University of Southampton
Dr. Blake Bennet (, University of Auckland
Dr. Matthew Smith (, University of Winchester

On behalf of the International Sport Coaching Journal (ISCJ), we are pleased to announce a call for abstracts for a timely special issue on the use of technology enhanced learning strategies (TEL) in sport coaching contexts. This includes exploring how coaching in online and digital environments might be utilized to effectively impact the holistic development of the athlete. More specifically, we encourage submissions that focus on:

  1. how coaches utilize information and communication technologies in delivering coaching in an online/digital environment;
  2. the limitations and possibilities of working in an online/digital coaching environment;
  3. how athletes perceive these coaching contexts, and the possible influences this might have on their holistic (i.e., psychological, social, and physical) development.

Submission and Publication Deadlines

We intend to publish the ISCJ special issue on TEL and online/digital coaching in May, 2023.

  • April – December, 2021. Review 500-word abstracts and provide feedback.
  • January 1, 2022 – June 1, 2022. Rolling submission deadline for full-length manuscripts.
  • August, 2022 – March, 2023. Review, revise, and publish processes.

500-Word Proposal Abstract First

We are accepting seven to eight Original Research studies (inclusive of all paradigms, designs, and methods) and three to four papers focusing on Practical Advances such as best practices, insights, and papers that describe coaching in different countries. Information on these manuscript types can be found on the ISCJ website.
If you would like to contribute, please email an abstract (less than 500 words) to Dr. Christoph Szedlak, in the first instance, who will forward these to the remaining guest editors. This should include: author’s name, title, and affiliation, manuscript type (e.g., Original Research, Practical Advances) and a description of your proposal (i.e., Rationale, Methods). The guest editors will review the abstract, provide detailed feedback, and recommend if the ideas fit the special issues and should be developed into a full manuscript.

Background and Context

The ICCE (2013) suggests that coaches should adapt a lifelong learning process meaning embracing and seeking innovative and new opportunities to develop effective coaching practice. TEL strategies (including coaching in an online/digital environment) provide such an opportunity, as they have the potential to be utilized as an athlete-centred coaching approach (Keppell et al., 2015). However, the research and best practice on and for coaches and coach developers is limited. Pre-COVID-19, Cushion and Townsend (2019) noted an increased inclination to use innovative technology in human movement contexts. During COVID-19, anecdotal observations show an accelerated use of online/digital coaching and teaching approaches as National Governing Bodies and coach educators had to adapt out of necessity. In the post-COVID-19 landscape, knowledge of how to continue the adoption and integration of TEL to provide enhanced, diversified, and athlete-centred learning opportunities is therefore valuable for coaches and coach educators alike. Simply, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the potential benefits of coaching in online and digital environments for athlete development – and a better understanding of this potential is relevant for contemporary coaches and coach educators. This special issue aims to lead the way in addressing the gaps in our current knowledge by providing valuable insights and suggestions for effective coaching in online and digital environments towards athlete development; whilst also offering coach educators important considerations for online/digital coaching pedagogies in coach education.

Suggested Topics

We welcome submissions from any sport, types of coaches (including strength and conditioning coaches) or learners at the competitive or participatory level, and in any type of coach development or education system (small-scale, large-scale, university based), which are relevant to the aims of the special issue and ISCJ readers on topics such as, but not limited to:

Original Research

  • Coaches’ and athletes’ perceptions of the efficacy of online/digital coaching methods used when coaching online
  • Attributes of online/digital coaching approaches which contribute to athlete-centred coaching practices
  • Impact of online/digital coaching on the athletes’ holistic development
  • Impact of online/digital coaching on individual and team performance
  • Impact of online/digital coaching on athletes’ physical development
  • Identifying barriers to effectively integrate online/digital coaching methods

Practical Advances

  • Evidence based guidelines for online/digital coaching approaches
  • Differences between face-to-face and online/digital coaching and how coaches might navigate these variances
  • Highlighting specific contexts suitable for online/digital coaching methods
  • Case, observational, ethnographical or diary studies exploring effective use of online/digital coaching methods
  • In-depth look at how sporting organizations at strategic and governmental level have developed and integrated online/digital coaching methods
  • Debate of face-to-face versus online/digital coaching and its impact on the coach-athlete relationship and athletes’ development
  • Online/digital coaching as an alternative, compromise, or excuse
  • Benefits of using hybrid coaching approaches
  • Efficacy of using online approaches to disseminate findings and enhance coaches’ learning

Writing and Publishing Guidelines for this ISCJ Special Issue

ISCJ is a venture of the ICCE and is published three times per year by Human Kinetics. Its mission is to advance the profession of coaching. The Editor in Chief of ISCJ is Dr. Bettina Callary.
Submission to the special issue does not guarantee publication. All submissions must meet ISCJ standards. The final disposition of all manuscripts is decided by the Editor in Chief.


Cushion, C. J., & Townsend, R. C., (2019). Technology-enhanced learning in coaching: A review of literature. Educational Review, 71(5), 631–649.
International Council for Coaching Excellence (2013). International sport coaching framework (version 1.2). Human Kinetics.
Keppell, M., Suddaby, G., & Hard, N. (2015). Assuring best practice in technology-enhanced learning environments. Research in Learning Technology, 23, 1–13.