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Fernando Santos, Martin Camiré, Dany J. MacDonald, Henrique Campos, Manuel Conceição and Patricia Silva

Positive youth development (PYD) is a framework that has been widely used within sport research to outline sport’s potential as a developmental context. Past research has indicated how coaches play important roles in facilitating PYD through sport and yet, PYD-related material remains largely absent from mainstream coach education courses (CEC). The purpose of the current study was to examine youth sport coaches’ perspective on PYD and its worth in mainstream coach education courses. The participants were twelve Portuguese youth field hockey coaches (one female and eleven males) who coached athletes between four and eighteen years of age. Findings indicated that coaches valued PYD within their coaching philosophy, but were also highly motivated by performance and improving their players’ motor skills. The participants deemed that CEC generally lack PYD-related material, adding that practical strategies informed by the PYD approach should be inherently part of CEC delivery. The findings have practical implications for coach educators, indicating a need and a desire on the part of coaches to have PYD-related content in mainstream CEC.

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Fernando Santos, Martin Camiré, Dany J. MacDonald, Henrique Campos, Manuel Conceição and Ana Silva

Coach education courses can be designed to help youth sport coaches improve their ability to foster positive youth development (PYD). To date, few studies have investigated coaches’ perspectives on their participation in PYD-focused coach education courses, and even less have observed coaches in the act of coaching before, during, and after course delivery to assess the extent to which they are implementing course material. The purpose of the present study was to conduct a process and outcome evaluation of a PYD-focused coach education course that was delivered online. Participants were seven Portuguese youth sport coaches who coached athletes between 10 and 18 years of age. Data were collected through non-participant qualitative observations, field notes, semi-structured interviews, and reflective journals. Process evaluation findings indicated that the coaches felt the course was well structured and appropriately delivered, yet limited in its ability to effect change due to the absence of a practical component. Outcome evaluation findings showed how coaches made efforts to implement the course material in their coaching practice, but their implementation efforts were met with limited success. Overall, the findings suggest that although online coach education courses are of interest to coaches due to their flexibility, they could be supplemented by practical components to enhance coaches’ ability to implement course content.