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Conducting Impactful Coaching Science Research: The Forgotten Role of Knowledge Integration and Dissemination

Dan Gould

This review discusses the need for and importance of knowledge integration and dissemination in coaching science. It is argued that researchers are not paying enough attention to knowledge integration and dissemination. Scientists can better conduct coaching research of high impact by carrying out practitioner needs assessments, relating findings of a specific study to a larger take home message so that the value of science is better seen when debriefing participants, educating future coaching science researchers as to how to write for practical audiences, considering practitioner characteristics and context constraints when designing studies, considering practical outlets for research when designing studies, and realizing that dissemination is not easy—it takes considerable time and repeated efforts to occur. Finally, dissemination and translational science models are offered as tools to assist those who are interested in conducting and disseminating research aimed at making a practical difference in sport and coaching settings.

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A Qualitative Analysis of Catastrophic Performances and the Associated Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions

Tara Edwards, Lew Hardy, Kieran Kingston, and Dan Gould

Structured in-depth interviews explored the catastrophic experiences of eight elite performers. Participants responded to questions concerning an event in which they felt they had experienced an uncharacteristic but very noticeable drop in their performance, a “performance catastrophe.” Inductive and deductive analyses were employed to provide a clear representation of the data. This paper reports on how the dimensions emerging from the hierarchical content analysis changed from prior to the catastrophic drop in performance, during the drop, and after the drop (in terms of any recovery). Two emerging higher order dimensions, “sudden, substantial drop in performance” and “performance continued to deteriorate” provide support for one of the fundamental underpinnings of the catastrophe model (Hardy, 1990, 1996a, 1996b); that is, performance decrements do not follow a smooth and continuous path. The paper examines the implications of the findings with respect to applied practice and future research.

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A Framework for Developing Contextual Intelligence (CI)

Charles H. Brown, Dan Gould, and Sandra Foster

This article reviews the emerging concept of Contextual Intelligence (CI) and its relevance to sport psychology. Interviews with expert performance consultants suggest that CI is a key factor in successful consultations. Although CI has often been considered a tacit process learned indirectly through experience, systems theory and institutional research offer models for assessing organizations and developing contextual “maps.” By having a framework and language for assessing context, sport psychologists can more effectively develop contextually intelligent and culturally appropriate interventions. The authors offer a framework for assessing context and developing contextual “maps.” Specific guidelines and principles for designing contextually intelligent interventions are provided.

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Understanding the Experience of High School Sport Captains

Dana K. Voelker, Dan Gould, and Michael J. Crawford

The purpose of this study was to gain a thorough understanding of the high school sport captaincy experience. Thirteen university freshmen (7 males, 6 females) who were high school sport captains the previous year participated in 60—90 min semistructured interviews. Hierarchical content analysis of the data revealed that the majority of participants believed that their captainship experience was positive, but also cited difficult aspects such as having responsibility/being held accountable, being scrutinized/meeting expectations, and staying neutral in conflict situations. The majority of captains also reported receiving little to no training from coaches for their captaincy role and indicated that they learned to lead largely from previous life experiences, such as by observing significant others and learning through trial and error. Results on perceived roles and duties, perceived effectiveness, attitudes toward formal leadership training, and recommendations for future captains are also provided. Implications for designing youth sport leadership development interventions and advancing research on youth leadership are discussed.