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Pete Van Mullem

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Pete Van Mullem and Sean Dahlin

The pursuit of mastery in coaching is an ongoing journey, requiring a commitment to life-long learning (Gallimore, Gilbert, & Nater, 2014). The purpose of this paper is to share the insight of five professionals (i.e., educator, sport ethicist, administrator, sport researcher, and a coach), participating in a panel session at the 2016 U.S. National Coaching Conference, on pursuing mastery as a coach. The term mastery is often associated with expertise. To be considered an expert, a coach must also be effective (Côté & Gilbert, 2009). Coaches that have achieved this level of effectiveness are often referred to as master teachers. Across the session the views of the panel members emphasized the pursuit of mastery as an ongoing journey of continuous learning. Insight from the panelists is compared with literature in coaching science and recommendations are provided for coaches and coaching educators on how to deliberately pursue mastery as a coach.

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Pete Van Mullem

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Pete Van Mullem and Chris Croft

Coaching at the collegiate level requires a varied skill set in a competitive environment, where coaching positions have a high turnover rate. Preparing to work as a coach at the collegiate level is often self-driven and aligns with how coaches learn in other contexts. Research on the career progression of collegiate coaches is scant and tends to focus on gender differences or one’s desire to become a head coach. Recently, research has expanded to examine the preparation of coach developers and their role in guiding coach development activities in a variety of contexts. Therefore, guided by the literature on coach development, the role of the coach developer in collegiate sport, and insight gleaned from a descriptive study on the career path of collegiate head coaches, this best practices article offers practical recommendations for coach developers to best serve collegiate coaches along their coaching journey.

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Pete Van Mullem and Kirk Mathias

In the United States, interscholastic sport coach development occurs at the national, regional, and local levels, through higher education institutions, coaching associations, governing bodies of sport, and coach developers. Although each coach development pathway employs similar instructional methods, delivery formats, and often seeks the same outcome (i.e., certification or degree), each is unique in how they educate interscholastic coaches. Research studies on coach development have examined how interscholastic coaches learn, what they need to know, and what they need to know how to do. Furthermore, research studies in sport coaching have examined the role of a coach developer in facilitating, mentoring, and guiding coach development activities. Therefore, guided by the literature on coach development, the role of the interscholastic sport administrator as a coach developer, and insight gleaned from an exploratory descriptive study on interscholastic sport coaches, this best practices paper offers three steps the interscholastic sport administrator can implement in practice to provide ongoing coach development.

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Lori Gano-Overway, Pete Van Mullem, Melissa Long, Melissa Thompson, Bob Benham, Christine Bolger, Andrew Driska, Anthony Moreno and Dan Schuster

As the sport coaching profession continues to grow, there is a need to reflect upon and revise the knowledge and competencies coaches should possess to support quality sport experiences. The purpose of this paper is to document the revision process of the National Standards for Sport Coaches (NSSC) which were established to outline professional sport coaching standards in the United States of America (USA). The 3-year revision process involved two separate task forces organized by SHAPE America and several public reviews. The final revision aligns the NSSC with quality coaching frameworks and documents seven core responsibilities of sport coaches. Additionally, the NSSC includes standards meant to provide guidance on what a coach should know (e.g., professional knowledge, interpersonal knowledge, and intrapersonal knowledge), what a coach should be able to do (e.g., expectations of performance and developed competencies), and what common practices occur among coaches (e.g., shared values) to meet each core responsibility. It is hoped that the revised version of the NSSC continues to provide direction for all stakeholders to improve coaching practices within the USA.