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.
Four Keys to Building a Championship Culture
Chantal N. Vallée and Gordon A. Bloom
Hockey Violence: A Test of Cultural Spillover Theory
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.
Wheelchair Basketball Athletes’ Perceptions of the Coach–Athlete Relationship
Lara Pomerleau-Fontaine, Gordon A. Bloom, and Danielle Alexander
The majority of research on the coach–athlete relationship has been explored from the perspective of able-bodied athletes. The purpose of this study was to explore wheelchair basketball athletes’ perceptions of the coach–athlete relationship. Timelining and semistructured interviews were conducted with six wheelchair basketball athletes, and data were analyzed using a reflexive thematic analysis. Athletes highlighted the important role that parasport coaches played in fostering an enjoyable wheelchair basketball environment and valued coaches who displayed expertise regarding their athletes’ equipment and had personal parasport athletic experiences. Additionally, athletes identified personal preferences, including coaches who addressed sex differences and maintained professional relationships at the national level as contributing factors to the coach–athlete relationship. The current results benefit both parasport coaches and athletes by providing a portrayal of coaching behaviors, characteristics, and expertise that not only influence the parasport coach–athlete dyad but also affect the well-being and athletic development of parasport athletes.
Friendship in Inclusive Physical Education
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.
The Development, Articulation, and Implementation of a Coaching Vision of Multiple Championship–Winning University Ice Hockey Coaches
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.
Lessons Learned: Coaches’ Perceptions of a Pilot E-Mentoring Programme
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.
A Scoping Review of Mixed Methods Research About Physical Activity for Children With Disabilities
Mathieu Michaud, William J. Harvey, and Gordon A. Bloom
The purpose of this scoping review was to examine how mixed methods research (MMR) has been applied in adapted physical activity (APA) research about children and adolescents age 5–18 years with a disability. Six electronic databases were searched to retrieve relevant studies published between 2003 and 2020. Sixty-four studies were identified and analyzed. The findings were organized into five categories of interest: publication information, study objectives, mixed methods research design, participants’ information, and data integration. Challenges related to the design and publication of MMR in APA were uncovered, and suggestions for improvement are provided. This study adds to the knowledge of MMR design, and it provides an understanding of the underlying processes and methodological strategies that have guided this approach in APA research. This article will encourage APA researchers to engage in MMR while also aligning future studies with contemporary MMR literature and publication standards.
Coaches’ Perceptions of Team Cohesion in Paralympic Sports
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.
Coaches’ Use of Positive Tactile Communication in Collegiate Basketball
Inge Milius, Wade D. Gilbert, Danielle Alexander, and Gordon A. Bloom
There is a growing body of research on positive tactile communication and its impact on athlete performance and team dynamics. The purpose of the present study was to examine the profile and perceived impact of positive tactile communication as a coaching strategy in a high-performance team sport setting. Participants were members of a successful American collegiate women’s basketball team comprising the head coach, associate head coach, and 16 student-athletes. Methods of data collection included systematic observation and focus groups. Positive tactile communication was perceived to be an effective coaching strategy for enhancing relationships and athlete performance. To our knowledge, this is the first study to include both quantitative and qualitative data from multiple coaches on the same team, as well as athlete perceptions of coaches’ strategic use of positive tactile communication.
Coaches’ Experiences Learning and Applying the Content of a Humanistic Coaching Workshop in Youth Sport Settings
William R. Falcão, Gordon A. Bloom, and Andrew Bennie
The purpose of this study was to develop and deliver a humanistic coaching workshop, as well as investigate coaches’ perceptions of this workshop and their experiences using humanistic coaching. Participants were 12 coaches of grade 7–11 basketball teams from schools in low socioeconomic communities in a major Canadian city. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and personal journals. An inductive thematic analysis revealed coaches perceived the workshop to be effective in teaching the humanistic principles and how to apply them in youth sport settings. The perceived strengths of the workshop included the group discussions, use of videos, practical coaching examples, and learning about the findings from empirical studies. The participants applied the humanistic principles with their teams by asking questions that guided athlete learning and by requesting feedback about various individual and team matters. Despite facing challenges such as increased time and effort to implement humanistic coaching principles, the participants reported positive outcomes in their athletes related to autonomy, communication, motivation, and willingness to help teammates. These results are discussed using literature on youth sport coaching, knowledge translation, and youth development through sport. Findings from this study can be used to enhance youth sport coach training protocols.