Leadership is often formalized within sport through captaincy, but researchers have yet to examine the realities of captaincy at the highest level of professional competition. The current study examined the benefits, pressures, and challenges of leadership and captaincy in the National Hockey League (NHL). One captain of an NHL team participated in two in-depth interviews, providing thorough descriptions of his first-hand experiences as an NHL captain, including (a) the techniques he uses to manage his media obligations, (b) his role as a communication bridge between players and coaches, (c) the composition of his leadership group, and (d) examples of interactions that occur during player-only meetings. The transition to captaincy was considered an especially challenging and pressure-filled period. Practical implications for sport psychology consultants are discussed in terms of how they can assist captains of elite competitive teams in setting realistic expectations for their leadership role.
Adult leaders in sport can exert considerable influence on young athletes’ development but this influence is mediated by the quality of the relationship that is formed between both parties. The purpose of the current study was to examine high school teacher-coaches’ perspective on relationship building with student-athletes. Teacher-coaches (20 men, 5 women, Mage = 37.0 years, age range: 25–56 years) from Canada took part in semistructured interviews. Results indicated how the participants believed being both a teacher and a coach was advantageous because it allowed them to interact regularly with student-athletes. The teacher-coaches devised a number of strategies (e.g., early-season tournaments, regular team meetings) to nurture relationships and believed their recurrent interactions allowed them to exert a more positive influence on student-athletes than adult leaders in a single role. In terms of outcomes, the teacher-coaches believed their dual role helped increase their job satisfaction, positively influenced their identity, and allowed them to help student-athletes through critical family (e.g., alcoholism, divorce) and personal issues (e.g., suicide). The current study suggests that the dual role of teacher-coach is beneficial to both teacher-coaches and student-athletes. However, future work is needed, paying attention to how teacher-coaches can further nurture quality relationships with student-athletes.
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.
Martin Camiré, Tanya Forneris and Pierre Trudel
Coaching for positive youth development (PYD) in the context of high school sport is a complex process given that many factors influence this environment. The purpose of this study was to explore the ability of high school coaches to facilitate PYD from the perspective of administrators, coaches, and athletes. Although stakeholders in general perceive coaches as having the ability to facilitate PYD, scores for coaches were higher than athletes and administrators and scores for athletes were higher than administrators. Furthermore, coaches who participated in coach education perceived themselves as having a greater ability to facilitate PYD compared to coaches with no coach education.
Sara Kramers, Martin Camiré and Corliss Bean
Golf Canada recently restructured its national junior golf development program, Learn to Play, going from an original curriculum that focused on teaching golf skills to an updated curriculum that integrates the teaching of golf and life skills. The purpose of the study was to examine whether there were differences in program quality through implementation of the original program compared with the updated program. Five coaches using the original program and nine coaches using the updated program took part in the study over an entire summer golf season. The 14 coaches (M age = 40 years) were each systematically observed on three occasions (i.e., total of 42 observations) and completed an end-of-season program quality questionnaire. The data were subjected to descriptive statistical analyses. Results demonstrated that (a) coaches who implemented the updated program were observed fostering higher levels of program quality than coaches who implemented the original program and (b) researcher observation scores were significantly lower than coach questionnaire scores of program quality. Results are discussed to situate the influence of the updated program on markers of quality. Practical implications for coach education and explicit life skills curricula are discussed.
Martin Camiré, Pierre Trudel and Dany Bernard
A case study of a high school ice hockey program designed to teach players life skills and values was conducted to understand, from the perspective of administrators, coaches, parents, and players, the strengths and challenges of the program. Results indicated that the program’s strengths lied in its comprehensive approach to teaching life skills and values in addition to coaches’ ability to foster relationship with players. However, program members also faced many challenges related to traveling, a lack of resources, and conflicting goals. Results are discussed using the Petitpas et al. (2005) framework and the youth development through sport literature.
Martin Camiré, Pierre Trudel and Tanya Forneris
Whether life skills are developed through sport greatly depends on how coaches create suitable environments that promote the development of youth (Gould & Carson, 2008). The purpose of this study was to examine, using Gould and Carson’s (2008) model of coaching life skills, the philosophies and strategies used by model high school coaches to coach life skills and how to transfer these life skills to other areas of life. Interviews were conducted with both coaches and their student-athletes. Results indicated that coaches understood their student-athletes preexisting make up and had philosophies based on promoting the development of student-athletes. Results also demonstrated that coaches had strategies designed to coach life skills and educate student-athletes about the transferability of the skills they learned in sport. Although variations were reported, coaches and student-athletes generally believed that student-athletes can transfer the skills learned in sport to other areas of life. These results are discussed using Gould and Carson’s model and the youth development literature.
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.
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.
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.