Despite the increased research interest in coach education there has been little consensus on how novice sports coaches should best be educated. For the coach developer this becomes problematic when trying to design quality-learning activities for novice coaches that provide a foundation for current and future learning. While the research available has focused on specific areas of best practice curriculum for coaches (e.g., planning; communication; coach-athlete relationships; leadership), there has been less interest in pedagogical practice of novice coach education. Signature pedagogies have been recognised as characteristic methods of teaching used by disciplines to organize the learning process into common elements to prepare future practitioners for their professional roles. For Shulman signature pedagogies scaffold the discipline’s habits of ‘head’ (content); habits of the ‘hand’ (skills); and habits of ‘heart’ (values). This suggests that deep understanding of the disciplines’ habits is necessary for the development of appropriate signature pedagogies that support novice learning. The purpose of this Insight paper is to explore the current literature for potential signature pedagogies that support novice coach learning and the coach developer in teaching. A reflective conclusion summarises the main points and considers the direction for future research.
Julia Walsh and Fraser Carson
Fraser Carson, Clara McCormack, Paula McGovern, Samara Ralston, and Julia Walsh
This best practice paper reflects on a pilot coach education program designed for women coaching Australian Rules football. Focused on enhancing self-regulation, and underpinned by a growth mindset framework, the “Coach like a Woman” program was delivered to a selected group of female coaches either working in or having been identified with the potential to coach at high-performance levels. This manuscript describes the program content and discusses the key insights identified by the delivery team. Creating a community of practice encouraged the transfer of knowledge and experience between the enrolled coaches, which increased competence and self-confidence. Providing an understanding of behavioral tendencies enhanced positive self-talk and aided self-regulation by the coaches. The delivery of the program and challenges experienced are also discussed. This reflection on the program is provided to assist future developments in coach education.
Fraser Carson, Julia Walsh, Luana C. Main, and Peter Kremer
In the last five years, mental health and wellbeing has attracted greater public, government, and research interest. In sport, athlete mental health and wellbeing has been a focus across all competition levels. The high performance coach responsible for athlete performance, health and wellbeing has not attracted the same attention despite working in an intense high-pressure work environment. Using the Areas of Work Life Model as a theoretical framework, this Insights paper discusses the existing coaching literature to ascertain both contributing factors for promoting positive mental health and wellbeing, and negative influences that increase stress and potential burnout. The six dimensions (workload; control; reward; fairness; community; and values) resonate throughout the coaching literature, but to-date, no study has applied the model to this group. Analysis of the extracted articles indicated that high performance coaches should become more self-aware around how to cope with stress and stressful situations, while sports organisations should invest in both the individual coach and the organisational culture to enhance work engagement. Coaches are performers and should prepare themselves to ensure they can perform at their peak; and managing their own mental health and wellbeing is an important component to this.