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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

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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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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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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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

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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Wade Gilbert, Ronald Gallimore and Pierre Trudel

Repeated calls have been made by prominent sport and education associations for the creation of ongoing professional development networks and learning communities for youth sport coaches. The purpose of this paper is to propose a learning community approach to coach development that complements large-scale coach education programs. This concept paper is organized into three sections followed by a brief summary. The three sections are: (a) overview of the effectiveness of community-based learning research on teacher development, (b) overview of how community-based learning literature has informed coach development initiatives, and (c) suggestions for how a learning community approach could be practically implemented in a typical youth sport setting.

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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.

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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.

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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.