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Go to the Source: High School Athletic Directors and Coaching Education

Karen Collins and Russell Medbery

The coach-athlete relationship is an important determinant in creating a healthy sport environment. Educating coaches is a critical component of cultivating a positive coach-athlete relationship. It is through systematic coaching education programs that positive coaching skills are learned (Smith & Smoll, 1997). It is equally important to accurately assess current needs and demands of state high school coaching education programs. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to systematically assess the current state of coaching education. This needs assessment included descriptions of athletic departments, funding, quality, type, and content of coaching education programs, as well as the level of satisfaction with the current coaching education delivery system. The needs assessment was conducted via a survey that was mailed to every athletic director in the state of New Hampshire. There was a 49% (n = 46) return rate after two follow-up reminders. Results were organized in four categories: financial overview, sport organizational structure, coaching education requirements, and coaching education curriculum content. Overall, results indicated: a clear need to re-evaluate the New Hampshire state requirements for coaching education; how the requirements are met; the content of state coaching education,; and how coaching education is supported financially.