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Scott Pierce, Jedediah Blanton and Daniel Gould

Sport psychology professionals (SPPs) are well positioned to engage and collaborate with community sporting organizations to support and enhance philosophies, policies, and programs. This case study outlines an engagement with high school sport-governing bodies to develop and launch an educational leadership program for youth athletes. The partnership between university-based SPPs and a high school state organization provided a foundation for the course creation. The leadership program was then created using research-generated knowledge related to sport-based youth leadership and pedagogy, while maximizing engagement with community partners for the effective translation of knowledge. Reflection on the partnership and process of creating the educational program highlights the need for SPPs to find and develop the right community partnerships, help partners before helping themselves, define and accept their role, be able translate science in practical ways, and have multiple tools to offer education programs.

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Daniel Gould, Scott Pierce, Ian Cowburn and Andrew Driska

This case study examined the coaching philosophy of J Robinson, one of the most respected and successful NCAA wrestling coaches in the United States, and the founder of J Robison Intensive Wrestling Camps. Research has that shown that his camps foster short and long term psychological development in its youth participants (Driska et al., in press; Pierce, et al., 2016). He has established a well-delineated system for developing psychological skills in young athletes. The researchers were therefore interested in understanding the link between his coaching philosophy and coaching behavior, and in identifying factors that have influenced the development of this coaching philosophy over his lifetime. Using a case study approach, in-depth interviews at several points in time with Robinson were conducted. These were supplemented with interviews with camp staff and observations of the camp and Robinson’s coaching. Results revealed that Robinson had a clearly defined philosophy, was very intentional in developing mental skills, and had clearly thought out rationales that guided his coaching actions. The coaching philosophy and approach to developing psychological skills in youth evolved over 35 years of implementing these camps and from Robinson’s own life experiences. Implications for studying coach development and delivering coaching education are provided.

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Samuel T. Forlenza, Scott Pierce, Robin S. Vealey and John Mackersie

Confidence is a well-known psychological quality that is relevant for performing at one’s best. Previous literature examined sources from which athletes derive their confidence, what behaviors coaches perceive to be the most effective at building confidence, and the level of congruence between athletes’ and coaches’ perceptions on confidence-building techniques. However, research has rarely asked athletes what they believe are the most important behaviors coaches can do to build confidence in both individuals and teams. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to explore athletes’ perceptions of what coaches can do to build confidence from the perspective of athletes. Collegiate student-athletes (n = 264) completed two open-ended questions regarding specific behaviors that coaches do to build confidence in athletes and teams. A total of 649 interpretable meaning units were analyzed into 13 lower-order themes and 5 higher-order categories. Results revealed that creating a nurturing positive environment, responding to athletes productively, developing effective practices for training, developing interpersonal relationships with athletes, and possessing effective intrapersonal qualities themselves are all behaviors identified as important for building confidence. Many of the behaviors were common to building confidence in both athletes and teams, though there were confidence-building behaviors unique to either group.

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Nicholas D. Myers, Melissa A. Chase, Scott W. Pierce and Eric Martin

The purpose of this article was to provide a substantive-methodological synergy of potential importance to future research in sport and exercise psychology. The substantive focus was to improve the measurement of coaching efficacy by developing a revised version of the coaching efficacy scale (CES) for head coaches (N = 557) of youth sport teams (CES II-YST). The methodological focus was exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM), a methodology that integrates the advantages of exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) within the general structural equation model (SEM). The synergy was a demonstration of how ESEM (as compared with CFA) may be used, guided by content knowledge, to develop (or confirm) a measurement model for the CES II-YST. A single-group ESEM provided evidence for close model-data fit, while a single-group CFA fit significantly worse than the single-group ESEM and provided evidence for only approximate model-data fit. A multiple-group ESEM provided evidence for partial factorial invariance by coach’s gender.