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Karen Collins and Russell Medbery

The coach-athlete relationship is an important determinant in creating a healthy sport environment. Educating coaches is a critical component of cultivating a positive coach-athlete relationship. It is through systematic coaching education programs that positive coaching skills are learned (Smith & Smoll, 1997). It is equally important to accurately assess current needs and demands of state high school coaching education programs. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to systematically assess the current state of coaching education. This needs assessment included descriptions of athletic departments, funding, quality, type, and content of coaching education programs, as well as the level of satisfaction with the current coaching education delivery system. The needs assessment was conducted via a survey that was mailed to every athletic director in the state of New Hampshire. There was a 49% (n = 46) return rate after two follow-up reminders. Results were organized in four categories: financial overview, sport organizational structure, coaching education requirements, and coaching education curriculum content. Overall, results indicated: a clear need to re-evaluate the New Hampshire state requirements for coaching education; how the requirements are met; the content of state coaching education,; and how coaching education is supported financially.

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Christy Greenleaf and Karen Collins

This paper presents our experiences, thoughts, and struggles in working toward understanding, embracing, and implementing feminist perspectives in our scholarship and practice. Mentors, through their encouragement, guidance, and support, have played key roles in our growth as feminist sport and exercise psychology professionals. It is through our work with mentors that we have moved closer toward understanding and identifying with being feminist scholars. In our research, we place women as the central focus of our work, take into account contextual factors, and look toward creating social change. The struggles we have faced as young professionals include countering stereotypes of feminism, integrating feminist methodologies and epistemology into a traditionally logical positivist field, and moving from research findings to creating social change. Looking toward the future, we hope that feminist sport and exercise psychology scholars continue to build a community to share and discuss the issues and struggles of feminist researchers.

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Michelle Grenier, Karen Collins, Steven Wright and Catherine Kearns

The purpose of this qualitative study was to assess the effectiveness of a disability sport unit in shaping perceptions of disability. Data from interviews, observations, and documents were collected on 87 elementary-aged students, one physical education teacher, and one teaching intern. Comparisons were drawn between fifth graders engaged in a five-week disability sport unit to fourth graders participating in their standard physical education curriculum. Findings revealed differences in the way fourth and fifth graders came to view individuals with disabilities. The results support an analysis of curriculum development that underscores the significance of the social model in positively impacting constructions of disability. Recommendations include the use of disability sports in physical education as an effective strategy for educating students in game play, knowledge of the Paralympics, and the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in a variety of sporting venues.

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Karen E. Collins, Catherine E. Overson and Victor A. Benassi

Purpose: The authors implemented an active learning teaching strategy in a coaching education course utilizing a modified team-based learning (TBL) approach, assessing the learning benefits and satisfaction of students’ experience. Method: After reviewing preparatory background materials, 35 students responded in-class to prompts in developing coaching action plans. Students completed two in-class learning activities: one on their own (Solo) and one as a group (TBL). The authors examined student performance on exam transfer questions for the two activities. Later, students reported on their satisfaction with the learning activities. Results: Students performed better on exam transfer questions related to their TBL and Solo conditions (p < .003, d = 0.75). Students reported a preference for working in teams compared with working on their own in developing case studies (p < .06, d = 0.63). Discussion/Conclusion: Results highlight the benefits of TBL in a coaching education classroom emphasizing how preparation, collaboration, and applied learning activities impact student learning outcomes.

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Diane L. Gill, Ronald G. Morrow, Karen E. Collins, Allison B. Lucey and Allison M. Schultz

This study focused on attitudes and sexual prejudice as part of a larger project on inclusive practice in sport and physical activity settings. Questionnaires were administered to a large sample of undergraduate students and to selected samples of upper-level preprofessional students and a campus pride group to investigate attitudes toward gays and lesbians, and other minority groups. Attitude scores were in the middle range, with females more positive than males toward gay men. Evaluation Thermometer scores were generally positive, but markedly lower for gay men and lesbians than for other minority groups. Upper-level preprofessional students were more positive than other undergraduates, but still expressed negative attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. These results confirm persistent sexual prejudice, suggest that attention to sexual minorities is particularly important for effective diversity management, and underscore the need for continuing research and educational programs to enhance cultural competence among sport management professionals and future professionals.