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Mastery, Autonomy and Transformational Approaches to Coaching: Common Features and Applications

Stewart A. Vella and Dana J. Perlman

The purpose of this paper is to provide a concise resource for coaches, coach educators, and coaching scientists by reviewing three common approaches to coaching: the mastery approach to coaching; autonomy-supportive coaching; and the transformational leadership approach to coaching. The theoretical foundations, purpose, evidence base, specifed behaviours, and translation into coaching and coach education of each approach are reviewed. Despite diverse theoretical foundations and variations in purpose, there is some overlap in the coaching behaviours prescribed by each approach. However, there is limited empirical evidence to support the use of the three approaches in coach education and this is detrimental to effective and evidence-based coach education. Efforts to integrate theoretical foundations are promising, and a comprehensive prescription of coaching behaviours based on an integration of the three approaches is possible. This approach can potentially lead to cumulative effects on positive athlete outcomes. Future research should elucidate the common and unique contributions of these approaches to athletes’ outcomes, and whether they differ by age, sex, type of sport, or competition level.

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Validation of the Differentiated Transformational Leadership Inventory as a Measure of Coach Leadership in Youth Soccer

Stewart A. Vella, Lindsay G. Oades, and Trevor P. Crowe

This paper describes the validation of The Differentiated Transformational Leadership Inventory (DTLI) within a participation youth sports context. Three hundred and twenty-two athletes aged between 11 and 18 years completed the DTLI. Using a confirmatory factor analysis, the DTLI yielded an underlying factor structure that fell short of cut-off criteria for adjudging model fit. Subsequent theory-driven changes were made to the DTLI by removing the ‘high performance expectations’ subscale. Further data-driven changes were also made on the basis of high item-factor cross-loadings. The revised version of the DTLI was subjected to confirmatory factor analysis and proved to be a good fit for the obtained data. Consequently, a Differentiated Transformational Leadership Inventory for Youth Sport has been suggested for use within the participation youth sport context that contains 22 items, and retains six subscales.

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Mental Health Literacy Workshop for Youth Sport Coaches: A Mixed-Methods Pilot Study

Breanna J. Drew, Jordan T. Sutcliffe, Sarah K. Liddle, Mark W. Bruner, Colin D. McLaren, Christian Swann, Matthew J. Schweickle, and Stewart A. Vella

Among other responsibilities, youth sport coaches are positioned to monitor and address the mental health needs of their athletes. Despite this, there are limited interventions aimed at improving coaches’ mental health literacy. Using a mixed-methods design, the aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and mental health literacy outcomes associated with a brief (75 min) workshop for youth sport coaches. Fourteen coaches (13 males, one female) completed pre- and postworkshop surveys measuring indices of mental health literacy, and 10 of these same participants engaged in a semistructured interview 1-month later. Overall, coaches who participated in the pilot workshop reported significant improvements in depression literacy, intentions to seek self-help for oneself and their athletes, and knowledge and confidence to provide help. In addition, coaches reported positive impressions of the workshop during the follow-up interviews and provided concrete examples of program content application. An important suggestion made by coaches was the need to align the workshop content to governing policy. Taken together, this pilot mental health literacy workshop for youth sport coaches shows strong promise and is ready for large-scale dissemination.

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Defining Physical Literacy for Application in Australia: A Modified Delphi Method

Richard J. Keegan, Lisa M. Barnett, Dean A. Dudley, Richard D. Telford, David R. Lubans, Anna S. Bryant, William M. Roberts, Philip J. Morgan, Natasha K. Schranz, Juanita R. Weissensteiner, Stewart A. Vella, Jo Salmon, Jenny Ziviani, Anthony D. Okely, Nalda Wainwright, and John R. Evans

Purpose: The development of a physical literacy definition and standards framework suitable for implementation in Australia. Method: Modified Delphi methodology. Results: Consensus was established on four defining statements: Core—Physical literacy is lifelong holistic learning acquired and applied in movement and physical activity contexts; Composition—Physical literacy reflects ongoing changes integrating physical, psychological, cognitive, and social capabilities; Importance—Physical literacy is vital in helping us lead healthy and fulfilling lives through movement and physical activity; and Aspiration—A physically literate person is able to draw on his/her integrated physical, psychological, cognitive, and social capacities to support health promoting and fulfilling movement and physical activity, relative to the situation and context, throughout the lifespan. The standards framework addressed four learning domains (physical, psychological, cognitive, and social), spanning five learning configurations/levels. Conclusion: The development of a bespoke program for a new context has important implications for both existing and future programs.

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Guidelines for the Selection of Physical Literacy Measures in Physical Education in Australia

Lisa M. Barnett, Dean A. Dudley, Richard D. Telford, David R. Lubans, Anna S. Bryant, William M. Roberts, Philip J. Morgan, Natasha K. Schranz, Juanita R. Weissensteiner, Stewart A. Vella, Jo Salmon, Jenny Ziviani, Anthony D. Okely, Nalda Wainwright, John R. Evans, and Richard J. Keegan

Assessment of physical literacy poses a dilemma of what instrument to use. There is currently no guide regarding the suitability of common assessment approaches. The purpose of this brief communication is to provide a user’s guide for selecting physical literacy assessment instruments appropriate for use in school physical education and sport settings. Although recommendations regarding specific instruments are not provided, the guide offers information about key attributes and considerations for the use. A decision flow chart has been developed to assist teachers and affiliated school practitioners to select appropriate methods of assessing physical literacy. School physical education and sport scenarios are presented to illustrate this process. It is important that practitioners are empowered to select the most appropriate instrument/s to suit their needs.