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Kyle Paquette and Pierre Trudel

The history of coach education in Western countries, much like higher education, has been shaped by societal influences and external drivers. The resulting trajectory includes a notable movement and shift in focus related to educational paradigms. Being learner-centered (LC) has become a central theme and mission by many coach education programs. The purpose of this case study was twofold: to explore the evolution of the historically rich coach education program of golf in Canada, and to assess the LC status of the most recently developed context of the program using Blumberg’s (2009) framework for developing and assessing learner-centered teaching (LCT). A series of program documents and interviews with seven coach development administrators involved in the program were analyzed. Findings revealed the turbulent epistemic evolution of the program and its pedagogical approaches, as well as the combination of internal and external drivers that triggered the shift from one extreme (instructor-centered teaching) to another (LCT) until finding a functional equilibrium. Moreover, the assessment of the program confirmed its claims of being LC. Discussions are presented on leading a LC change, facilitating learning, and using the framework to assess LC coach education.

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Kyle Paquette and Pierre Trudel

Despite a well-established understanding of the complexity inherent to both learning and sport coaching, programs designed to educate coaches have until recently been guided by pedagogical approaches aligned with rather simplistic views of learning. Thanks to the critical and innovative efforts of coaching scholars to uncover the shortcomings of traditional programs and their guiding epistemic traditions, coach education is becoming increasingly infused with constructivist, learner-centered (LC) strategies to help meet the complex needs of coaches. Although many LC informed recommendations have been offered, rarely do they provide coach development administrators (CDAs) with concrete, practical suggestions. Furthermore, the recommendations are scattered throughout the literature, which makes an already arduous task of bridging research and practice even more difficult for CDAs. Guided by the LC literature, a practical learner-centered teaching (LCT) framework, and previous recommendations presented in the coach education literature, this Best Practices paper presents a theoretically robust and empirically supported collection of practical recommendations for CDAs to support three critical areas of LC coach education: program design, facilitation, and coach engagement.

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Kyle J. Paquette and Philip Sullivan

Multiple conceptual frameworks support the link between coaches’ attitudes and behaviors, and their effect on a variety of athlete outcomes, such as performance, motivation, and athlete self-perceptions. The present study explored the relationships among coaches’ attitudes and behaviors, with respect to psychological skills training (PST), and the beliefs of their athletes. One hundred and fifteen coaches completed PST attitude (SPA-RC-revised) and behavior measures, while 403 athletes completed two perception measures (CCS and SCI). Structural Equation Modeling showed that the proposed relationships were statistically significant, except for the pathway between coaches’ attitudes and their behaviors. Results support the disconnect between coaches’ attitudes and behaviors previously established in PST research, as well as the theoretical links between coaches’ behaviors and athletes’ perceptions (i.e., evaluation of their coach and self-confidence).

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Tiago Duarte, Diane M. Culver and Kyle Paquette

This study addresses the preintervention phase of a larger project aimed at enhancing the learning capability of the Canadian wheelchair curling coaches’ landscape. To understand the learning leverage features and learning barriers of this landscape, a mapping exercise was conducted. The authors interviewed 16 people, using a semistructured interview guide. The thematic analysis and a landscape metaphor resulted in a map illustrating the main features of the landscape and where the learning potential might be. The findings of this study suggest that geographical isolation, the high costs associated with coach training, and the low number of athletes are all barriers to coaches’ learning. Therefore, with the information gleaned from this phase, an intervention for these coaches should be designed to prioritize meaningful learning opportunities, incorporate influential people noted by coaches, and leverage opportunities at training camps and competitions to mitigate the barriers identified. The landscape view allows for a systems approach that considers the potential of involving the different levels of the sport system to best serve the learning needs of coaches. Rather than focus on individual coach learning, research is needed to better understand how the landscape approach can build learning capability within sport organizations.

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Kyle J. Paquette, Aman Hussain, Pierre Trudel and Martin Camiré

Building on Hussain et al.’s (2012) analysis of Triathlon Canada’s constructivist-informed coach education program from the perspective of the program designer, this case study explored the structure and initial implementation of the program, as well as coaches’ perspectives of their journey to certification. Through a series of document analyses and interviews with the inaugural group of coach participants (N = 4), strategies for the application of constructivist principles are presented and discussed in relation to the coaches’ perspectives and coach development literature. More specifically, through its innovative use of learning activities and formative evaluation and assessment strategies, the program is shown to place considerable emphasis on coaches’ biographies, refection, and representation of learning. Finally, recommendations for coach educators are presented.

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Diana Deek, Penny Werthner, Kyle J. Paquette and Diane Culver

This study examines the impact of a coach education program on coach learning and perceived changes to coaching practices, while situating this episodic learning experience within a lifelong-learning perspective. Three sets of in-depth interviews were conducted with 10 coaches taking part in one of three competition-development modules within Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program (Coaching and Leading Effectively, Managing Conflict, and Psychology of Performance). It was found that (a) the coaches’ biographies varied widely, (b) all of the coaches reported learning from the modules, (c) eight of ten coaches reported a change in their coaching practices as a result of participation in one of the modules, and (d) the coaches credited a combination of mediated, unmediated, and internal learning situations for their learning before and after the modules. These findings suggest that a large-scale coach education program can have an impact on coaches when the program takes a lifelong-learning perspective and integrates constructivist principles into its design and delivery.

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Kyle Paquette, Pierre Trudel, Tiago Duarte and Glenn Cundari

Given the inextricable roles of the coach learner and coach educator in learner-centered (LC) coach education, research into their perceptions and experiences in these programs appears to be a priority. As such, building on Paquette and Trudel’s examination of Canada’s golf coach education program relative to its alignment with learner-centered approaches, the present study examined coaches’ and coach educators’ perspectives of their experiences participating in the abovementioned program that was found to have a LC design. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 participants (6 coach educators and 10 coaches), and data were analyzed using a thematic analysis. The finalized themes were used as a narrative skeleton for the creation of the four composite vignettes. The vignettes represented the experiences of four composite characters relative to their learning orientations to learner-centered teaching (LCT) and instructor-centred teaching (ICT): LCT Coach Educator, LCT Coach, ICT Coach Educator, ICT Coach. As influenced by their cognitive structures, the vignettes depict the composite coaches’ varied engagement and perceptions of the program, as well as the coach educators’ varied delivery of the program and adherence to the program’s LC design. These diverse experiences are discussed in relation to the impact of LC coach education.

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Philip Sullivan, Kyle J. Paquette, Nicholas L. Holt and Gordon A. Bloom

This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

The purposes of this study were to examine how coaching context and level of coaching education were related to coaching efficacy and, subsequently, how coaching efficacy was related to perceived leadership behaviors in youth sports. One hundred and seventy-two youth sport coaches completed the Coaching Efficacy Scale and Revised Leadership Scale for Sports. Structural equation modeling revealed that coach education significantly affected the multidimensional construct of coaching efficacy whereas coaching context did not. Coaching efficacy predicted perceived leadership behaviors comprising training and instruction, positive feedback, social support, and situational consideration. These findings question the issue of coaching efficacy as a factor that may distinguish between coaches at different organizational contexts but highlight the importance of coach education training for improving coaching efficacy in youth sport.