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Corliss Bean, Majidullah Shaikh and Tanya Forneris

Coaches are primary influencers in helping youth achieve positive developmental outcomes in sport; however, it is not well understood how coaches achieve quality program delivery. The purpose of this study was two-fold: (a) to understand strategies that coaches used to facilitate program quality in youth sport and (b) explore differences in strategies between recreational and competitive programs. Twenty-five coaches participated in semistructured interviews, where they discussed strategies employed for program delivery. Interviews were guided, in-part, by Eccles and Gootman’s eight setting features that should be present within a program for youth to achieve positive developmental outcomes. An inductive-deductive thematic analysis was employed, in which strategies associated with facilitating program quality were interpreted inductively, and then categorised deductively under a relevant setting feature. Results indicated that coaches used unique strategies across all eight setting features, with a predominant focus on strategies to support youth’s efficacy and mattering (e.g., giving positive reinforcement) and opportunities for skill-building (e.g., valuing holistic development of youth), with lesser focus on strategies that involved integrating family, school, and community. Practical implications are discussed on how coaches can use strategies to address multiple setting features and recommendations are provided for improving program delivery.