Winning a national championship is a rare feat; winning five consecutive championships is extraordinary. One such example has recently occurred with the University of Windsor women’s basketball team which competes in the Canadian interuniversity sports league. The team’s head coach, Chantal Vallée, has a combined regular season and playoff winning percentage greater than 80%, including winning five consecutive Canadian national championships. Even more astounding is that before her appointment the school had only four winning seasons in their 50-year history, and had never hosted a playoff game. The purpose of this paper is to explain the remarkable turnaround of this program. This article will provide both the “what” (Enacting The Vision; Athlete Empowerment; Teaching Life Skills; Lifelong Learning and Personal Reflection) and the “how” (blueprint) of the transformation of the University of Windsor women’s basketball into a perennial national contender.
Chantal N. Vallée and Gordon A. Bloom
Gordon A. Bloom and Michael D. Smith
Cultural spillover theory holds that the more a society tends to legitimate the use of violence to attain ends for which there is widespread social approval, the greater the likelihood of illegitimate violence. This study was a test of cultural spillover theory as it applies to hockey violence. Based on data from a representative sample survey of Toronto hockey players and a comparison group of nonplayers, we tested the proposition that violence in hockey “spills over” into violence in other social settings. The results offer support for a cultural spillover explanation of hockey violence. Older players in highly competitive select-leagues were more likely to approve of violence and to act violently in other social settings than were younger select-league players, house-league players, and nonplayers of all ages.
Helena Seymour, Greg Reid and Gordon A. Bloom
Social interaction and development of friendships between children with and without a disability are often proposed as potential outcomes of inclusive education. Physical activity specialists assert that exercise and sport environments may be conducive to social and friendship outcomes. This study investigated friendship in inclusive physical education from the perspective of students with (n = 8) and without (n = 8) physical disabilities. All participants attended a reversely integrated school and were interviewed using a semistructured, open-ended format. An adapted version of Weiss, Smith, and Theeboom’s (1996) interview guide exploring perceptions of peer relationships in the sport domain was used. Four conceptual categories emerged from the analysis: development of friendship, best friend, preferred physical activities and outcomes, and dealing with disability. The results demonstrated the key characteristics of best friends and the influential role they play.
Matthew A. Grant, Gordon A. Bloom and Jordan S. Lefebvre
The purpose of this study was to examine mentor and mentee perceptions of the viability of a pilot e-mentoring programme for U.S. lacrosse (USL) coaches. Twelve mentees and 12 mentors were paired into dyads, met at a national coaching convention, and were directed to continue their mentoring relationship for up to 6 months via an online platform. Semistructured postprogramme interviews were conducted with four mentors and six mentees at the conclusion of the mentoring relationships. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed via thematic analysis. Results showed that mentors and mentees experienced many of the benefits, barriers, and advantages found in traditional mentoring and e-mentoring relationships. Of interest were three key findings in which trust and respect was quickly experienced by participants, equity within the relationship created collegiality, and technology barriers limited effective teaching methods. Based on the results, practical implications for e-mentoring programmes are presented.
David A. Urquhart, Gordon A. Bloom and Todd M. Loughead
The purpose of this study was to explore the development, articulation, and implementation of a coaching vision and how this created and sustained a culture of excellence. Six multiple championship–winning men’s university ice hockey head coaches were interviewed. Their combined experience consisted of 20 national titles and over 4,100 wins at the university level. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. The results indicated that these coaches established a vision that could be separated into three phases: development, articulation, and implementation. Notably, development included the life experiences, personal characteristics, and habits that assisted the development of the coaches’ vision, including apprenticing as an assistant coach. Articulation and implementation involved clearly communicating their vision to athletes, coaches, and personnel who then enacted the vision. Overall, these findings contribute to a better understanding of how championship-winning coaches organize, teach, and articulate their goals through their coaching vision.
Tamara L. Wickwire, Gordon A. Bloom and Todd M. Loughead
The purpose of this study was to examine elite same-sex dyadic sport teams. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with elite beach volleyball athletes. The results of the analysis revealed three higher-order categories: (a) sport environment, which included elements related to participation in beach volleyball such as challenges and comparisons between partnerships and other sports; (b) dyad structure and composition, which included individual and relationship elements that created a sense of balance in the partnership; and (c) dyadic interaction process, which focused on developing communication and cohesion in the partnership and working toward an ideal state where interaction was efficient and effective. The results of the study extend group dynamics literature by studying the dyad as a separate group entity and by revealing information specific to this group of athletes.
Matt D. Hoffmann, Todd M. Loughead and Gordon A. Bloom
The general objective of the current study was to explore the experiences of elite level athletes who reported being peer mentored by other athletes during their sporting careers. The primary purpose was to identify the mentoring functions provided by athlete mentors, while the secondary purpose was to examine the outcomes related to peer mentored athletes’ (i.e., protégés) mentoring experiences. Individual interviews were conducted with 14 elite peer mentored athletes, and the data were analyzed using a hierarchical content analysis. The results indicated that athlete mentors provided a variety of specific functions that facilitated protégés’ progression through sport and development from a personal standpoint. The findings also showed that protégés benefitted in terms of enhanced performance and confidence, and also demonstrated a willingness to provide mentorship to their peers. In sum, the results of the current study may be used to enhance the effectiveness of peer mentoring relationships between athletes.
Pierre Lepage, Gordon A. Bloom and William R. Falcão
The purpose of this study was to understand the learning experiences and acquisition of knowledge of youth parasport coaches. Five able-bodied male participants (M = 39 years old), who coached youth with a physical disability for an average of 7.4 years, participated in individual interviews. An inductive thematic analysis identified patterns within and across the data, allowing for description and interpretation of the meaning and importance of the themes. The results showed that coaches learned mostly from informal experiences, particularly through mentoring, trial and error, or use of technology. In addition, these learning opportunities were influenced by personal, environmental, and social factors. These findings can help to guide current and future generations of coaches of youth participants with a physical disability by highlighting available resources and addressing several barriers and facilitators to their learning.
Scott Rathwell, Gordon A. Bloom and Todd M. Loughead
The purpose of the study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the characteristics head coaches looked for when hiring their head assistant coach, the main roles and responsibilities assigned to assistants, and the techniques and behaviors used to develop them. Data were obtained through interviews with six accomplished Canadian University head football coaches. Results indicated head coaches hired loyal assistants who possessed extensive football knowledge that complimented their own skill sets. Once hired, head coaches had their assistant coaches help them with recruiting, managing a major team unit, and developing athletes. They helped advance their assistants’ careers through personal mentorships which included exposure to external sources of knowledge such as football camps and coaching conferences. These results represent one of the first empirical accounts of head coaches’ perceptions on hiring and developing head assistant coaches.
William R. Falcão, Gordon A. Bloom and Todd M. Loughead
The purpose of this study was to investigate Paralympic coaches’ perceptions of team cohesion. Seven head coaches of summer and winter Canadian Paralympic sport teams participated in the study. Four participants coached individual sports and 3 coached team sports. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and analyzed using thematic analysis. The results addressed the coaches’ perceptions of cohesion in the Paralympic sport setting and strategies used to foster cohesion with their teams. Participants described using techniques and strategies for enhancing cohesion that were similar to those in nondisability sport, such as task-related activities, goal setting, and regularly communicating with their athletes. They also listed how cohesion was distinct to the Paralympic setting, such as the importance of interpersonal activities to build social cohesion. The implications of these results for coaching athletes with a disability are also presented.