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  • Author: Tiffanye M. Vargas x
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Tiffanye M. Vargas, Robbi Beyer and Margaret M. Flores

The coach serves an integral role in shaping the youth sport experience. For athletes with hidden disabilities (HD), participation in sports may be a negative experience because their coach may misperceive or misunderstand their behaviors. This can lead to attrition, and the resultant loss of opportunity to gain the many benefits sports can offer. However, there are research validated strategies that can help coaches more effectively teach and work with athletes within the educational realm that has yet to be implemented within coaching education. These strategies fall under a framework called Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is a proactive approach in which coaches anticipate diversity and plan accessible activities. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to review the recent research on coaching athletes with HD, and to provide practical tips for coaching not only athletes with HD, but rather ALL athletes, in the most effective way using Universal Design for Learning.

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Tiffanye M. Vargas-Tonsing, Nicholas D. Myers and Deborah L. Feltz

Previous research has offered insight into coaches’ perceptions of various efficacy-enhancing techniques but not athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ techniques. The purpose of the present research was to compare coaches’ and athletes’ perceptions of efficacy enhancing techniques. Male (n = 29) and female (n = 49) baseball, basketball, softball, and soccer coaches and teams were surveyed from Division II and III collegiate programs. Results found that the strategies that coaches perceived they used most, as well as were the most effective, were instruction-drilling, acting confident themselves, and encouraging positive talk. Athletes had similar perceptions to their coaches regarding coaches’ use and effectiveness of efficacy techniques. However, closer examination revealed coaches’ and athletes’ mean perceptions of these techniques to vary among levels of congruence and incongruence. Exploratory analyses were also conducted on coaches’ and athletes’ perceptions by gender.