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.
Learning to Coach through Experience: Reflection in Model Youth Sport Coaches
Wade D. Gilbert and Pierre Trudel
Role of the Coach: How Model Youth Team Sport Coaches Frame Their Roles
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.
Introduction to Special Issue: Coach Education
Wade D. Gilbert and Guest Editor
Learning Communities as Continuing Professional Development for Sport Coaches
Rachael Bertram and Wade Gilbert
Continuing professional development (CPD) for sport coaches has been defined as all kinds of professional learning that occurs after initial certification (Nelson et al., 2006), and includes both non-formal and informal learning situations. Despite the fact that within the past decade there has been an increasing number of studies on these learning situations, learning communities as a type of CPD have received little attention. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to share initial observations and lessons learned from creating and implementing sport coach learning communities. In addition, this paper extends the dialogue on learning community implementation and assessment. Our learning community efforts were formulated around five key guidelines: (1) Stable settings dedicated to improving instruction and learning, (2) Job-alike teams, (3) Published protocols that guide but do not prescribe, (4) Trained peer facilitators, and (5) Working on student learning goals until there are tangible gains in student learning.
Successful High-Performance Ice Hockey Coaches’ Intermission Routines and Situational Factors That Guide Implementation
Julia Allain, Gordon A. Bloom, and Wade D. Gilbert
Competitions in many team sports include short breaks (e.g., intermissions, halftime) where coaches have a unique opportunity to make tactical adjustments and communicate with athletes as a group. Although these breaks are significant coaching moments, very little is known about what successful coaches do during this time. The purpose of this study was to examine intermission routines and knowledge of highly experienced and successful National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ice hockey coaches. A thematic analysis was used to analyze semistructured and stimulated-recall interview data. Results revealed that coaching during intermissions was a continuous process influenced by the coaches’ history and personal characteristics. Drawing on these factors, the coaches created an intermission routine that guided them as they analyzed unpredictable situational factors such as their team’s performance and the athletes’ emotional state. Overall, the results offer a rare glimpse into the intermission strategies of successful coaches in a high-performance setting.
Coaches’ Use of Positive Tactile Communication in Collegiate Basketball
Inge Milius, Wade D. Gilbert, Danielle Alexander, and Gordon A. Bloom
There is a growing body of research on positive tactile communication and its impact on athlete performance and team dynamics. The purpose of the present study was to examine the profile and perceived impact of positive tactile communication as a coaching strategy in a high-performance team sport setting. Participants were members of a successful American collegiate women’s basketball team comprising the head coach, associate head coach, and 16 student-athletes. Methods of data collection included systematic observation and focus groups. Positive tactile communication was perceived to be an effective coaching strategy for enhancing relationships and athlete performance. To our knowledge, this is the first study to include both quantitative and qualitative data from multiple coaches on the same team, as well as athlete perceptions of coaches’ strategic use of positive tactile communication.
Interactive Decision Making Factors Considered by Coaches of Youth Ice Hockey during Games
Wade D. Gilbert, Pierre Trudel, and Leon P. Haughian
This study provided a descriptive analysis of the interactive decision making factors considered by coaches of youth ice hockey (aged 10–15 years) during games. Using a multiple–case study design, data were collected using a combination of semistructured interviews and an adapted version of stimulated recall interviews. An inductive analysis of the interview transcripts revealed 5 types of interactive decisions, 5 types of goals, and 21 types of factors. The factors were regrouped into two categories (Field Information and Coach Knowledge) and four subcategories (Objective Information, Subjective Information, Player Characteristics, and Knowledge of the Game). Although individual coach differences were found, important cross-coach similarities also emerged. On average, between 2.6 and 3.2 factors were cited for each interactive decision. The adoption of dichotic (yes-no) decision making models based exclusively on player performance, and the ecological validity of conducting lab-based studies to examine the interactive decision making of coaches, is challenged.
Book and Resource Reviews
Paul McCarthy, Frank D. Perry, Derek Schwandt, and Wade Gilbert
A Decade of Qualitative Research in Sport Psychology Journals: 1990-1999
Diane M. Culver, Wade D. Gilbert, and Pierre Trudel
Part of the on-going dialogue on qualitative research in sport and exercise psychology, this review portrays the qualitative articles published in three sport psychology journals and examines how qualitative research can deepen our knowledge in applied sport psychology. Eighty-four of the 485 research articles published in these journals used a qualitative data collection technique. The interview was used in 67 studies. Peer review and reliability tests were often used for establishing trustworthiness. Member checking was mostly limited to participant verification of interview transcripts. Results were usually presented using both words and numbers. Selected studies are discussed in relation to applied sport psychology knowledge. Published qualitative articles suggest a conservative effort by sport psychology researchers to include the qualitative approach as a legitimate way to do research.
Gratitude, Coach–Athlete Relationships, and Burnout in Collegiate Student-Athletes
Jeffrey B. Ruser, Mariya A. Yukhymenko-Lescroart, Jenelle N. Gilbert, Wade Gilbert, and Stephanie D. Moore
This study investigated whether gratitude predicted burnout directly and indirectly through coach–athlete relationships. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Divisions I (n = 305), II (n = 202), and III (n = 89) student-athletes (N = 596, 76.5% women) completed a survey regarding athlete burnout, coach–athlete relationships, trait gratitude, and state gratitude (sport and general). Structural equation modeling revealed that gratitude predicted athletes’ burnout. Sport state gratitude was the most accurate negative predictor of burnout. In addition, indirect associations between sport state gratitude and burnout emerged through coach–athlete relationships, suggesting that sport state gratitude was positively associated with coach–athlete relationships, which in turn, negatively predicted burnout. Coach–athlete relationships were positively predicted by sport state gratitude. These findings suggest that grateful student-athletes may experience less burnout, and athletes who have strong coach–athlete relationships may experience more gratitude.