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Jean Côté and John H. Salmela

The purpose of this study was to report the knowledge used by expert high-performance gymnastic coaches in the organization of training and competition. In-depth interviews were conducted with 9 coaches who worked with male gymnasts and 8 coaches who worked with female gymnasts. Qualitative analyses showed that coaches of males and coaches of females planned training similarly, except that coaches of females appeared to emphasize esthetic and nutritional issues to a greater extent. Coaches of males revealed more concerns about the organization of gymnasts’ physical conditioning. Analysis indicated that expert gymnastic coaches of males and females are constantly involved in dynamic social interactions with gymnasts, parents, and assistant coaches. Many areas of coaches’ organizational work, such as dealing with the athletes’ personal concerns and working with parents, are not part of the structure of coaches’ training programs and emerged as crucial tasks of expert gymnastic coaches for developing elite gymnasts.

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Kristine L. Chambers and Joan N. Vickers

The effects of a coaching intervention involving Bandwidth Feedback and Questioning (BF-Q) on competitive swim times (cTIME), practice swim times (pTIME), and technique (TECH) were determined for competitive youth swimmers. The pre-post-transfer design spanned one short-course (25m) swim season. It was concluded that coaching in which feedback was delayed and replaced with questions directed to the athletes contributed to improved technique and subsequent faster race times. Compared to the Control group, the BF-Q group displayed greater gains in TECH during the intervention period and greater improvement in cTIME during the transfer period. Results are presented in a context of cognitive psychology, motor learning, and questioning. Applications to coaching practice and coach training are also discussed.

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Ineke Vergeer and John M. Hogg

This study aimed to examine the effects of four situational factors on coaches’ decisions about an injured athlete’s participation in competition. A telephone survey was conducted among 64 coaches training female gymnasts of various competitive levels. Coaches were presented with hypothetical scenarios depicting situations in which an athlete suffered an ankle injury prior to competition. Injury severity, the gymnast’s age and ability level, and importance of the competition were systematically varied in a total of 16 scenarios. Using a multilinear polynomial model (Louvière. 1988), decision policies were calculated at the individual and aggregate levels. The aggregate level analysis showed a four-way interaction effect. Cluster analysis on individual policies revealed two groups, membership of which was associated with personal injury history. Results suggest that in their decision making, coaches are sensitive to the unique situational characteristics surrounding the injury and are influenced by their personal experiences with competing while injured.

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Jessica Fraser-Thomas and Jean Côté

The purpose of this study was to gain understanding of adolescents’ positive and negative developmental experiences in sport. Twenty-two purposefully sampled adolescent competitive swimmers participated in a semistructured qualitative interview. Content analysis led to the organization of meaning units into themes and categories (Patton, 2002). Athletes suggested their sport involvement facilitated many positive developmental experiences (i.e., related to challenge, meaningful adult and peer relationships, a sense of community, and other life experiences) and some negative developmental experiences (i.e., related to poor coach relationships, negative peer influences, parent pressure, and the challenging psychological environment of competitive sport). Findings underline the important roles of sport programmers, clubs, coaches, and parents in facilitating youths’ positive developmental experiences in sport, while highlighting numerous important directions for future research. Implications for coach training and practice are outlined.

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Joëlle Carpentier and Geneviève A. Mageau

Change-oriented feedback (COF) quality is predictive of between-athletes differences in their sport experience (Carpentier & Mageau, 2013). This study extends these findings by investigating how training-to-training variations in COF quality influence athletes’ training experience (within-athlete differences) while controlling for the impact of promotion-oriented feedback (POF). In total, 49 athletes completed a diary after 15 consecutive training sessions to assess COF and POF received during training, as well as situational outcomes. Multivariate multilevel analyses showed that, when controlling for covariates, COF quality during a specific training session is positively linked to athletes’ autonomous motivation, self-confidence and satisfaction of their psychological needs for autonomy and relatedness during the same session. In contrast, COF quantity is negatively linked to athletes’ need for competence. POF quality is a significant positive predictor of athletes’ self-confidence and needs for autonomy and competence. Contributions to the feedback and SDT literature, and for coaches’ training, are discussed.

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Renato Barroso, Ronaldo K. Cardoso, Everton Crivoi Carmo and Valmor Tricoli

Session rating of perceived exertion (SRPE) is a practical method to assess internal training load to provide appropriate stimuli. However, coaches and athletes might rate training sessions differently, which can impair performance development. In addition, SRPE might be influenced by athletes’ training experience. The authors studied 160 swimmers of different age groups and different competitive swimming experience and 9 coaches. SRPE was indicated by the swimmers 30 min after the end of a training session and before the training session by the coaches. Training-session intensities were classified into easy (SRPE <3), moderate (SRPE 3–5), and difficult (SRPE >5), based on coaches’ perception. We observed that the correlation between coaches’ and athletes’ SRPE increased with increased age and competitive swimming experience, r = .31 for the 11- to 12-y-old group (P < .001), r = .51 for the 13- to 14-y-old group (P < .001), and r = .74 for the 15- to 16-y-old group (P < .001). In addition, younger swimmers (11–12 y, P < .01; 13–14 y, P < .01) rated training intensity differently from coaches in all 3 categories (easy, moderate, and difficult), while the older group rated differently in only 1 category (difficult, P < .01). These findings suggest that the more experienced swimmers are, the more accurate their SRPE is.

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Gordon A. Bloom, Rebecca Crumpton and Jenise E. Anderson

A systematic observation analysis was performed on Fresno State men’s basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian over the course of an entire season. Based on Tharp and Gallimore’s (1976) work and recent research on expert coaches’ training techniques (Côté et al., 1995; Durand-Bush, 1996), the Revised Coaching Behavior Recording Form was created to observe and record Tarkanian’s teaching behaviors and verbal cues. Results showed that tactical instructions was the most frequently occurring variable, representing 29% of the coded behaviors. This behavior was 13% higher than the second highest variable, hustles (16%). Following these two categories were technical instruction (13.9%), praise\encouragement (13.6%), general instructions (12%), scolds (6%), and six other categories with percentages less than 3%. This means that almost one-third of Coach Tarkanian’s practice behaviors relate to teaching offensive and defensive strategies to his team. This differs from the practice sessions of beginner- and intermediate-level coaches, who often focus on teaching fundamental skills to their athletes. A complete description of all 12 categories are provided along with implications for coaches of all levels.

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M. Ryan Flett, Daniel Gould, Katherine R. Griffes and Larry Lauer

The following study explored coaching behaviors and youth coaches’ justifications for their actions by comparing more effective and less effective coaches from an underserved setting. Reasons for their coaching behaviors were also explored. In-depth interviews and ethnographic observations were conducted with 12 coaches from 6 different youth sports. Support for each theme from the analysis was compared between the 6 more effective and 6 less effective coaches. Less effective coaches tried to create a sense of family within the team, but used very negative, militaristic coaching strategies that were not developmentally appropriate. Less effective coaches justified the negative approach because of the perceived dangers in the inner city and attempted to toughen their players through harsher methods. More effective coaches challenged players while being supportive, attempted to develop close relationships along with a positive team climate, and promoted autonomy and the transfer of life skills from sport to life. More effective coaches appeared to be more open to coach training and others’ ideas—they could be described as lifelong learners. The results from this study not only reveal how more and less effective coaches differ, but provide possible insight as to why they differ. The study provides unique insights for researchers and coaching educators interested in particularly underserved settings and in developing less effective coaches.

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William R. Falcão, Gordon A. Bloom and Andrew Bennie

The purpose of this study was to develop and deliver a humanistic coaching workshop, as well as investigate coaches’ perceptions of this workshop and their experiences using humanistic coaching. Participants were 12 coaches of grade 7–11 basketball teams from schools in low socioeconomic communities in a major Canadian city. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and personal journals. An inductive thematic analysis revealed coaches perceived the workshop to be effective in teaching the humanistic principles and how to apply them in youth sport settings. The perceived strengths of the workshop included the group discussions, use of videos, practical coaching examples, and learning about the findings from empirical studies. The participants applied the humanistic principles with their teams by asking questions that guided athlete learning and by requesting feedback about various individual and team matters. Despite facing challenges such as increased time and effort to implement humanistic coaching principles, the participants reported positive outcomes in their athletes related to autonomy, communication, motivation, and willingness to help teammates. These results are discussed using literature on youth sport coaching, knowledge translation, and youth development through sport. Findings from this study can be used to enhance youth sport coach training protocols.

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20 20 2 2 Introduction Introduction to Special Issue: Coach Education Wade D. Gilbert * Guest Editor * 6 2006 20 20 2 2 123 123 125 125 10.1123/tsp.20.2.123 Applied Research Coach Training as a Strategy for Promoting Youth Social Development David E. Conroy * J. Douglas Coatsworth * 6 2006