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Lawrence W. Judge, Kimberly J. Bodey, David Bellar, Christine Brooks and Terry Crawford

In recent years, large scale sport organizations and national governing bodies have produced coaching education programs to prepare coaches to teach and mentor athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine: a) track & field coaches’ familiarity with the National Standards for Sport Coaches, b) the alignment of United States Track & Field (USATF) Developmental, Level I, and Level II coaching education programs with the National Standards for Sport Coaches, and c) the alignment of USATF Developmental, Level I, and Level II coaching education programs with coaches’ perceived needs for subject matter training. A 39-item survey was administered during a USATF certification course to measure coaches’ familiarity and perceptions. The results showed the vast majority of coaches (75.2%) were not familiar with the National Standards. At the time of assessment, the Developmental, Level I, and Level II courses were partially aligned with 25 of 40 standards at the Level 1, Level 3, or Level 5 accreditation levels. The courses were not aligned with 15 of 40 standards at any accreditation level. The majority of deficiencies existed in Domain 2: Safety and Injury Prevention, Domain 7: Organization and Administration, and Domain 8: Evaluation. While the USATF coaching education curriculum is partially aligned with many, but not all, of the national standards, the curriculum appears to contain subject matter training that coaches perceived as needed. Curricular revisions, including future directions of the USATF coaching education program, such as new courses and innovative use of technology, are presented.

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Jamie Araya, Andrew Bennie and Donna O’Connor

The purpose of this study was to enrich our understanding of formal coach education settings. We investigated how coaches developed knowledge during a postgraduate tertiary coach education course. We also explored coaches’ perceptions of changes they made to their coaching attitudes, behaviours, skills, and practices as a result of their studies. Semistructured interviews1 were conducted with 17 performance coaches. Results revealed that coaches developed knowledge through rich learning situations that were relevant to their coaching context. Furthermore, the three types of knowledge (professional, interpersonal and intrapersonal; Côté & Gilbert, 2009) were fostered in an environment that was socially constructed through a Community of Practice. Coaches felt they were better equipped to develop athlete performance as a result of the knowledge gained through the course. The findings reinforce the importance of developing formal coach education that is learner-centred, provides diverse learning experiences, and embraces informal learning concepts when embedded in formal learning contexts.

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Lee J. Nelson and Christopher J. Cushion

Research frequently demonstrates that coaches learn by reflecting on practical coaching experience (Gilbert & Trudel, 2001), hence both reflection and experience have been identified as essential elements of coach education (Cushion, Armour, & Jones, 2003). The case being studied was a United Kingdom (UK) National Governing Body (NGB) in the process of developing a coach education program. The purpose of this study was to empirically explore the use of reflection as a conceptual underpinning to connect and understand coach education, theory, and practice. Findings suggest that the curriculum could promote reflective practice, albeit in a largely decontextualized learning environment. Future research should attempt to directly measure, in situ, the impact of such courses on coaching knowledge and coaching practice.

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Erica Pasquini and Melissa Thompson

traditionally volunteers, they often have the least amount of coach training. In fact, a large majority of youth-sport coaches have received no formal coach education. This lack of education combined with the growing competitive youth-sport culture creates a hot spot for the CEC’s occurrence. Simply stated

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Tiffanye M. Vargas, Margaret M. Flores and Robbi Beyer

Athletes with high incidence disabilities (specific learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, emotional behavioral disorders, mild intellectual disabilities and speech/language disabilities) make up 10% of the population of children in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Since these disabilities are not physically apparent, there difficulties may be overlooked or athletes may be mistakenly labeled as unmotivated, lazy, oppositional or defiant. These deficits can be remediated and compensated through the use of research-validated strategies and instructional methods. However, while these methods and strategies are often included in teacher preparation, they rarely, if ever, are included in coaching-preparation. Therefore, the purpose of this hour long interactive lecture is twofold and 1) seeks to review the coaching education research on hidden disabilities, including coaches’ attitudes and efficacy towards working with athletes with hidden disabilities, coaching educators attitudes towards the inclusion of such content within coaching education, and coaches’ preferences for how to receive this information, and 2) to illustrate teaching strategies and techniques that can successfully be incorporated into coaching education. Presenters will use discussion, activities, and research to introduce this new area to coaching education to coach educators and sport scientists/high performance directors.

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Tania Cassidy, Paul Potrac and Alex McKenzie

The aim of this paper is twofold. The first purpose is to report on participant coaches’ perceptions of a theory-based coach education program (known as the CoDe program). The second purpose is to discuss how we, as coach educators, reflected on the initiation of the CoDe program. In evaluating the coach education program, semistructured interviews were conducted with eight rugby union coaches. Three themes emerged from the interviews: (a) thinking about athletes as learners, (b) focusing on the process of coaching, and (c) the value of talking with other coaches. Fullan’s (1991a) notion of curriculum change frames our discussion of the participant coaches’ evaluations and our reflections on the initiation of the CoDe program.

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Don Vinson, Polly Christian, Vanessa Jones, Craig Williams and Derek M. Peters

Inclusive and equitable processes are important to the development of sports coaching. The aim of this study was to explore how well UK coach education meets the needs of women sports coaches to make recommendations to further enhance the engagement of, and support for, aspiring and existing women coaches. The national governing bodies (NGBs) of four sports (Cycling, Equestrian, Gymnastics and Rowing) volunteered to participate and semistructured interviews using the tenants of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) within a Self Determination Theory (SDT) framework were undertaken with 23 coaches, eight coach educators and five NGB officers. The data themed into an analytic structure derived from SDT comprising ‘Autonomy: Freedom to coach’, ‘Coaching competence’, and ‘Relatedness and belonging’. The coaches perceived potential benefit from enhanced relatedness and belonging within their sport with the findings suggesting that NGBs should embrace coach-led decision making in terms of the developmental topics which are important and should adopt the development of competence, rather than assessing technical understanding, as the foundational principle of more inclusive coach education. Future research should investigate the impact of the inclusive practices which are recommended within this investigation such as the softening of the technocratic focus of formal coach education.

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Margaret L. Søvik, Torill Larsen, Hege Eikeland Tjomsland, Oddrun Samdal and Bente Wold

This study explores grassroots coaches’ (GCs’) perceptions of the content of a one-day coach education workshop, the programme’s applicability, their use of the content, and the perceived barriers to implementing the programme in their coaching practice. One hundred and thirteen GCs completed follow-up questionnaires, while 12 of them were also interviewed. Descriptive statistics and qualitative analyses were conducted. The quantitative results indicate that the GCs were mainly positive about the programme content and found it easy to apply and adapt to. However, few GCs seemed to apply the programme principles to a great extent. The qualitative results illustrate that the GCs reported barriers that seem to relate to programme characteristics, in particular a lack of follow-up; individual factors, such as a lack of time; and organizational factors, like the lack of a shared understanding of the programme with their co-coaches, and lack of support from club officials. Thus, the findings imply that there is a need for an extended focus on organisational factors, especially support by club officials, when implementing coach education content in youth sports. Future recommendations for implementation of coach education workshops for youth grassroots coaches have been suggested, where support for the coaches is a key issue.

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Zoe Avner, Pirkko Markula and Jim Denison

Drawing on a modified version of Foucault’s (1972) analysis of discursive formations, we selected key coach education texts in Canada to examine what discourses currently shape effective coaching in Canada in order to detect what choices Canadian coaches have to know about “being an effective coach.” We then compared the most salient aspects of our reading to the International Sport Coaching Framework. Our Foucauldian reading of the two Canadian coach education websites showed that the present set of choices for coaches to practice “effectively” is narrow and that correspondingly the potential for change and innovation is limited in scope. Our comparison with the International Sport Coaching Framework, however, showed more promise as we found that its focus on the development of coach competences allowed for different coaching knowledges and coaching aims than a narrow focus on performance and results. We then conclude this Insights Paper by offering some comments on the implications of our Foucauldian reading as well as some suggestions to address our concerns about the dominance of certain knowledges and the various effects of this dominance for athletes, coaches, coach development and the coaching profession at large.

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Fernando Santos, Martin Camiré, Dany J. MacDonald, Henrique Campos, Manuel Conceição and Patricia Silva

Positive youth development (PYD) is a framework that has been widely used within sport research to outline sport’s potential as a developmental context. Past research has indicated how coaches play important roles in facilitating PYD through sport and yet, PYD-related material remains largely absent from mainstream coach education courses (CEC). The purpose of the current study was to examine youth sport coaches’ perspective on PYD and its worth in mainstream coach education courses. The participants were twelve Portuguese youth field hockey coaches (one female and eleven males) who coached athletes between four and eighteen years of age. Findings indicated that coaches valued PYD within their coaching philosophy, but were also highly motivated by performance and improving their players’ motor skills. The participants deemed that CEC generally lack PYD-related material, adding that practical strategies informed by the PYD approach should be inherently part of CEC delivery. The findings have practical implications for coach educators, indicating a need and a desire on the part of coaches to have PYD-related content in mainstream CEC.