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.
Penny Werthner and Pierre Trudel
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Diane M. Culver, Penny Werthner, and Pierre Trudel
The Canadian National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) redesigned its coaching education programmes to utilise a learner-centred, problem-based approach. The purpose of this paper is to document the design, delivery, and subjective assessment of this large-scale coach education programme through the perspectives of the different actors, with a special focus on the coach developers (CDs) as an essential and important group within the coach education system. A constructivist view of learning, supported by the work of Jennifer Moon on the impact of short courses and workshops, guided this work. Part 1 of the results provides an overview of the studies conducted on the revised NCCP. Part 2 examines the perspectives of 26 CDs concerning their training and experiences delivering the redesigned NCCP. Conclusions include the importance of considering the cognitive structures of the CDs and coach learners; issues related to covering the module content versus addressing coaches’ learning needs; ensuring adequate time for questions and reflection to enable deep learning; specific training for CDs to support post-workshop learning; and the importance of taking a systems approach to coach development that considers all the actors involved in a national programme being delivered at the provincial/territorial or sport organisational level.
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.
Pierre Trudel, Kyle Paquette, and Dan Lewis
Although high-performance (HP) coaches’ learning journeys are idiosyncratic and winding, most of these coaches share the characteristic of having rich experiences as athletes. Studies on the career transition of HP athletes to sports coaches reveal a sharp disagreement between these incoming coaches with their practice field experience and national governing bodies responsible for coach education programs about what is needed to be certified. This article presents a tailored initiative to support an HP athlete (Dan) in his process of “becoming” a certified HP coach in the Canadian context. This unique project took shape from a collaborative effort to combine elements of two opposing views on learning: off-the-job versus workplace learning. The article provides details on (a) the coaching context, (b) the main supportive others, and (c) the tools used to document the coaching topics that emerged from Dan’s coaching practice, as well as the learning material used, discussed, and created. When all the above content and materials were carefully organized and placed into folders, a unique “emerging curriculum” was formed and presented to the members of an evaluation committee who agreed that Dan met the HP coach certification criteria.