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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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Penny Werthner and Pierre Trudel

The purpose of this paper is to present, using Moon’s (1999, 2004) generic view of learning, a new theoretical perspective in order to understand how coaches learn to coach. After presenting her main concepts, a case study of an elite Canadian coach is used to illustrate the different learning processes in three types of learning situations: mediated, unmediated, and internal. We believe this new view of how coaches learn provides a way to see coach development from the coach’s perspective and helps us understand why the path to becoming a coach is often idiosyncratic. Finally, the potential of this conceptual research framework for the study of coaches’ development, specifically at the elite/expert level, is discussed.

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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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Rebecca J. Lloyd and Pierre Trudel

A case study design was used to (a) describe the process and identify the content of the verbal interactions between an eminent mental training consultant and five elite level athletes during ten sessions, and to (b) compare the analyzed sessions with the consultant’s published approach on mental training. The sources of information included the audio recordings of the mental training sessions, the interviews with the consultant, the interviews with the athletes, and two articles published by the consultant. An adapted version of the Flanders’ (1965) Interaction Analysis in the Classroom was used to systematically code the process, and a content analysis was performed on the transcripts of the mental training sessions and interviews. During the sessions, the consultant’s verbal behaviors accounted for 39% of the total coded behaviors leaving 60% for the athletes and 1% for silence. The content analysis revealed that up to 24 topics were addressed in each session (often the athletes would “unload”) where certain issues had a more frequent word count. The analysis of the content and process revealed that the consultant follows an athlete-centered approach that corresponds to the consultant’s published perspective.

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Wade D. Gilbert and Pierre Trudel

The present study examined how model youth sport coaches learn to coach through experience. Yin’s multiple-case study approach was used with six youth team sport coaches. Data were collected over an entire sport season through a series of semi-structured interviews, observations, and documents. All six case study coaches developed and refined coaching strategies through a process of reflection. Six components characterized reflection: coaching issues, role frame, issue setting, strategy generation, experimentation, and evaluation. A reflective conversation comprising the latter four components, triggered by coaching issues and bound by the coach’s role frame, was central to reflection. The selection of options at each stage in a reflective conversation was influenced by access to peers, a coach’s stage of learning, issue characteristics, and the environment. Furthermore, three types of reflection were evident: reflection-in-action, reflection-on-action, and retrospective reflection-on-action.

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Wade D. Gilbert and Pierre Trudel

Similar to a belief system, a role frame acts as a perceptual filter that influences how practitioners define their professional responsibilities (Schön, 1983). The purpose of this article is to present the role frame components of model youth team sport coaches. The results are based on a two-year multiple-case study with six coaches. On average, the coaches’ role frame comprised two boundary components and nine internal components. Boundary components are objective environmental conditions that can influence an individual’s approach to coaching. Internal role frame components are personal views a coach holds regarding youth sport coaching. A discussion of how role frames can be examined and used by researchers, coaches, and coach educators is provided.

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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.

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François Rodrigue, Pierre Trudel and Jennifer Boyd

Multiple actors and roles are now recognized and promoted to support the development of coaches. Personal coaching is an emerging industry in many professional fields yet remains insignificant in sport coaching. The purpose of this study was to document and assess the value of a 12-month collaborative action research in which a high-performance rugby coach, with the support of a personal learning coach, aimed to learn from her coaching practice. This research was operationalized using an appreciative inquiry framework. Personal coaching was conducted according to the principles of narrative-collaborative coaching. Data collection included interviews, video observation, audio recordings of coaching conversations, notes from phone calls, and email exchanges. Results showed that this partnership created a safe and challenging learning space where different coaching topics were addressed, such as reflective practice, leadership, and mental preparation. A deductive analysis of the debriefing interview was completed using the value creation framework developed by Wenger and colleagues. This analysis indicated that the high-performance coach’s relationship with the personal learning coach enabled the development of five types of value: immediate, potential, applied, realised, and transformative. Therefore, it is suggested that narrative-collaborative coaching can complement existing formal and non-formal learning activities.

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François Lemyre, Pierre Trudel and Natalie Durand-Bush

Researchers have investigated how elite or expert coaches learn to coach, but very few have investigated this process with coaches at the recreational or developmental-performance levels. Thirty-six youth-sport coaches (ice hockey, soccer, and baseball) were each interviewed twice to document their learning situations. Results indicate that (a) formal programs are only one of the many opportunities to learn how to coach; (b) coaches’ prior experiences as players, assistant coaches, or instructors provide them with some sport-specific knowledge and allow them to initiate socialization within the subculture of their respective sports; (c) coaches rarely interact with rival coaches; and (d) there are differences in coaches’ learning situations between sports. Reflections on who could help coaches get the most out of their learning situations are provided.

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Pierre Trudel, Michel Milestetd and Diane M. Culver

Facing the increase in the number of publications, often spread across many journals, researchers have developed different approaches to review the literature. In the first part of this article we present the result of an “overview” type of review of literature on sport coach education programs in higher education (HE) between 2000–2018. By sharing the list of the 38 articles found, along with some general characteristics of these, our hope is, as suggested in many reviews of literature, that researchers will use the review to more easily frame their studies and discuss their results. However, there are very few examples of how this is done. We would argue that how researchers use the same review of literature varies depending of their context, research interests, and research paradigm. Therefore, in the second part of the article we highlight what we took from our review of the literature based on our specific research context—Brazilian HE sport coach education programs. The three key topics presented and discussed are: (a) the importance of considering the student-coaches’ biography, (b) how to prepare student-coaches for reflective practice, and (c) the complexity of internships.