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Matt Hoffmann, Todd Loughead and Jeffrey Caron

Using a qualitative case-study design, the purpose of the present study was to explore the experiences of a former exemplary peer athlete mentor (i.e., Nick [a pseudonym]). Data from 3 interviews (totaling 4 hr, 50 min) with Nick were analyzed using thematic narrative analysis. Nick indicated that mentoring played a key role in an athlete’s ability to rise to elite sport. He noted that he was motivated to mentor his protégés for their benefit but also for the shared gains associated with mentorship—the latter of which suggested he was involved in relational mentoring relationships. He further described having an unwavering belief in his protégés and a deep allegiance to them. Finally, Nick shared his views on the complexity of the “mentoring identity” that he had, to some extent, adopted. The findings provide novel insights into why, and to some degree how, athletes may serve as peer mentors.

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Vladislav A. Bespomoshchnov and Jeffrey G. Caron

Anatoly Tarasov was the architect of the Russian ice hockey system—one of the most storied program’s in the history of International ice hockey. As a head coach, he led his team to 3 Olympic gold medals, 9 World Championships, and 18 National Championships. He was also the first European inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Canada. Given all that he accomplished, it is surprising that relatively little is known about Tarasov outside of Russia. The purpose of this paper is to introduce coach Tarasov and, through an analysis of his own writings and what others have written about him, shed some light on his coaching methods that we believe comprise his coaching philosophy. As we will demonstrate, Tarasov’s coaching methods, which would have been viewed as unusual at the time—particularly by ice hockey coaches in North America—are now widely supported in the coaching science literature and practiced by some of the world’s most regarded coaches. Rooted in Tarasov’s coaching methods, we also provide a number of “best practices” for ice hockey coaches, which we believe might also be applicable to coaches working in other contexts.

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Jeffrey G. Caron, Gordon A. Bloom and Andrew Bennie

There is a need to improve concussion education and prevention efforts for youth athletes and those responsible for their care. The purpose of this study was to understand Canadian high school coaches’ insights and perceptions of concussions. Using a case study design, eight high school coaches were interviewed and the data were analysed using a hierarchical content analysis. Findings indicated that participants primarily acquired information about concussions through their own experiences as athletes and parents, and from reports in the sports media. The coaches’ felt their role with concussions was to teach athletes safety techniques during practices and competitions and to encourage them to accurately report their concussion symptoms. In addition, participants forwarded a number of recommendations to improve the dissemination of information to coaches. Results from this study will add to a limited body of concussion research with youth sport coaches. Participants’ insights provide researchers and clinicians with information about coaches’ perceived role with sport-related concussions.

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Jeffrey G. Caron, Gordon A. Bloom, Karen M. Johnston and Catherine M. Sabiston

The purpose of this study was to understand the meanings and lived experiences of multiple concussions in professional hockey players using hermeneutic, idiographic, and inductive approaches within an interpretative phenomenological analysis. The interviewer was an athlete who had suffered multiple concussions, and the interviewees were five former National Hockey League athletes who had retired due to medically diagnosed concussions suffered during their careers. The men discussed the physical and psychological symptoms they experienced as a result of their concussions and how the symptoms affected their professional careers, personal relationships, and quality of life. The former professional athletes related these symptoms to the turmoil that is ever present in their lives. These findings are of interest to athletes, coaches, sport administrators, family members, sport psychology practitioners, and medical professionals, as they highlight the severity of short- and long-term effects of concussions.

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Andrew Bennie, Nicholas Apoifis, Jeffrey Caron, William Falcão, Demelza Marlin, Enrique García Bengoechea, Koon Teck Koh, Freya Macmillan and Emma George

Research in coaching science continues to grow and as such, there is a need for rigorous tools to help make sense of the rapidly expanding literature. The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed description of a systematic review methodology that can be used to summarise literature in coaching science. To do so, we present a test case of a systematic review we conducted on the sport coaching experiences of global Indigenous populations. More precisely, we conducted a systematic review of English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, and Portuguese peer-reviewed journal articles, spanning twelve databases (e.g., Sport Discus, ERIC, and Scopus) from 1970 to 2014. ENTREQ and COREQ guidelines were followed to report the results of the systematic review, and Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory was used as a theoretical framework to extract and synthesise relevant findings from the included articles. In sum, this paper presents a robust methodology for systematically reviewing research in coaching science and provides practical insights for those who endeavour to conduct rigorous literature searches in this domain.