Inspired by the #MeToo movement, women worldwide are coming forward to publicly share their accounts of sexual violence. These harmful experiences have been reported in a range of domains, including sport. As such, providing safe sport experiences for athletes is at the forefront of current discussions for all stakeholders in the sport environment, particularly coaches. Thus, the purpose of this research was to explore coaches’ perspectives of the #MeToo movement in sport and its influence on coaches’ practices and relationships with athletes. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 12 Canadian coaches, including male (n = 7) and female coaches (n = 5) from a variety of sports and competition environments. The study highlights that coaches expressed strong support for the #MeToo movement, while also noting an associated fear of false accusation. Coaches reflected on how the movement has impacted their coaching practices and relations with athletes and expressed a desire for greater professional development in this area. Implications include a need for greater coach education on safe touch, appropriate boundaries in the coach–athlete relationship, and clarifications regarding the process of investigating athletes’ accusations of sexual violence in order to alleviate coaches’ fears of being falsely accused.
Alexia Tam, Gretchen Kerr, and Ashley Stirling
Joseph J. Gurgis, Gretchen A. Kerr, and Ashley E. Stirling
Despite a significant number of coaches pursuing formal coach training through the National Coaching Certification Program in Canada each year, very few complete the entire certification process. The purpose of this study was to investigate the barriers and facilitators that influence Canadian coaches’ decisions to acquire coaching certification. A mixed-methods convergent parallel design was employed to address the research question. The participants included 1,518 certified and noncertified coaches across Canada who completed an online questionnaire identifying the barriers and facilitators to pursuing coaching certification; of this sample, 38 coaches participated in a follow-up telephone interview. Using the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, the findings suggest that most coaches reside in the precontemplation stage, in which they believe in and are thinking about certification, but have yet to engage in preparation. The barriers to pursuing certification included time, cost, tediousness of the process, and inaccessible evaluators, whereas the facilitators included enhanced knowledge and skills and improved coaching reputation. Future directions for increasing participation rates in the certification process include clearly identifying and broadly disseminating the benefits of acquiring certification, clarifying the criteria for evaluation, streamlining the certification process and incorporating online models, enhancing accessibility of evaluators, and incentivizing and rewarding certification.
Gretchen Kerr, Anthony Battaglia, Ashley Stirling, and Ahad Bandealy
The negative consequences associated with punishment, highlighted by researchers in the parenting and education domains, have stimulated a shift toward more developmentally appropriate methods of behavior modification. Despite the reported negative outcomes linked with punishment use, preliminary research in sport indicates that punishment, specifically in the form of exercise, remains a common strategy in this domain. The purpose of this study therefore was to explore interuniversity coaches’ perspectives on the use of exercise as punishment. Semistructured interviews with eight interuniversity coaches (four males and four females) were conducted. Data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Participant accounts revealed that exercise as punishment was implemented frequently in a variety of forms (e.g., push-ups and sprints). Perceived benefits for the use of exercise as punishment, such as performance motivation and team cohesion, as well as suggested alternative methods of behavioral modification were also reported. Findings are interpreted in accordance with punishment, shaming, and coach education research. Recommendations for future research and practice are suggested.