This study examined the extent to which improved collaboration between sport scientists and coaches of high performance athletes might improve knowledge transfer in sport. The research includes a review of the extant literature on collaboration to develop a model of successful collaborative practice. The model is then empirically tested to determine whether such a model can improve our knowledge of the mechanisms for effective knowledge transfer in sport. To accomplish our purpose, we interviewed 38 high performance coaches employed in a variety of university settings and from a variety of sports to determine the factors that inhibit and facilitate, knowledge transfer. The model was used to guide the data analysis. The results showed that 14 of the coaches interviewed were involved in collaborative relationships with sport scientists and the factors in the model did help to explain why some coaches collaborate while other coaches may not. Factors such as different types of motivation, the personal characteristics of the coach and the structural characteristics within which the coach operates seemed to influence the extent of the collaboration between the sport scientist and the coach and ultimately the effective transfer of sport science knowledge. Sport organizations can apply these findings to improve the effectiveness of knowledge transfer to coaches of high performance athletes.
Ian Reade and Wendy Rodgers
This study asked a group of coaches about the major challenges they encounter in their coaching experience. The study was conducted with a group that had recently completed an introductory coaching course, but they had widely varied coaching experience, and coached male and female athletes in a variety of sports at multiple levels. We were interested in the extent to which the challenges were specific to the coaches’ context, or varied according to the age, education or experience of the coach. Our results showed that coaches face multiple challenges, but dealing with parents was commonly cited as the most challenging in all contexts, indicating that a generic coach education program on this topic could be effective. Other challenges tended to be associated with specific contexts and generic coach education programs may not be able to effectively prepare coaches for those challenges.
Wendy M. Rodgers, Camilla J. Knight, Anne-Marie Selzler, Ian L. Reade, and Gregory F. Ryan
The purposes of this study were to, (a) assess motivational experiences of performance enhancement tasks (PET) and administrative tasks (AT), and; (b) examine the relationships of emergent motivational experiences of each task type to coaches’ perceived stress and intentions to continue coaching. In total, 572 coaches completed an online survey, which assessed autonomy, competence, relatedness, and other characteristics of PET and AT, intentions to continue coaching, and perceived stress. Two separate exploratory factor analyses (EFA) were conducted, one for AT and one for PET. This was followed up with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and SEM to examine relationships between emerging factors and stress and intentions. The factors generated for PET reflected ideas of autonomy, time conflict, and satisfaction, and for AT also included competence, effort, and job requirements. The resulting experiences of AT and PET appear to have different influences on stress and intentions, suggesting their distinction will be important in future work examining coach retention.