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Marte Bentzen, Danielle Alexander, Gordon A. Bloom, and Göran Kenttä

The purpose of this scoping review was to provide a broad overview of the literature pertaining to parasport coaches, including information regarding the size and scope of research, the populations and perspectives obtained, and the type of methods used to conduct the research. Data were collected and analyzed using a six-stage framework for conducting scoping reviews. The results revealed that the majority of articles were based on interviews, and an overwhelming majority of the participants were men coaching at the high-performance level in North America. Three of the most frequent topics were becoming a parasport coach, being a parasport coach, and having general parasport coaching knowledge. Articles ranged in date from 1991 to 2018, with 70% of empirical articles published from 2014 onward, indicating an emerging interest in this field of research. This review has the potential to advance the science and practice of parasport coaching at all levels.

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Inge Milius, Wade D. Gilbert, Danielle Alexander, and Gordon A. Bloom

There is a growing body of research on positive tactile communication and its impact on athlete performance and team dynamics. The purpose of the present study was to examine the profile and perceived impact of positive tactile communication as a coaching strategy in a high-performance team sport setting. Participants were members of a successful American collegiate women’s basketball team comprising the head coach, associate head coach, and 16 student-athletes. Methods of data collection included systematic observation and focus groups. Positive tactile communication was perceived to be an effective coaching strategy for enhancing relationships and athlete performance. To our knowledge, this is the first study to include both quantitative and qualitative data from multiple coaches on the same team, as well as athlete perceptions of coaches’ strategic use of positive tactile communication.

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Rhys J. Thurston, Danielle M. Alexander, and Mathieu Michaud

Learning disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders are the most prevalent disabilities that affect learning. This paper will provide practical recommendations and observations for coaching athletes with three common learning disabilities (dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia) and two neurodevelopmental disorders (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder). Adapted from the literature and in conjunction with previous experiences, the authors provided a range of recommendations for coaches to consider implementing within their practices. The recommendations place an emphasis on the knowledge, strategies, and behaviors of the coach and their role in providing an inclusive, safe, and accessible space for athletes—with or without disabilities—rather than problematizing the disability or the person. Coaches are encouraged to consider their coaching environment (i.e., structure, physical elements, equipment), communication styles (i.e., language, delivery, feedback), and behaviors (e.g., frequent check-ins, review of material). Furthermore, coaches are encouraged to critically reflect on their preconceived biases, assumptions, and experiences with disability and how these play a role in influencing their coaching practices.Considering the prevalence of people with learning disabilities or neurodevelopmental disorders, it is essential for coaches to have access to disability-specific information while remaining cognizant of the needs of the individual when providing an inclusive environment for all.