The complex process of sport coaching is a dynamic and evolving practice that develops over a long period of time. As such, a useful constructivist perspective on lifelong learning is Jarvis’ (2006, 2009) theory of human learning. According to Jarvis, how people learn is at the core of understanding how we can best support educational development. The purpose of the current study is to explore the lifelong learning of one parasport coach who stood out in his feld, and how his coaching practice evolved and developed throughout his life. A thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was used to extract themes and examples from three two-hour interviews as well as interviews with key collaborators in his coaching network. The findings reveal a coach whose coaching practice is founded on pragmatic problem solving in the face of a lack in resources; an investment in formal and nonformal adapted activity education at the start of his parasport career; and observation, communication, and relationship-building with his athletes and the parasport community. Suggestions are provided for coach developers on how they might invest resources and create learning opportunities for coaches of athletes with a disability.
Shaunna L. Taylor, Penny Werthner and Diane Culver
Diane M. Culver, Penny Werthner and Pierre Trudel
The Canadian National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) redesigned its coaching education programmes to utilise a learner-centred, problem-based approach. The purpose of this paper is to document the design, delivery, and subjective assessment of this large-scale coach education programme through the perspectives of the different actors, with a special focus on the coach developers (CDs) as an essential and important group within the coach education system. A constructivist view of learning, supported by the work of Jennifer Moon on the impact of short courses and workshops, guided this work. Part 1 of the results provides an overview of the studies conducted on the revised NCCP. Part 2 examines the perspectives of 26 CDs concerning their training and experiences delivering the redesigned NCCP. Conclusions include the importance of considering the cognitive structures of the CDs and coach learners; issues related to covering the module content versus addressing coaches’ learning needs; ensuring adequate time for questions and reflection to enable deep learning; specific training for CDs to support post-workshop learning; and the importance of taking a systems approach to coach development that considers all the actors involved in a national programme being delivered at the provincial/territorial or sport organisational level.
Rachael Bertram, Diane M. Culver and Wade Gilbert
Coach education researchers have suggested that coaches require ongoing support for their continued learning and development after initial certification. Communities of practice have been used in a variety of settings, and have been identified as an effective means for supporting coach learning and development. However, researchers have yet to fully explore the value that can be created through participating in them within sport settings. The purpose of this study was to collaboratively design, implement, and assess the value created within a coach community of practice, using Wenger, Trayner, and De Laat’s (2011) Value Creation Framework. Participants included five youth sport coaches from a soccer organization. Data collection included observations and reflections from the first author throughout the study, two individual interviews with each coach, and interactions via an online discussion platform. The findings revealed that the coaches created value within each of the five cycles of value creation in Wenger and colleagues’ framework, and that they created value that was personally relevant to their immediate coaching needs. The coaches’ learning led to an increase in perceived coaching abilities.
Diane M. Culver, Wade Gilbert and Andrew Sparkes
A follow-up of the 1990s review of qualitative research articles published in three North American sport psychology journals (Culver, Gilbert, & Trudel, 2003) was conducted for the years 2000–2009. Of the 1,324 articles published, 631 were data-based and 183 of these used qualitative data collection techniques; an increase from 17.3% for the 1990s to 29.0% for this last decade. Of these, 31.1% employed mixed methods compared with 38.1% in the 1990s. Interviews were used in 143 of the 183 qualitative studies and reliability test reporting increased from 45.2% to 82.2%. Authors using exclusively quotations to present their results doubled from 17.9% to 39.9%. Only 13.7% of the authors took an epistemological stance, while 26.2% stated their methodological approach. We conclude that positivist/postpositivist approaches appear to maintain a predominant position in sport psychology research. Awareness of the importance of being clear about epistemology and methodology should be a goal for all researchers.
Diane M. Culver, Erin Kraft, Cari Din and Isabelle Cayer
This best practice paper describes a Canadian intervention to address the lack of women in sport coaching and leadership roles. While the number of female athletes has increased over the last decades, the opposite is true of female head coaches, both nationally and internationally. The issues influencing this trend are mostly institutional and societal. There is a lack of support systems in place for females attempting to become involved (recruitment) and maintain their involvement (retention) in coaching. The Alberta Women in Sport Leadership Impact Program (AWiSL) takes a community of practice approach to increase gender equity and leadership diversity in Alberta sport organizations. The AWiSL began in October 2017 and continues until early 2020. There are currently 6 mentors and 12 sport leaders from Alberta sport organizations, who engage in monthly meetings to learn and participate in the co-creation of knowledge to meet the project outcomes, which include the planning and implementation of initiatives for their individual sport organizations, all in the service of supporting gender equity. Descriptions of specific activities thus far are presented as well as information about the how to of conducting such an intervention. Various challenges and lessons are discussed. The description of the AWiSL and ongoing program evaluation aims to support other organizations seeking an example of an initiative to create equitable coaching and leadership opportunities, and to create change.
Bettina Callary, Diane Culver, Penny Werthner and John Bales
High quality education programs across the globe could help coaching move forward as a profession. Although there have been suggestions to improve sports coaching education programs by integrating theory and practice through alternative learning approaches such as mentoring and critical refection (Armour, 2010; Cushion, Armour, & Jones, 2003), it is unclear whether such approaches have been implemented in coach education programs and how different countries are educating their coaches. The purpose of this paper is to describe how seven high performance coach education programs are educating coaches and to what extent they are employing alternative learning approaches. The goals, curricula, and pedagogical approaches are described and implications for the professionalization of coaching are discussed.
Diana Deek, Penny Werthner, Kyle J. Paquette and Diane Culver
This study examines the impact of a coach education program on coach learning and perceived changes to coaching practices, while situating this episodic learning experience within a lifelong-learning perspective. Three sets of in-depth interviews were conducted with 10 coaches taking part in one of three competition-development modules within Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program (Coaching and Leading Effectively, Managing Conflict, and Psychology of Performance). It was found that (a) the coaches’ biographies varied widely, (b) all of the coaches reported learning from the modules, (c) eight of ten coaches reported a change in their coaching practices as a result of participation in one of the modules, and (d) the coaches credited a combination of mediated, unmediated, and internal learning situations for their learning before and after the modules. These findings suggest that a large-scale coach education program can have an impact on coaches when the program takes a lifelong-learning perspective and integrates constructivist principles into its design and delivery.
Diane M. Culver, Wade D. Gilbert and Pierre Trudel
Part of the on-going dialogue on qualitative research in sport and exercise psychology, this review portrays the qualitative articles published in three sport psychology journals and examines how qualitative research can deepen our knowledge in applied sport psychology. Eighty-four of the 485 research articles published in these journals used a qualitative data collection technique. The interview was used in 67 studies. Peer review and reliability tests were often used for establishing trustworthiness. Member checking was mostly limited to participant verification of interview transcripts. Results were usually presented using both words and numbers. Selected studies are discussed in relation to applied sport psychology knowledge. Published qualitative articles suggest a conservative effort by sport psychology researchers to include the qualitative approach as a legitimate way to do research.