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Ronald W. Quinn, Sheri Huckleberry and Sam Snow

Coaching education has been part of the United States soccer landscape for over 40 years. However, the education of youth soccer coaches is a recent phenomenon. The purpose of this study was threefold: a) to provide contextual reflections of the USSF National Youth Coaching License (NYL); b) to share the impact of the course on coaching efficacy; and 3) to critically discuss the implications of the lessons learned through these reflections and research on the design of quality coach education for youth sport coaches. The statistical evidence in conjunction with reflective comments demonstrate that The Game in the Child model and the NYL curriculum provide the contextual framework for an effective L-S coaching education program.

Open access

Donna Duffy and Brian Loy

Despite the apparent positive impact that coaching education programs have on the attitudes and behaviors of volunteer youth sport coaches, few programs exist to actually educate these coaches (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2001; Gould et al., 1990). The organizations that coordinate youth sport leagues have an obligation to train these volunteer coaches, but few coaches receive training and if they do receive training, it is often lacking in specific developmental areas. There are also often differences between the coaching education programs that do exist and what volunteer coaches actually want to learn and need to learn.

Open access

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.

Open access

Ian Reade and Wendy Rodgers

This study asked a group of coaches about the major challenges they encounter in their coaching experience. The study was conducted with a group that had recently completed an introductory coaching course, but they had widely varied coaching experience, and coached male and female athletes in a variety of sports at multiple levels. We were interested in the extent to which the challenges were specific to the coaches’ context, or varied according to the age, education or experience of the coach. Our results showed that coaches face multiple challenges, but dealing with parents was commonly cited as the most challenging in all contexts, indicating that a generic coach education program on this topic could be effective. Other challenges tended to be associated with specific contexts and generic coach education programs may not be able to effectively prepare coaches for those challenges.

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Daniel Gould, Nicole Damarjian and Russell Medbery

The effects of mental skills training in youth sport have been well documented (Efran, Lessor, & Spiller, 1994; Li-Wei, Qi-Wei, Orlick, & Zitzelsberger, 1992; Wanlin, Hrycaiko, Martin, & Mahon, 1997). This investigation focused on understanding why mental skills training information is not being used by junior tennis coaches and identifying better ways to convey this information to coaches. Focus-group interviews were conducted with 20 elite junior tennis coaches. Results revealed a need for more mental skills training coach education on content information. Understanding how to teach mental skills was also emphasized, as was the need for coaches to become more comfortable with this process. Coaches suggested that mental skills training information could be made more user-friendly through development of hands-on concrete examples and activities, increased mental skills training resources (particularly audio and video formats), and involvement in mental skills coach education efforts.

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Katie Kilty

The purpose of this article is to review the challenges that women coaches must overcome and to discuss coach education strategies for facilitating the development of women coaches. Changes in representation of women in positions of leadership in sport have created a social context in which the experience of female coaches is referenced from a predominantly male perspective. As such, recurring issues elicited by attendees at the USOC/NCAA sponsored Women in Coaching Conferences are discussed. Coach education strategies are addressed in three main areas: (a) the continuation of women and sport programs, (b) restructuring the work environment to recognize and value relational work skills, and (c) relational mentoring models to navigate career and life transitions and advocate for change.

Open access

Mark Stanbrough

Coaches play an extremely valuable role in a profession that offers the opportunity to help develop young people. The purpose of this study, which assessed the state of coaching education, was two-fold: 1) to determine coaching education knowledge and skills in meeting the National Coaching Standards, and 2) to determine the application of effective coaching principles in meeting the National Coaching Standards. An email containing a website link for an online survey was sent to all athletic directors in Kansas middle and high schools asking them to forward the website link to all coaches they worked with. A total of 1,414 surveys were returned. The current state of coaching education assessment listed the national coaching standards developed by NASPE and used a Likert scale to ask how prepared and successful the coaches are in meeting the standard. Results of the survey indicated that coaches feel highly prepared and successful in the following coaching standard topics: teaching positive behavior (Standard 2), demonstrating ethical conduct (Standard 4), environmental conditions (Standard 7), positive learning environments (Standard 19), and skills of the sport (standard 27). Coaches indicated that they felt least prepared and least successful in the following standards: coordinated health care program (Standard 10), psychological implications (Standard 11), conditioning based on exercise physiology (Standard 12), teaching proper nutrition (Standard 13), conditioning to return to play after injury (Standard 15), mental skill training (Standard 24), managing human resources (Standard 32), managing fiscal resources (Standard 33) and emergency action plans (Standard 34). Findings from the study can be used to direct coaching education in the areas coaches feel they are less prepared and less successful.

Open access

Kristen D. Dieffenbach, Larry Lauer and Dennis A. Johnson

Ethical concerns regarding fair play, coach athlete relationships, use of ergogenic aids, and the power dynamic inherent in coaching have been raised by those inside and outside the profession. Standards of coaching behavior and written coaching ethics are a part of most youth through elite level sport organizations. For example, the ethics code of the National Federation of High Schools and the U.S. Olympic Code of Ethics for Coaches are posted on the organization websites. Unfortunately, the “sticky” or gray situations that occur in real life often are not clearly covered in coaching ethical codes. The pressure to make decisions for reasons other than “right thing to do” is immense. These situations often do not have a straightforward answer, and the skills necessary to navigate the gray areas are often underdeveloped. This presentation discusses three approaches to teaching and reinforcing ethical thinking and problem-solving skills within different coaching education models. Best practices for teaching ethical guidelines both in and out of the coaching education classroom are discussed, and an emphasis is placed on the role of coaching education in teaching the skills critical for positive coach behavior.

Open access

Patti Finke, Janet Hamilton, Warren Finke and Mike Broderick

The RRCA Coaching Certification program is a model for national coaching education. The goal of the RRCA coaching certification is to provide trained individuals to work as coaching professionals for the sport of distance running at all levels from beginner to advanced runners. A coaching program for distance running attracts more individuals to the sport, and more importantly, helps individuals train intelligently, extend their running careers, have more fun running, and minimize the risks of overuse injuries. The program has certified over 1600 coaches across the US.

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Susannah K. Knust and Leslee Anne Fisher

In this paper, the experiences of 12 NCAA Division I female head coaches exemplifying care in their coaching are described. After a brief review of literature and terms, coaches’ own words from interview transcripts are used to illustrate four major themes: (a) team as “family”; (b) holistic care of student-athletes; (c) development of the “self-as-coach”; and (d) institutional care. We conclude by addressing why we believe that care is a coach education issue and why coaches should engage with the ongoing development of exemplary care.