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Melissa Murray, Kristen Dieffenbach and Rebecca Zakraj sek

According to the National Coaching Report (NASPE, 2008), over 57 million youth participated in organized sport in 2006, with around eight million of those participating in interscholastic sport. While the NFHS has been a major advocate for coaching education in the interscholastic setting, the other 87% of the youth sport participants are likely being serviced by ill-prepared coaches. In response to the 1970s call for more prepared coaches (NASPE, 2008), collegiate institutions have created academic programs in coaching education. These academic programs seek to prepare qualified coaches at all levels of competition (e.g., youth, interscholastic, intercollegiate, professional, elite). In an effort to provide students with hands on, applied experiences, academic programs generally require some sort of internship. In a recent study, coaching education students reported having numerous opportunities to motivate, encourage, and build confidence in athletes during their internships (Dieffenbach, Murray, & Zakrajsek, 2010), all of which are interpersonal interactions. Given that interpersonal interactions are one of the most significant factors impacting athlete development and the athlete – coach relationship (Jowett, 2003; Jowett & Cockerill, 2003), student coaches are in a critical position. Therefore, these findings beg for a system of checks to be in place within the internship process, namely background checks, required health insurance, and university waivers. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the regulations and policies in place to protect the student-athletes, student coaches, and university programs during internships in coaching education. Issues like legal responsibilities of the universities, background check policies and procedures, school district-specific requirements, and other policies in place will be discussed in an interactive session. The discussion will also highlight what other organizations (NGBs, NFHS) are doing or could be doing to aid in the protection of their athletes and coaches.

Open access

Lindsey C. Blom, Steven R. Wininger, Rebecca Zakraj sek and Kurtis Kirkpatrick

To help develop consistent training for coaches, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education created the National Standards for Sport Coaches (NSSC), which consists of eight domains and 40 standards. The purpose of this study was to examine high school coaches’ perceived knowledge related to the NSSC, continuing education, and sources of feedback. Information was gathered from 162 male and female team sport coaches from Mississippi and Kentucky. Four main findings emerged: 1) coaches perceived themselves to be above average in all 40 standards; 2) there were no significant differences between states of Kentucky and Mississippi for perceived knowledge in any domain 3) a difference in perceived knowledge based on years of coaching was found for Domain 5: Teaching and Communication; and 4) coaches reported most frequently using assistant coaches, their self, athletic directors, and athletes as sources of coaching feedback.