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Heather Barber

This study aimed to examine gender differences in sources of competence information and the resultant perceptions of competence among male and female interscholastic coaches. Participants (102 female and 138 male coaches of girls’ sports) completed self-report measures that assessed preferences for sources of coaching competence information, perceptions of general and specific coaching competence, and potential reasons for withdrawal from coaching. Multivariate analyses revealed significant gender differences among sources of competence information, with women showing greater preference for athletes’ improvement and for improvement of their own coaching skills. Gender differences between coaching competence perceptions were also found. Males and females were similar in most self-perceptions, but women perceived themselves to be more competent at teaching sport skills. Contrary to theoretical predictions, canonical correlations between sources and perceptions of competence did not indicate a strong link between these two constructs for male or female coaches.

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Heather Barber and Jean Eckrich

This investigation examined the procedures employed by NCAA Division I, II, and ΙΠ athletic directors (ADs) in evaluating their cross country and basketball coaches. Three components were examined: individual input, methods, and criteria for evaluation. Questionnaires were mailed to 660 ADs, and final analyses were conducted on 389 responses. ADs most commonly sought input from athletes, coaches' self-evaluations, senior associate ADs, and university administrators in the evaluation process. Meetings with coaches and watching contests were rated as important methods of evaluation. Factor analyses of evaluation criteria revealed 8 evaluation factors for basketball coaches and 7 for cross country coaches with different underlying structures. For basketball coaches, unique solutions were created for technical-skill development and coach-player relationships. For cross country coaches, these items loaded together creating a general player development factor. MANOVAs examining divisional differences in the evaluation process indicated that significant differences existed between sports and across divisions.

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Maureen R. Weiss, Heather Barber, Vicki Ebbeck and Beeky L. Sisley

This study examined perceptions of ability and affective experiences of female coaches (N=28) following a hands-on coaching internship. Coaches were interviewed regarding the internship's positive and negative aspects and their perceived strengths and weaknesses. Using qualitative research methods, quotes were drawn from the interview transcripts and submitted to an inductive content analysis. Major themes characterizing the positive aspects of the internship were satisfaction of working with kids, development of coaching skills, social support, and fun; themes related to negative aspects of the experience were negative interactions with mentor coach, excessive time demands, low perceptions of competence, negative relationships with athletes, lack of administrative support, and overemphasis on winning. Perceived coaching strengths included major themes of interpersonal communication, motivation, teaching skills, knowledge of the game, discipline, and balance of work and fun. Weaknesses were identified as inadequate sport-related knowledge and skills, leadership skills, planning and management skills, physical skills, and injury-prevention and maintenance skills. Implications of these findings for recruiting, educating, and retaining coaches are made.

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Daniel M. Landers, Michael O. Wilkinson, Brad D. Hatfield and Heather Barber

The causal predominance of performance affecting later cohesiveness that has been shown in previous studies was examined by means of a series of statistical analyses designed to assess influence in a longitudinal panel design. Male students (N = 44) participating in a basketball league were administered cohesiveness and participation motivation scales at early, mid, and late season. In contrast to previous findings, the cross-lagged correlations showed that performance and cohesion were significantly related to each other with no causal predominance of one over the other. With the exception of the friendship measure, the cross-lagged correlations were no longer significant when earlier measures of the effect variable were controlled through partial correlation and path analysis techniques. In contrast to previous research, midseason cohesion, as measured by friendship, was a significant (p < .04) predictor of late season performance. The importance of interpersonal attraction in the recruitment and maintenance of intramural team members is discussed along with the necessity for determining, in future studies, the reliability of cohesiveness measures.