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Nicole M. LaVoi, Erin Becker and Heather D. Maxwell

Given the lack of nationalized and required coach education programs for those involved with youth sports, self-help coaching books are a common source of knowledge. With the exception of critiques of young adult sports fiction (Kane, 1998; Kreigh & Kane, 1997), sport media research has lacked investigation of mediums that impact non-elite youth athletes and adolescent girls, and youth coaches and parents of young female athletes. The purpose of this study is to examine ‘coaching girls’ books–specifically how differences between female and male athletes are constructed. A content analysis was performed on selective chapters within a criterion sampling of six best-selling, self-help ‘coaching girls’ books. Results indicate coaching girls books are written from a perspective of inflated gender difference, and represent a simplified, stereo-typed account of coaching girls. Four first-order themes emerged from analysis: Problematizing Coaching Girls, Girls Constructed As “Other,” Ambivalence, and Sustaining the Gender Binary. Implications of these themes are discussed.

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Karl Erickson, Jean Côté and Jessica Fraser-Thomas

What experiences are needed to become a high-performance coach? The present study addressed this question through structured retrospective quantitative interviews with 10 team- and 9 individual-sport coaches at the Canadian interuniversity-sport level. Minimum amounts of certain experiences were deemed necessary but not sufficient to become a high-performance coach (e.g., playing the sport they now coach and interaction with a mentor coach for all coaches, leadership opportunities as athletes for team-sport coaches only). Although coaches reported varying amounts of these necessary experiences, general stages of high-performance coach development were traced. Findings serve to identify and support potential high-performance coaches and increase the effectiveness of formal coaching-education programs.

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Eric M. Martin, Martha E. Ewing and Daniel Gould

Significant social agents are thought to play a vital role in youth development (Brustad, Babkes, & Smith, 2001). The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) commissioned a nationwide survey to examine the effect significant social agents had on youth sport behavior. In Phase I, initial data were collected and results were published in the Journal of Coaching Education (2011). The results of the previous analyses were largely descriptive, and further analyses were desired. Therefore, the current study (Phase II) is a secondary but more in-depth data analysis of the initial data collected by the USADA. Phase II analyses (n = 3379, Mage = 12.23, SD = 2.78) revealed that youth sport coaches have the greatest positive influence on youth followed closely by parents, but all of the significant social agents, to different extents, were seen as more positive than negative by youth. Results varied by developmental level, gender, and competitive level. Results, limitations, and practical implications are discussed.

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Ronald W. Quinn

This presentation will describe through lecture and video the first Urban Soccer Collaborative National Youth Leadership Institute, a weeklong residence program held at Xavier University to assist future leaders within underserved communities. This program could serve as a model for teaching sport leadership and service to children between the ages of 14-18. The weeklong program consisted of a youth soccer coaching education certification course, goal-setting sessions, personal and career development workshops, service through soccer training, and a cultural experience via a field trip to the Freedom Center on the Underground Railroad. Upon completion of the program the students made a commitment to design and implement a service-learning project within their undeserved community within the calendar year. An update of their service projects will also be presented.

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Bettina Callary, Penny Werthner and Pierre Trudel

Using Jarvis’ (2006) psychosocial perspective of human learning, we explore how the career choices and the subsequent coaching approaches of five Canadian women coaches have been influenced by their primary and secondary socialization. A content analysis was performed to identify how coaches learned in their primary socialization with their family, and in their secondary socialization at school and in their sport experiences. The findings indicate that the learning situations in their primary and secondary socialization influence the coaches’ career choices and their subsequent coaching approaches. These findings have implications for coaching education, enabling course developers and facilitators to understand (a) the importance of creating environments where coaches are able to critically reflect, and (b) how coaching approaches can be influenced by early life experiences.

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Imornefe Bowes and Robyn L. Jones

Drawing on ideas from social psychology, in particular those associated with relational schemas and complexity theory, the purpose of this paper is to present an alternative perspective of coaching. Following the introduction, current conceptualizations of coaching are critiqued as being inadequate. The case is then made that such work could alternatively profit from an examination of coaches’ agency within their structurally created relational schemas to better understand the nature of the activity. Recent empirical work on coaches is subsequently drawn upon to support the theoretical position proposed, which postulates practitioners as working near or on “the edge of chaos.” Finally, a conclusion draws together the main points made, particularly in relation to the value of the position taken for coach education.

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Lawrence W. Judge, David Bellar, Jeffrey Petersen, Erin Gilreath and Elizabeth Wanless

As national anti-doping organizations (NADOs) adopt preventative measures to complement detection-based deterrence methods, understanding coaches’ attitudes toward drugs in sport will take on a new importance. This study was conducted to measure coaches’ attitudes in the sport of track and field toward performance enhancing drug (PED) use and drug testing. A total of 254 track and field coaches (Age: 33.4 yrs ±9.7) completed a 51-item survey. Coaches who were certified reported they felt more knowledgeable about PED use (r s = .168, p = .004) and that they had learned about PED use and testing through the USA Track and Field (USATF) coaches education program (r s = .220, p < .001). USATF certified coaches also reported a stronger perception that the coach plays a key role in PED deterrence (r s = .158, p = .006). These findings suggest that national sport governing bodies (NGBs) like USATF have taken significant steps to educate prospective coaches on the topic of PED’s and drug testing and these measures have positively impacted coaches.

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Kristen Dieffenbach

In 2006 the updated standards for coaching education programs concerning the eight NASPE coach knowledge area domains (National Standards for Sport Coaches, 2006) were released. Despite these standards and an increased awareness regarding the importance of area-specific knowledge (Nash & Collins, 2006), the culture of sport often requires little to no formalized science-based training for coaches. U.S. coaches typically enter the profession through volunteer or assistant coach type experiences with little to no formal training. While hands-on experience is important, it leaves many coaches with training knowledge gaps. In an effort to meet the needs of aspiring coaches and to increase the professionalism and the qualifications of coaches working with athletes, many U.S. sport national governing bodies (NGB’s) offer coaching certification programs. However, little is known about how to best disseminate information in a manner that will meet both the needs and learning styles of practicing coaches. This study focuses on the learning preferences, habits and attitudes of one NGB group – USA Cycling licensed coaches.

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Rachael Bertram, Diane M. Culver and Wade Gilbert

Coach education researchers have suggested that coaches require ongoing support for their continued learning and development after initial certification. Communities of practice have been used in a variety of settings, and have been identified as an effective means for supporting coach learning and development. However, researchers have yet to fully explore the value that can be created through participating in them within sport settings. The purpose of this study was to collaboratively design, implement, and assess the value created within a coach community of practice, using Wenger, Trayner, and De Laat’s (2011) Value Creation Framework. Participants included five youth sport coaches from a soccer organization. Data collection included observations and reflections from the first author throughout the study, two individual interviews with each coach, and interactions via an online discussion platform. The findings revealed that the coaches created value within each of the five cycles of value creation in Wenger and colleagues’ framework, and that they created value that was personally relevant to their immediate coaching needs. The coaches’ learning led to an increase in perceived coaching abilities.

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Kirsi Hämäläinen and Minna Blomqvist

The purpose of this article is to describe recent actions for sport organizations and coach development in Finland. Finnish Sport organizations and systems especially in high-performance sports have been in a transition phase in recent years. The high-performance sport systems have been analyzed and reorganized and new strategic goals were set. Coach development was chosen as one of the focus areas and the leadership of coach development is at the new High Performance Unit of the Olympic Committee. There are different education paths for coaches and all the organizations which provide coach education belong to a network for coach development. This network works for developing programs, learning concepts and tools and sharing of expertise. One key idea of the development work has been to conduct systematic research among Finnish coaches to gain objective information of coaches’ needs and learning experiences. As a result of this work, the Finnish Coach Competence Model was created as a tool and for creating common understanding of coaches’ competences and for developing education programs and coaches’ assessment. Creating a new learning culture and a network have been the main steps so far and the further development for those are also the main goals in future.