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Adam J. Nichol, Edward T. Hall, Will Vickery and Philip R. Hayes

coaching practice is now substantial and growing, but the extent to which it has impacted coaching practice and coach education has been questioned ( Lyle & Cushion, 2010 ). One challenge associated with a rapidly evolving knowledge base is the ability of academics and practitioners to keep pace with the

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Christoph Szedlak, Matthew J. Smith, Bettina Callary and Melissa C. Day

instructional strategies are based on the instructional paradigm, where learning is linear and instruction centered ( Paquette & Trudel, 2016 ). In this approach, extensive technical and coaching knowledge is fundamental to develop effective S&C coaching practice; however, learning is reduced to what the S

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Daryl Marchant and Patrick McLaughlin

Innovative strategies were used to inform coaching practices regarding the skill of set-shot goal kicking in Australian Football (AF). An action learning approach was adopted including planning, data gathering, analyses and dissemination phases. Three distinct approaches were used to inform AF coaches of evidence and strategies to guide implementation, a) applying statistical trend data, b) applying expert knowledge, and c) applying biomechanical principles. Trend data from a full AFL season consisting of over 4,000 set-shots was used to inform coaches on numerous performance related parameters (e.g., distance, angle). Expert insider perspectives were generated through in-depth interviews with eight retired AF goal kicking champions. The past players had all kicked over 500 goals at the elite level and four had obtained AFL Hall of Fame or AFL Legend status. The related analyses produced six primary themes (a) correct technique (b) incorrect technique, (c) pre-kick routine, (d) mental skills (e) challenges/choices and (h) training. Third, biomechanical principles were applied to set-shot kicking with accompanying images and drills provided to coaches. A two year follow-up indicated the results were highly transferable to training and competitions. Coaches in sports that include closed skills may benefit from transferring where applicable these strategies to their sports.

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John Naslund and Garfield Pennington

A major determinant of the quality of youth’s experiences in community sports is their relationship with their coaches. It is highly desirable to investigate the practices employed by these coaches, many of whom are volunteers, as their values and coaching strategies can be encouraging for young athletes or can be demoralizing and ruin their sporting experience altogether. The unique perspectives of volunteer youth sport coaches are rarely considered, and by providing them with opportunities to openly reflect upon their practices, it may be possible to assist these coaches in improving their practices and ultimately improve the sporting experience for youth. This article describes an action research project whereby two volunteer youth sport coaches from British Columbia, Canada, engaged in a practical demonstration for using reflective dialogue in order to examine their own coaching practices. Both coaches, who are 50 years apart in age and whose coaching experience ranges from seven to over 50 years, coach different sports at different levels (elite to participation) for youth aged 11-18 years. The coach participants engaged in action research through journal writing, open discussions, and audio-recorded reflective dialogues over a period of six months. Qualitative analysis of the dialogues revealed six key themes that were significant to both coaches: motivation, confidence building, team spirit, relationship building, communication, and coaching values. The coaches comment on the effectiveness of reflective dialogue as a strategy that could help volunteer youth sport coaches better understand the importance of their roles as coaches, identify challenging aspects of their coaching, and serve as a means to further develop their coaching skills and knowledge. In addition, the coaches comment on their generational differences, and discuss the importance of having senior coaches with extensive experience mentor younger less-experienced coaches.

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Simon Roberts and Paul Potrac

To develop our understanding about how learning theory can help to make sense of and inform the facilitation of player learning, this article presents a fictitious discussion, which takes place following a postgraduate sports coaching lecture on learning theories, pedagogy and practice. Following the lecture, Coach Educator (CE) joins two group members for a coffee to listen to their thoughts, experiences, and coaching practices in relation to pertinent player learning theory. Behaviourist Coach (BC) discusses his approach to coaching and how he has come to coach in this way; and his practices that conform to behaviourist learning theory. When BC has finished sharing his views and practices, CE then invites the other student to contribute to the discussion. Constructivist Coach (CC) recognises that his philosophical beliefs about the facilitation of player learning are vastly different to those of BC. As such, CC decides to share his approach to coaching, which aligns itself with constructivist learning theory. It is hoped that this dialogue will not only further theorise the facilitation of player learning, but do so in a way that helps coaching practitioners make the connection between learning theory and coaching practice.

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Darren Ritchie and Justine Allen

How coaches prepare and perform is critical for athletes’ performances (Gould, Guinan, Greenleaf & Chung, 2002), however, little is known about coaches’ roles and coaching practices during major competitions such as the Olympic or Paralympic Games. To assist coaches in their efforts to improve athletes’ performances in competition environments, greater understanding is needed about the coaching process during major competitions and how coaches prepare and perform. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to examine track and field coaches’ perceptions of their roles and coaching practices during competition at major events. Eight coaches, seven male and one female, who had coached one or more athletes to an Olympic or Paralympic medal were interviewed. Inductive content analysis indicated that creating an athlete focused supportive environment, detailed preparation and planning, use of effective observation and limited intervention, coach and athlete psychological preparation and managing the process were salient during competition at major events. These findings suggest that during major competition the coach’s role is supportive and facilitative. Actions are largely unobtrusive and in response to athletes’ needs, but remain as detailed as other phases of the coaching process. The findings are discussed in relation to the coach as orchestrator.

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Daniel Gould, Dana K. Voelker and Katherine Griffes

To gain an in depth understanding of the youth leadership development process in sport, qualitative interviews were conducted with high school coaches (6 males; 4 females) known for cultivating leadership in their captains. Hierarchical content analyses revealed that all of the coaches reported proactive approaches toward teaching leadership through sport. However, based on the principles noted in the positive youth development literature, these coaches could do more to enhance their leadership development practices (e.g., empowering captains by more often involving them in important decision-making). Leadership philosophies, specific leadership training strategies, as well as the biggest challenges and mistakes when working with their captains are reported. Directions for future research and structuring captain training programs are discussed.

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Doug Cooper and Justine Allen

sports. Taking a theoretically grounded approach and employing multiple methods, the current study examined participants’, coaches’, and observers’ perceptions of coaching practice in noncompetitive adult adventure sports, specifically exploring the coach-created motivational climate. Adventure sports

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Jim Denison, Richard Pringle, Tania Cassidy and Paul Hessian

Progress and improvement in sport is often the result of some type of change. However, change for change sake is not always beneficial. Therefore, to be an effective ‘change agent’ a coach must be able to problematize his or her actions and assess why or why not a change might be needed. Accordingly, helping coaches become active problematizers is vital to the change process. Toward this end, we present in this paper our reflections as coach developers and coaches who considered how to apply Michel Foucault’s understanding of ethics to make self-change a positive force for enhancing athletes’ experiences. We then conclude by suggesting how coach developers might begin to incorporate Foucault’s work into the development of coaches capable of producing change that matters.

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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.