In 2011, the Innovation Group of Leading Agencies of the International Council for Coaching Excellence initiated a project aimed at supporting the identification and development of the next generation of high performance coaches. The project, entitled Serial Winning Coaches, studied the personalities, practices and developmental pathways of professional and Olympic coaches who had repeatedly achieved success at the highest level of sport. This paper is the third publication originating from this unique project. In the first paper, Mallett and Coulter (2016) focused on the development and testing of a novel multilayered methodology in understanding a person through a single case study of a successful Olympic coach. In the second, Mallett and Lara-Bercial (2016) applied this methodology to a large sample of Serial Winning Coaches and offered a composite account of their personality. In this third instalment, we turn the focus onto the actual practices and developmental pathways of these coaches. The composite profile of their practice emerging from the analysis revolves around four major themes: Philosophy, Vision, People and Environment. In addition, a summary of the developmental activities accessed by these coaches and their journey to success is also offered. Finally, we consider the overall findings of the project and propose the concept of Driven Benevolence as the overarching operational principle guiding the actions and behaviours of this group of Serial Winning Coaches.
Sergio Lara-Bercial and Clifford J. Mallett
Antonio Solana-Sánchez, Sergio Lara-Bercial, and David Solana-Sánchez
Professional youth football (soccer) academies face a number of challenges related to the contrasting and at times competing nature of their goals. Marrying long-term development of players with success in youth competitions and combining the development of young people as athletes with their growth as human beings are some examples. Professional football clubs and those tasked with leading their academies have to make key decisions as to how these challenges will be addressed. In this paper we argue that those decisions must be made based on a clearly shared philosophy and accompanying set of values. We present some of the key principles governing the work of the Sevilla Club de Fútbol Youth Academy and the rationale behind them. These principles span from developmental, methodological and pedagogical choices to the building of an internal long-term approach to coach development.
Lea-Cathrin Dohme, Alexandra J. Rankin-Wright, and Sergio Lara-Bercial
Research investigating coach education and development has grown significantly over the past three decades. Most of these efforts have focused on establishing how coaches learn; yet the actual impact of specific coach education and development interventions has received considerably less attention. Moreover, the role of coach developers in facilitating this impact remains largely unknown. To address this knowledge gap, this study used a realist evaluation approach to engage in a detailed exploration of a large-scale, multi-annual coach education and development intervention with high school coaches in the Philippines. Using interviews and focus groups at two different time points with multiple stakeholders, this study established a series of context, mechanism and outcome configurations that provide a nuanced perspective on how coach education and development works. More specifically, this paper offers a novel interpretation of the role of coach developers as ‘motivators for lifelong learning’ established through three key mechanisms: 1) being available, approachable, and supportive; 2) creating a sense of belonging; and 3) raising coaches’ aspirations by increasing their sense of purpose and duty. Practical guidelines for the education of coach developers, as well as future coach education and development programmes are provided.
Laurie B. Patterson, Susan H. Backhouse, and Sergio Lara-Bercial
Although global policy states that coaches are a key stakeholder group for anti-doping education, very little is known about how performance and participation coaches develop their understanding of anti-doping policy and practice. Therefore, 292 UK-based coaches completed an online survey exploring their experiences of anti-doping education (i.e., topics covered, how and by whom the programmes were delivered and how knowledgeable and well-equipped coaches felt to deal with doping-related matters). The results showed that almost a quarter of the surveyed coaches reported never learning about anti-doping. Only a third had engaged with a formal anti-doping education programme and coaches typically received information on detection-deterrence related topics (e.g., banned substances, testing procedures). Many coaches perceived themselves as only having ‘a little’ knowledge about anti-doping and declared themselves as ‘a little’ equipped to work with their sportspeople on doping-related matters. Nonetheless, 96% of coaches were inclined to learn more about anti-doping in the future. Given the World Anti-Doping Code states that anti-doping education for coaches should be compulsory, it is crucial that insights from coaches are made public to inform the development of evidence-informed anti-doping programmes that are tailored and targeted.