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Psychological and Social Needs: Athletes’ and Mental Performance Consultants’ Perspectives on a Gap in Concussion Protocols

Cassandra M. Seguin and Diane M. Culver

While research advancements have substantially improved concussion management efforts, consideration for the psychological and social aspects of concussive injuries have remained largely absent from concussion protocols. The present study was undertaken to identify elite athletes’ psychological and social needs during the recovery process. Elite athletes with a history of concussion and mental performance consultants who work with concussed elite athletes participated in focus group interviews to shed light on these needs. A thematic analysis of these focus groups revealed six psychological and social needs: acceptance, normality, confidence, self-efficacy, trust in relationships, and social support. These themes are framed within concussion literature to help initiate a conversation on how psychological and social needs should be addressed as part of multifaceted efforts to improve concussion recovery.

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Qualitative Research in Sport Psychology Journals: The Next Decade 2000-2009 and Beyond

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.

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Exploring a Women-Only Training Program for Coach Developers

Erin Kraft, Diane M. Culver, and Cari Din

The following practice paper introduces an innovative women-only training program for coach developers in a Canadian provincial sport organization. The dearth of women in coaching and sport leadership positions informs the program as a whole and the participant perspectives on what is working, in practice, for them specifically in a way that could support future sport leaders interested in increasing gender equity in their sport organizations and leadership skills in their female leaders. The aims of the coach developer program are two-fold: to promote women in leadership and to create a social learning space for women to connect and support each other in their leadership development. The purpose of this practice paper is to discuss the supports that have enabled the facilitation of this program and to explore the value of a women-only training program. Two women (out of a total of 10) participating in the program and two leads facilitating the program were interviewed for their perspectives. The lessons learned touch on the types of value that were created (immediate, potential, and applied) and the specific supports (micro, meso, and macro) that enabled the facilitation of the program. Finally, the authors discuss additional considerations (e.g., consistent buy-in from the organization is needed) with practical insights in the hopes of inspiring other sport organizations to implement similar initiatives for promoting women in leadership and coaching in sport.

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What the Empirical Studies on Sport Coach Education Programs in Higher Education Have to Reveal: A Review

Pierre Trudel, Michel Milestetd, and Diane M. Culver

Facing the increase in the number of publications, often spread across many journals, researchers have developed different approaches to review the literature. In the first part of this article we present the result of an “overview” type of review of literature on sport coach education programs in higher education (HE) between 2000–2018. By sharing the list of the 38 articles found, along with some general characteristics of these, our hope is, as suggested in many reviews of literature, that researchers will use the review to more easily frame their studies and discuss their results. However, there are very few examples of how this is done. We would argue that how researchers use the same review of literature varies depending of their context, research interests, and research paradigm. Therefore, in the second part of the article we highlight what we took from our review of the literature based on our specific research context—Brazilian HE sport coach education programs. The three key topics presented and discussed are: (a) the importance of considering the student-coaches’ biography, (b) how to prepare student-coaches for reflective practice, and (c) the complexity of internships.

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Mapping Canadian Wheelchair Curling Coaches’ Development: A Landscape Metaphor for a Systems Approach

Tiago Duarte, Diane M. Culver, and Kyle Paquette

This study addresses the preintervention phase of a larger project aimed at enhancing the learning capability of the Canadian wheelchair curling coaches’ landscape. To understand the learning leverage features and learning barriers of this landscape, a mapping exercise was conducted. The authors interviewed 16 people, using a semistructured interview guide. The thematic analysis and a landscape metaphor resulted in a map illustrating the main features of the landscape and where the learning potential might be. The findings of this study suggest that geographical isolation, the high costs associated with coach training, and the low number of athletes are all barriers to coaches’ learning. Therefore, with the information gleaned from this phase, an intervention for these coaches should be designed to prioritize meaningful learning opportunities, incorporate influential people noted by coaches, and leverage opportunities at training camps and competitions to mitigate the barriers identified. The landscape view allows for a systems approach that considers the potential of involving the different levels of the sport system to best serve the learning needs of coaches. Rather than focus on individual coach learning, research is needed to better understand how the landscape approach can build learning capability within sport organizations.

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Creating Value in a Sport Coach Community of Practice: A Collaborative Inquiry

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.

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Coach Developers as ‘Facilitators of Learning’ in a Large-Scale Coach Education Programme: One Actor in a Complex System

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.

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Framing a Social Learning Space for Wheelchair Curling

Tiago Duarte, Diane M. Culver, and Kyle Paquette

The purpose of this paper is to delineate how an intervention aimed at increasing the learning capability of Canadian wheelchair curling coaches was framed by a systems convener in collaboration with stakeholders from different levels. Social learning theory, in particular a landscape of practice perspective, provides the conceptual framework. The methodology was collaborative inquiry with people from across the landscape to delineate the intervention strategies through cycles of reflection and action. The participants included parasport coaches, researchers, and Curling Canada technical leaders. Based on preintervention findings, the intervention was driven by (a) the use of technology to overcome barriers and the implementation of learning activities at competitions, (b) the use of a collective learning map to promote meaningful learning, (c) the involvement of the sport organization leadership to promote the participation of influential people, and (d) a reflection of how subpar outcomes occurred when the systems convener failed to engage with the sport organization leadership. The discussion sheds light on the many roles of systems conveners and the importance of promoting strategic and enabling values. Sport organizations should engage a systems convener who can effectively align learning goals with the available resources and the strategic mission of the organization.

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Assessing the Value Created in a Social Learning Space Intervention: Four Vignettes of Parasport Coaches

Tiago Duarte, Diane M. Culver, and Kyle Paquette

In this paper, the authors reflect on the current literature and the evolution of coach communities of practice and how the coach development area has embraced Wenger-Trayner’s social learning theory. Studies examining parasport coach development interventions, specifically those using a landscape of practice approach, are lacking. This paper is the third in a series about increasing learning capability in the wheelchair curling landscape. The authors utilized a collaborative approach to assess the learning value created through a 13-month social learning intervention. Four composite vignettes based on the coaches’ pathways and residency within the landscape were created from the data generated and analyzed using the value creation framework. The vignettes illustrate the many dimensions of learning values experienced by the coaches. This paper advances the literature surrounding social learning theory by providing examples of the novel concept of different dimensions of learning value. Applied implications are included.

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From Center Stage to the Sidelines: What Role Might Previous Athletic Experience Play in Coach Development?

Travis Crickard, Diane M. Culver, and Cassandra M. Seguin

Traditionally, playing experience in sport has been used as a springboard into the coaching profession. Specifically, playing experience has been discussed in research as facilitating the transition into early coaching roles, fast-tracking through coach education programs, and being viewed as a desirable factor in high-performance sport. However, explorations into the intricacies that make this playing experience so valuable have been minimal. Thus, this Insights article is meant to foster discussion within the coach research community regarding the role of playing experience in coaching pathways from a position perspective. This unique area of inquiry may offer insight to those concerned with coach pathways, coach development, and coach education. To promote this discussion, the following article will present some avenues through which previous playing experience could be explored. In addition, the authors will present a study that was conducted with high-performance head ice hockey coaches who formerly played goaltender and offer interesting directions for future research inquiries. Notably, the authors will consider playing experience in connection with career advancement, potential implications for hiring processes, considerations for coach education, and possible barriers to coaching opportunities.