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Fran Hoogestraat, Michael Phillips and Lanise Rosemond

Truly the best coaching education programs more than adequately outline the myriad of roles a coach must perform: from disciplinarian to diplomat, mother or father figure to dictator, from detective to judge and jury (Hammermeister, 2010; Sabock & Sabock, 2008.) Nevertheless, coaches at high school and college levels appear to be consistently confronted with unexpected surprises. Why is this?

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Paul Garner and Denise M. Hill

Given the enduring focus of coach education on the development of professional knowledge (e.g., technique, strategy, and tactics), the current study aimed to explore how a Community of Practice (CoP) impacted coach development of interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge. Côté and Gilbert’s (2009) definition of coaching expertise was used as a model to observe learning in a community of practice (CoP; Wenger, McDermott & Snyder, 2002). A total of eight internationally qualified ski coaches (aged 27–44 years) took part in weekly meetings over a period of six weeks, with the lead researcher cultivating a CoP and ensuring coaching issues were the focus of discussion. Meetings were audio-recorded and the data transcribed and analysed thematically. Results revealed that coaches developed both interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge through enhanced emotional intelligence, gaining an athlete-centred approach, storytelling, group reflection and changing role frames. The findings are positioned within the extant literature, with implication for coach education practice identified.

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David Adams, Brendan Cropley and Richard Mullen

The purpose of the current study was to empirically examine the potential course content, structure, and delivery mechanisms for a dedicated elite youth coach education programme in football (soccer) in the UK. By achieving this aim it was the intention of the authors to use the findings of this study for the future development of a customised coach education programme. Fifteen elite coaches, working in youth football at the time of the study, participated in one of three focus groups. Emerging from content analysis procedures, the findings placed specific importance on the development of an athlete-centred coaching philosophy, a focus on behaviours and activities associated with positive youth development, a movement away from traditional practices, and the development of the skills required to learn through reflective practice. In addition, a range of pedagogical approaches, including social approaches to learning, mentoring, and blended learning, were highlighted as ways to better deliver education programmes.

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Stewart A. Vella and Dana J. Perlman

The purpose of this paper is to provide a concise resource for coaches, coach educators, and coaching scientists by reviewing three common approaches to coaching: the mastery approach to coaching; autonomy-supportive coaching; and the transformational leadership approach to coaching. The theoretical foundations, purpose, evidence base, specifed behaviours, and translation into coaching and coach education of each approach are reviewed. Despite diverse theoretical foundations and variations in purpose, there is some overlap in the coaching behaviours prescribed by each approach. However, there is limited empirical evidence to support the use of the three approaches in coach education and this is detrimental to effective and evidence-based coach education. Efforts to integrate theoretical foundations are promising, and a comprehensive prescription of coaching behaviours based on an integration of the three approaches is possible. This approach can potentially lead to cumulative effects on positive athlete outcomes. Future research should elucidate the common and unique contributions of these approaches to athletes’ outcomes, and whether they differ by age, sex, type of sport, or competition level.

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Alisa Boon and Wade Gilbert

The purpose of this paper is to share recommendations from youth sport coaches and administrators on using the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (UN MDGs) for teaching citizenship through youth sport. Fourteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with coaches and administrators from one region of the American Youth Soccer Organization. Although only one of the 14 participants was aware of the UN MDGs, every one of them was able to provide at least some specific recommendations for integrating citizenship into youth soccer. Opportunities and challenges for integrating citizenship into coach education programs are discussed based on the results of the present study and related literature on teaching life skills through sport.

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Lana Jade McCloughan, Emma Louise Mattey and Stephanie J. Hanrahan

Sporting participation is believed to aid the development of good social skills and promote positive values such as equality, cooperation, and respect. Nevertheless, some people have negative experiences in the sporting environment. The presence of homophobic bullying in sport has been increasingly acknowledged. The purpose of this paper is to critically discuss current views on coaches’ roles in homophobic bullying prevention in adolescent sport and provide an example of a program designed to upskill coaches in this important area. A review of the prevalence of homophobic bullying in sport is provided. The importance of the role of the coach in addressing bullying in adolescent sport is then discussed. Coach education and learning theory are examined and an example of a coach education workshop on homophobic bullying prevention is detailed. A summary of the evaluation completed by the coach participants of the education workshop is provided, with potential modifications to the workshop noted. The need for intervention is linked back to the literature in the conclusion.

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John Stoszkowski and Dave Collins

Heutagogic learning is characterized by the notion of human agency. Power and autonomy are placed firmly in the hands of the learner, who takes responsibility for, and control of, what they will learn, when it will be learnt and how it will be learnt. As a result, if sufficiently reflexive, heutagogic learners are said to acquire both competencies (knowledge and skills) and capabilities (the capacity to appropriately and effectively apply one’s competence in novel and unanticipated situations). The complex and dynamic environment of sports coaching, coupled with coaches’ apparent preference for informal self-directed learning methods (as opposed to more formalised educational settings), would therefore seem perfect for its application. In this insights paper, we aim to stimulate debate by providing a critical overview of the heutagogic method and consider it against the nature of coaching skill. In tandem, we identify some essential preconditions that coaches might need to develop before heutagogic approaches might be deployed effectively in coach education.

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Fernando Santos, Nuno Corte-Real, Leonor Regueiras, Leisha Strachan, Cláudia Dias and António Fonseca

Over the last decades positive development (PD) has served as a framework for several investigations within the sport science community. In fact, multiple researchers have analyzed youth coaches’ role in PD. However, there is recent interest in exploring high performance coaching due to the complexity of the coaching practice, the different developmental needs presented by players, and the relevance of PD within this particular environment. The purpose of this study was to understand the perspectives of Portuguese football coaches about the importance of PD in high performance coaching. The participants in the study were ten male Portuguese football coaches who trained athletes between the ages of 16 and 39 years of age. Findings showed that coaches viewed winning and on field performance as top priorities in their coaching philosophy, but recognized the importance of PD. Coaches also envisioned the determinant role youth coaches have in this domain. Coaches conceptualized PD as an overarching framework that could be used across the developmental spectrum to convey a range of PD outcomes in high performance contexts such as teamwork, respect for others and transfer to other life domains. Moving forward, coach education courses should help coaches develop strategies to foster PD.

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Mike Hebert

Edited by Wade Gilbert

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Bobby Guthrie, Bruce Brown and Jody Redman