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Profiling the Canadian High School Teacher-Coach: A National Survey

Martin Camiré, Meredith Rocchi, and Kelsey Kendellen

Each academic year, a large number of teachers voluntarily assume coaching positions in Canadian high schools and thus undertake the dual role of teacher-coach. To date, much of the scholarship on teacher-coaches has been conducted with small samples of participants and as such, the conclusions that can be drawn about the status of the Canadian teacher-coach are limited. The purpose of the current study was to profile the Canadian high school teacher-coach using a national sample. A total of 3062 teacher-coaches (males = 2046, 67%) emanating from all Canadian provinces and territories completed a questionnaire examining personal background and work conditions. Results indicated that aspects of teacher-coaches’ personal background significantly influenced the benefits and challenges they perceived from coaching as well as the recommendations they suggested to improve their coaching experience. The recommendations put forth by the teacher-coaches to improve their work conditions must be earnestly considered by school administrators to ensure the long-term viability of the Canadian high school sport system, which is largely sustained by dedicated volunteers.

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Making High School Sport Impactful

Stéphanie Turgeon, Kelsey Kendellen, Sara Kramers, Scott Rathwell, and Martin Camiré

The practice of high school sport is, in large part, justified based on the premise that participation exposes student-athletes to an array of situations that, when experienced positively, allow them to learn and refine the life skills necessary to become active, thriving, and contributing members of society. The purpose of this paper is to examine how we can maximize the developmental potential of high school sport and make it impactful. Extant literature suggests that high school sport participation exposes student-athletes to a variety of experiences that can positively and negatively influence their personal development, with coaches playing a particularly influential role in this developmental process. However, within this body of evidence, issues of research quality have been raised, limiting the inferences that can be drawn. Future research directions are presented that address methodological limitations. Furthermore, in efforts to (re)consider the desired impact of high school sport, a critical discussion with policy and practical implications is offered.

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Evaluation of the Pilot Implementation of the Coaching for Life Skills Program

Martin Camiré, Kelsey Kendellen, Scott Rathwell, and Evelyne Felber Charbonneau

Many forms of mainstream coach education continue to sparingly address content specifically related to positive youth development and/or life skills, instead maintaining a focus on the technical and tactical aspects of sport. The purpose of the paper is to present the evaluation findings of the pilot implementation of the Coaching for Life Skills program, designed to serve coaches operating in the context of high school sport. The study qualitatively explored what participants believed they experienced during their participation in the Coaching for Life Skills program, which was delivered to 68 Canadian high school coaches. Participants took part in one of six three-hour workshop (i.e., three workshops in English, three workshops in French). Of these 68 coaches, 10 voluntarily agreed to take part in individual semi-structured interviews. Findings demonstrated how the participants believed they learned important elements related to the coaching of life skills, particularly in terms of increasing their awareness of life skills, improving coach-athlete relationships, and employing coaching strategies that deliberately target life skills development and transfer.