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Christiane Trottier and Sophie Robitaille

The aim of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of coaches’ perceptions of their role in the development of life skills in adolescent athletes in two different sport contexts. Semistructured interviews were held with 24 coaches: 12 coaching high school basketball and 12 coaching community swimming. All coaches followed a holistic, athlete-centered approach. Coaches described the life skills they taught, their motivations, and the strategies they used to foster life skills development in practice. Although some differences between the two contexts were identified, the overall results indicate that all coaches fostered the development of life skills through various teaching and transfer strategies, and that coaches had two main motivations: athletes’ needs and their own values. The main results are discussed in light of the literature on life skills in sport and positive youth development, and in terms of methodological considerations. The study concludes with some practical recommendations for coaches.

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Laura Martin and Martin Camiré

in youth during their formative years ( Gould & Carson, 2008 ). Over the recent decade, the push to use sport as a vehicle to deliberately teach youth life skills, as a function of PYD, has increased significantly ( Gould & Carson, 2008 ). Many youth sport organizations outline in their mission

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Zenzi Huysmans, Damien Clement, Robert Hilliard, and Adam Hansell

, and behaviours ( Camiré et al., 2012 ; Lumpkin, 2010 ). Moreover, coaches can help athletes develop personally and emotionally, and facilitate the learning of life skills ( Collins, Gould, Lauer, & Chung, 2009 ; Sackett & Gano-Overway, 2017 ). The development of these psychosocial and behavioural

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Martin Camiré, Kelsey Kendellen, Scott Rathwell, and Evelyne Felber Charbonneau

The practice of sport in Canadian high schools is justified based on the premise that participation exposes students to experiences that allow them to develop the life skills necessary to become contributing members of society ( Camiré, Werthner, & Trudel, 2009 ). In fact, School Sport Canada

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Maureen R. Weiss, Lindsay E. Kipp, Alison Phillips Reichter, and Nicole D. Bolter

) clearly indicate that acquiring attitudes and behaviors that transfer beyond sport (ie, life skills) is not attained automatically from participation—it is likely to occur when intentionally taught by supportive coaches who provide feedback within a climate that emphasizes effort and improvement rather

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Rachel Allison

contributes to women’s academic and career achievement outcomes ( Coakley, 2011 ; Troutman & Dufur, 2007 ). The prevailing explanation for the supposedly positive effects of sports participation is a “developmental theory” ( Zeiser, 2011 , p. 1143) that sport improves life skills such as time management

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Sara Kramers, Martin Camiré, and Corliss Bean

, Pollard, & Arthur, 2002 ). Sport-based PYD programs are designed to offer positive growth experiences by exposing youth to environments that foster the development of life skills (e.g., working as a team, being a leader), defined as psychosocial skills that can be learned and/or refined in sport and

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Tarkington J. Newman, Fernando Santos, António Cardoso, and Paulo Pereira

to their own development). Throughout the past several decades, PYD has been used across the globe as an overarching framework to help youth sport coaches enhance PYD outcomes, particularly life skill development and life skill transfer ( Pierce, Gould, & Camiré, 2017 ; Santos, Camiré, & Campos

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Amparo Escartí, Ramon Llopis-Goig, and Paul M. Wright

-Gunn, 2003 ). In the psychosocial literature, these competencies are called “life skills,” and these types of programs are found under the rubric of positive youth development programs or social and emotional learning programs ( Graczvk & Weissberg, 2003 ). Within models-based practice in physical education

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Stéphanie Turgeon, Kelsey Kendellen, Sara Kramers, Scott Rathwell, and Martin Camiré

). Thus, because of its school affiliation and developmental mandate, North American high school sport is ideally positioned as an arena for life-skills development. The Mission Statements of High School Sport–Governing Bodies In both Canada and the United States, high school sports are governed at the