A Reflection on the State of Sport Coaching Research, Its Community, and Representation: The 2020 International Council for Coaching Excellence Research Committee Consultation

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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  • 1 Leeds Beckett University
  • | 2 Cape Breton University
  • | 3 West Virginia University
  • | 4 University of Campinas
  • | 5 The University of Edinburgh
  • | 6 The University of Sydney

This article provides an overview of the context, details, and outcomes of a consultation and review of the International Council for Coaching Excellence’s interactions and engagements with, and service provision to, the international sport coaching research community. The consultation and review were undertaken by the International Council for Coaching Excellence Research Committee (RC). The paper starts with a description of the sport coaching research landscape. It then provides details of the role of the International Council for Coaching Excellence, its Research Fair, and RC. The paper then offers an overview of the formal initiation of the consultation and review at the Global Coach Conference, Japan 2019, as well as a brief overview of the approach used. It then details the consultation findings providing direction for the RC moving forward. The resultant revised RC terms of reference are included as an appendix.

An Overview of the Sport Coaching Research Landscape

The importance of sport coaching can be understood in terms of the scale of activity and its potential reach and impact on the lives of individuals and communities. Coaching research is still relatively young, 40–50 years old at most. Gilbert and Trudel (2004) suggested that there were around 600 articles published between 1970 and 2001, with an increasing annual rate of publication. Review work by Rangeon, Gilbert, and Bruner (2012) suggested that around 70 research articles within the coaching discipline are published every year. In the International Sport Coaching Journal (ISCJ) alone, since 2014, roughly 40 articles are published per year.1

Grounded in psychology, sociology, education, and sport sciences, sport coaching research has progressively developed as a discipline in its own right. It broadly comprises studies on the coaching process (e.g., planning), relationship development (e.g., leadership, coach–athlete relationships), coaching practices (e.g., effectiveness, efficacy, behaviors), and coach education and development (e.g., learning, expertise, and coach developers; e.g., Callary & Gearity, 2020; Lyle & Cushion, 2017; North, 2017). Studies in sport sciences also inform coaches’ knowledge and practice (e.g., Williams & Kendall, 2007). Research is used to underpin evidence-informed policy and practice (European Commission, 2007, 2011; European Union, 2014). Sport coaching research also progresses (and criticizes) aspirations for a sport coaching profession (e.g., Cassidy, Jones, & Potrac, 2016; Galatti et al., 2016; North, Piggott et al., 2019).

While continuing to grow, sport coaching research remains relatively under-resourced in terms of active researchers and funding. There are countries where universities are supportive of, and where sport and coaching agencies and governing bodies of sport provide funding for, coaching research (notably in Australia, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom)—but these are the exception rather than the norm. Sport coaching research is still building a critical mass of interest and activity evident in other sporting and applied disciplines.

With this assortment of research focus, aims, and uses, sport coaching research has gained an important and diverse role in advancing our understanding of this activity worldwide. A sometimes healthy/vibrant, sometimes problematic, by-product of such growth and diversity is a lack of consensus on if/how we operate as a community of researchers. There appear to be a number of issues that divide sport coaching researchers. For example, should research be conceived primarily as a cognitive, behavioral, social, or multilayered process/activity? Is its main underpinning discipline psychological or sociological? Should research on coaching be theory or data driven, or some deliberate or incidental combination? Further, there are differences of opinions on the role of different methodological approaches, notably the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches and their relative value to exploring coaching complexity. There is an ongoing debate about the extent to which coaching can be seen to be a generic process, for example, coaching as an educational process, or can only be understood through specific domains (or indeed both); as well as the extent to which it can be usefully captured through shareable theories, concepts, and models, or (and) requires a knowledge that is more contextual and critical.

The above provides a very high-level overview to situate coaching and the research community as a background to the current work. It is into this landscape of growth, turbulence, and innovation that the International Council for Coaching Excellence’s (ICCE) Research Committee (RC) chose to reflect on and build interactions and engagements with, and service provisions to, the international sport coaching research community. The consultation and review processes are described below.

The International Council for Coaching Excellence2

The ICCE is a not-for-profit member-based global cooperative, established in 1997, representing 130 agencies and organizations in over 50 countries, and hundreds of individual associates. The ICCE vision for coaching states “coaches are developed and supported by sustainable and professional systems,” bolstering the organizational mission of “leading and developing sport coaching globally.” Its main mechanism of operation is through building a global community of coaching stakeholders including coaching agencies and coaches’ associations, Olympic committees, international federations, governing bodies, coach developers and educators, coaches, and researchers through international collaboration and exchange. The ICCE’s principal activities include the Global Coach Conference (GCC), Research Fair, Continental Conferences, working groups, and engagement in collaborative and/or consultancy projects. GCCs have taken place every 2 years since 1997 in Israel, Australia, the United States, Canada, Ireland, China, Canada, France, South Africa, Finland, England, and Japan. The next event is due to take place in Portugal, in November 2021, and is the target for this article.3 Continental Conferences have also occurred in Ghana, Hong Kong, Korea, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. Working groups currently exist for paracoaching, the monitoring and evaluation of coach education, coach development in emerging countries, coach developer development, and coach education assessment approaches. The ICCE has also been involved in a number of collaborations funded by the European Commission. These include projects: CoachNet (Duffy et al., 2013), CoachLearn (e.g., North et al., 2016), iCoachKids (e.g., Lara-Bercial et al., 2017), and Coachforce21 (e.g., Lara-Bercial et al., 2020). The ICCE has also been involved in projects with the Japan Sport Council, Nippon Sport Science University Coach Developer Academy,4 and with the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee, including the development of the South African Sport Coaching Framework (Segwaba et al., 2014).

The ICCE Research Fair was first launched in South Africa in 2013 as an addition to the GCC, with the intention of providing sport coaching researchers the opportunity to network, share information, and discuss their coaching research programs, their potential link with the ICCE strategy, as well as possible areas of future collaboration. The Research Fair was repeated 2 years later at the GCC in Finland 2015. The focus progressed to encouraging greater interaction between researchers and to sharing knowledge and understanding to progress an international approach to scholarship. In addition to coaching researchers, invitations were also extended to coaches, coach developers, and performance directors. At the GCC in England 2017, the Research Fair again expanded with a greater range of expert speakers and more opportunity to discuss research among speakers and audience, with coordinated parallel sessions. In Japan 2019, the aim of the Research Fair was to build capability and enhance the quality of academic research outputs through facilitated methodological workshops.

The ICCE’s Research Committee

In conjunction with the Research Fair, the ICCE’s RC was established informally in 2013 and was formalized in 2015 with the mandate “to act in an advisory capacity to the ICCE Board with respect to the full range of ICCE and external partner activity in the area of coaching research.” In addition, the RC was to:

  1. support the ICCE strategic plan and the establishment of research priorities and knowledge translation strategies for the ICCE.
  2. assist in the development of the programs for the ICCE GCC and ICCE Research Fair and the encouragement of participation by applied researchers from all regions and language groups, including students and new researchers.
  3. promote research in coaching and the expansion of the coaching research community.
  4. support the International Sport Coaching Journal (ISCJ), in terms of submission of articles and promotion of subscriptions.

From more recent documentation (preparation for the Research Fair, Japan 2019, p. 1):

An important aim of the RC of ICCE is to develop an internationally collaborative research community to promote sharing of knowledge and understanding to develop research capability that, in turn, will inform both policy and practice in advancing the professionalization of sports coaching and the sporting experience for all actors.

To date, membership on the Committee has reflected a balance of research esteem, specific roles (notably the editor of the ISCJ and ICCE representation), and willing volunteers. Some governance arrangements for membership were put in place but they have only been minimally acted upon to date. While some members had input into the organization of the Research Fairs, and all members were involved in moderating GCC presentation sessions, RC members’ engagement in the full range of potentially related issues and activities has otherwise been minimal.

An Opportune Moment for Reflection

It is important to recognize that there are several formal ways in which coaching research is disseminated, and conversations and collaborations are shared between researchers and practitioners. There are other conferences similar to the ICCE’s GCC, such as the Coaching Association of Canada’s Sport Leadership Conference, the United States Center for Coaching Excellence’s North American Coach Developer Summit, the UK-based (and increasingly international) Cluster for Research into Coaching Conference, and others worldwide. In addition to the ISCJ, there are also two other journals dedicated to sport coaching research: The International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching and Sports Coaching Review. The work of these organizations/groups is welcomed and to be commended, and it must be noted, that they do not stand in isolation, there are individuals who engage with some or all, and there have been discussions about how the different groups might better communicate and coordinate in the future.

At the GCC Japan 2019, the RC, in discussion with the Research Fair participants, reflected on the progress of sport coaching research, its community, and representation. This reflective moment now seems even more appropriate at the time of this publication, given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic coinciding with a time of fundamental review of existing structures, directions, and available resources inside and outside sport.

During discussions, a decision was made to undertake a consultation and review of the ICCE research profile, the RC, and the research component of events. There was also a strong sense that the RC should reengage and reconnect with the wider research community or important opportunities might be missed. There appeared to be considerable appetite among the international research community to maintain a strong and perhaps growing international research presence and infrastructure around the ICCE, but that if the appropriate structures were not put in place, then existing gains might not be consolidated, and researchers may begin to look elsewhere. As a result, the following issues were considered as part of the consultation and review:

  1. The direction, strategy, role, and functions of the RC.
  2. Membership and leadership with the aspiration of more openness and inclusivity, and greater community participation.
  3. Governance and management with more formality, process, and transparency, and
  4. A clearer and more symbiotic working relationship between the ICCE, ISCJ, and the RC.

In the consultation process, it was important to take into consideration the previous RC’s leadership and work, as well as the recognition of how the coaching community has evolved.

The Consultation

The consultation utilized two main approaches: (a) an online “Google Form” launched early February 2020 and closed mid-April 2020 and (b) detailed 1:1 discussions with 12 senior academic colleagues targeted globally in March and April 2020. In both stages, the questions focused on the following:

  1. The international sport coaching research community including strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats.
  2. The ICCE’s support to international sport coaching researchers including strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats.
  3. The RC, including purpose, governance, and activities.
  4. The GCC and Research Fair, including strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats.

We received 56 responses including the 12 targeted senior colleagues. These were mainly from academic researchers but other roles as well: 38 academic researchers, 20 of these combined academic research with other roles (e.g., 12 practitioner, five consultancy roles, three policy maker), three practitioners exclusively, one policy maker/administrator, one consultant, one in-house researcher at a sport organization, one teacher, and three no answer. Of the 38 academics, there was a good spread of career stages: 14 early career, 12 mid career, and 12 established/late career. The responses were mainly from Europe and the Americas; there was a low Asian and no African response: two Asia, five Australasia, 18 Europe, 11 North America, eight South America, and four no answer. The main countries were the United Kingdom (11), Brazil (six), United States (six), Canada (five), and Australia (four). We also received two responses each from Sweden, New Zealand, and Argentina, and one response from each of the following: Ireland, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, and Spain. In terms of gender, the respondents were 30 males, 13 females, one preferred not to say, and four no answer. The RC would like to thank the respondents for their thoughts and contributions.

Consultation Findings

The findings are presented in terms of a number of key observations about sport coaching, sport coaching research, the ICCE, the RC, governance, and service provision. The results are not presented as “original research” with the robust application of methodology and frequency counts, rather the simple description of consultation findings.

Concerns Regarding the Sport Coaching Research Discipline and Community

We will start with the positives. There was a strong sense that the sport coaching research community has been building, especially over the last 10–15 years—with ICCE conferences, other conferences, and the range of sport coaching journals being an important part of this. Beyond this, however, there were several concerns raised in the consultation. Particularly, consultees mentioned the status of coaching within broader sporting and academic agendas, and the scientific credibility of the applied sport coaching discipline. In some countries, it was suggested that sport coaching was seen as a poor relation to other applied disciplines such as youth development and sport psychology. There was seen to be a lack of funding for sport coaching research. Consultees also mentioned disciplinary divisions and protectionism between sport coaching researchers, and a lack of cultural, institutional, interpersonal, and individual resources to successfully manage differences. Some consultees were concerned about an overly hostile attitude among researchers operating under different perspectives. Although researchers met at ICCE events, the question was posed “how much do they actually work together?” As such, there were concerns about whether there is a “sport coaching research community.”

Furthermore, consultees were concerned about the lack of interaction and communication between the research community, policy makers, and practitioners, especially below high performance This was based on researchers’ use of language, attitudes toward policy makers and practitioners, and the use of appropriate knowledge translation. One result of this was thought to be an undermining of the importance of empirical research to policy makers and applied practitioners. Finally, there were concerns that research is dominated by established academics in English speaking countries.

The ICCE

There was agreement that the ICCE performed a very important role for the sport coaching and sport coaching research community. However, consultees were concerned about the currency, clarity, and energy of the strategic direction of the ICCE in general and how it relates to research. There were also concerns that without a clear ICCE strategy it is difficult to understand and place the role of the RC.

ICCE support to researchers

There was agreement among the consultation respondents that the most visible aspects of the ICCE research support to researchers were through hosting the GCC and Research Fair. Both events were well regarded (there was a strong sense that they would be badly missed if they were gone). However, there were comments about their further development (discussed in the next section). Beyond these events it was suggested that there was very little in the way of organized ongoing provision to researchers. Therefore, it was not surprising that most commented on being unaware of ICCE research support. Related to this, there was a sense that the ICCE is very Eurocentric and most research benefits were being conferred on a reduced number of institutions, notably in terms of European Commission funded project work. Some felt that ICCE working practices were exclusionary. There were some concerns raised about the ICCE’s dialogue and involvement with the RC.

The ICCE RC

While there were positive comments about the RC among the consultees, there were concerns about representation and diversity on the Committee and a need for more openness and inclusivity. The RC was seen as being more closely linked to English speaking countries and particular disciplines, notably psychology.

With regards to its mandate, there was a high level of uncertainty about the RC terms of reference, the scope, and operating capacity of the Committee, and clarity and operationalization of its purpose. The RC was not seen to be very active beyond contributing to the GCC5 and Research Fair. There were concerns about how the RC links to the ISCJ, and about limited-service provision to researchers internationally. There was an appetite for a review of the RC and a clearer, more energetic, relationship with the ICCE, specifically, how the RC feeds into ICCE strategy and operations.

Potential purposes of the RC: We underscore potential here, as the consultees had many suggestions, which we note go above and beyond the scope of the volunteer service work of individuals for one committee. However, all the suggestions are presented in this section, to indicate a breadth of possibilities and to guide future provision. The consultees suggested that the RC was seen as a potential champion of, or “home” for, the international sport coaching research and its researchers. This could include advocacy and demonstrating the scientific and practical value of sport coaching research. It was suggested that the RC could consult with key “sector” stakeholders, reflecting the “voice of the coach” including different types of coaches (not just high performance), and working with sporting agencies and governing bodies. In addition, it was suggested the RC could establish a research agenda and outline the key research themes and priorities for sport coaching and applied sport science. Along these lines, the RC could:

  1. Review best practice/innovation in research, promote excellence, and facilitate the development of the research community, notably, early career researchers through events, continuing professional development, and mentoring.
  2. Develop systematic reviews/position statements on key issues.
  3. Produce best practice consensus statements, for example, on methodology and where to publish.
  4. Encourage a culture/modus operandi where researchers from different positions talk to each other respectfully, recognizing similarity and difference, finding compromise/thinking beyond their own position.
  5. Provide bursaries to researchers.

In addition to the above, the consultees suggested a clearer positioning of the RC in relation to a range of stakeholders and opportunities, with closer links to the ICCE, including providing research-based advice to inform ICCE strategy and projects. It could also coordinate research against ICCE strategic priorities and drive forward ICCE research and development projects. Furthermore, the RC could, it was suggested, more strongly support the GCC and be more centrally involved in ICCE publications. It could provide opportunities for more researchers to get involved in ICCE projects worldwide.

The consultees suggested the RC could also have closer links with the global research community with more opportunities for members to network, meet, and develop a community of practice. This could include more activity between GCCs, for example, hosting events, forums, symposium, workshops, and “virtual coffee hours” all year round. There was also a request for a global/regional/local structure for research, notably taking advantage of online networking/webinar events (especially given what has been learned during the Covid-19 virus lockdown). The RC could coordinate a directory of researchers.

The RC could also create closer links with the policy and practitioner community. It could promote and disseminate research to the policy and practitioner community by creating more dialogue/information sharing/translation between researchers and policy makers/practitioners. The RC could engage in knowledge transfer/translation of research findings applied to practice.

A clearer link between the RC and the ISCJ was also mentioned. This could include space in the ISCJ for the RC and its activities and greater ambitions for the Journal. The RC could publish calls to facilitate collaboration in research. The RC could also lead an international recognition system for sport coaching researchers including the possibility of accredited researchers, research fellowships/honor recipients, and providing awards for high-quality original and applied research (e.g., young research award, or article of the year).

RC constitution and governance: A wide range of views were expressed on RC governance by the consultees. First, it was suggested, there should be a greater diversity within membership, while also recognizing individual expertise, energy, and commitment. Diversity should be measured through gender, ethnicity, disability, nonbinary, early/mid/late career, regions/countries, languages, paradigmatic/disciplinary representation, scientific/applied, academic and nonacademic policy, and practitioners. The consultees suggested a balance between diversity and how this impacts the efficacy of the Committee.

Regarding the number of RC members, the consultees suggested that there could be eight or more to reflect the diversity markers above. It was recognized there was a tension between membership size and how manageable the RC would be. On balance, there was a movement toward a bigger RC with a focus on global and regional representation. Regarding the length of term for membership, the broad consensus was around 4 years to give members an opportunity to have an impact. Membership could be renewable in certain instances. It was seen as appropriate and healthy that members step down from the RC. RC members should also commit to minimum levels of contribution, for example, hours or actions, against which they would be accountable. The consultees were clear that there should not be “ghost members” who only become active for the GCC. Honest conversations are required with current and future members about what they can commit to.

The consultees suggested that within the membership, certain roles be identified: Chair, cochairs, secretary, ICCE connection, and an ISCJ connection. It would also be useful to have working group/subcommittee representatives, which are likely to be important for future development and operational work. Overall, there should be a clear and transparent application criteria and process.

ICCE Research Events

The consultation elicited a great deal of feedback on the GCC and Research Fair, because, as above, they were seen as the most visible areas of ICCE/RC service provision. Both the GCC and Research Fair were highly valued and were argued to be growing in significance and reach. They were seen by many consultees as being “the main event in the coaching calendar.” Both events were seen to be useful and important for networking and “catching up with friends old and new.”

There were several concerns noted about both the GCC and Research Fair. First, consultees mentioned the inaccessibility of the events in terms of location and cost. Furthermore, there were concerns about clarity of purpose and planning, notably about the unique contributions of the GCC and Research Fair and how they related with each other. There were also concerns about target groups: On the one hand, there was a perception that the events, notably the GCC, were very academic, and that research sessions were not targeted appropriately at applied issues. On the other hand, some thought that the GCC did not centralize research enough, notably in keynotes. Some expressed concerns that the events were trying to attend to too many purposes/interests: academics, policy/systems, coach developers, and coaches. It was also thought that many important contributors to the sport coaching conversation were missing from the events (i.e., that there were important researchers and practitioners who should be at the events but rarely/never attended). In this regard the events should be better promoted, and greater use should be made of invitations to targeted speakers. There were concerns that the Research Fair was not substantially different to the GCC. There were also comments that the Research Fair was for the “RC plus friends”: that is, that it was quite exclusive. Requests were made by the consultees to ensure that the research component of events still had a developmental component for early career researchers and graduate students. This was seen as an investment in researchers and research leaders for the future.

Specific to the GCC, there were concerns about the number of parallel sessions (with many attendees missing out on sessions), the short length of presentation time, and how research/applied research is dispersed among the Conference days. There were also concerns from chairs of sessions about spending too much time chairing and thus missing out on interesting/useful sessions, and from participants on the quality of the chairing.

Regarding ICCE events in general, there were concerns about the overall planning of events in terms of prior notice, the program, length, and streaming. Requests were made for more frequent regional events. Requests were also made for more use of online webcasting/resources for those who cannot attend. There was a strong desire for the events to continue but wide recognition about the need for review.

Response to the Consultation Findings and Recommendations From the ICCE and RC

In the period since the outset of the consultation, the RC has become much more active (December 2019 to current). The RC has had regular monthly meetings with correspondence in between. The RC has also had meetings with ICCE leadership to discuss the consultation, developments within the RC, and how the committee can support ICCE linked research and events including Portugal 2021.

A number of recommendations were made as a direct engagement with the consultation findings. While these do not exhaust the consultation findings and represent a high-level selective approach, they allowed the RC to focus a strategic response in the last year and to update the RC’s Terms of Reference. Table 1 provides details of developments to date against the recommendations. Additionally, the updated Terms of Reference are provided in the Appendix.

Table 1

Recommendations and Responses

Consultation recommendationICCE and RC response
(a) A new ICCE strategy which refreshes and restates objectives for 2020s and places research at its core to give members a sense that research is being taken seriously and is at the heart of the ICCE strategy and operations. Any revised strategy could be based on a similar consultation to the one conducted by/for the RC.The RC note the importance of a clear direction for the ICCE and ICCE research. This sets the contexts for the RC and its activities.
(b) A clearer view from the ICCE about how research feeds into coaching and the ICCE. The ICCE Board to include a RC representative.The ICCE have reaffirmed their commitment to research and to its central role in the development of the ICCE and sport coaching more generally.

The ICCE have agreed that the RC Chair (or stand-in) will have a permanent invitation to ICCE Board meetings such that research is seen to be central to ICCE strategy and decision making.
(c) Greater openness/transparency on the part of the RC within the research community. Improved visibility and communication. Clearer action plans, reports, and minutes; report/minutes published on the ICCE website.The ICCE have established a research pagea on the ICCE website to be home for the RC. There is also a new Twitter handle @IcceResearch

The RC commits to increasing the openness and transparency of its operations, with clearer communication, and terms of reference, minutes, and other documents placed on the ICCE website.
(d) New RC terms of reference, constitution, governance, and service offer.For the past year, the RC has been considering the consultation findings, as well as discussing what is viable given limited resources. A revised terms of reference, constitution, and governance arrangements have been developed and shared with the ICCE. These are attached as an Appendix.
(e) A broader representation and inclusion as part of RC membership. This is to include a global and regional structure among other demographics.As part of the development of the revised terms of reference, new arrangements have been put in place for membership, including an emphasis on diversity and inclusion, term duration, and an open process for application. A process for attracting new members for the RC will be initiated in August 2021 for confirmation at Portugal 2021.
(f) Refreshed purpose of the RC while recognizing that the committee needs to be realistic/pragmatic about what can be achieved given limited resources.The consultation revealed a large “wish list” for a service offer for the research community. The RC notes the desire for these services but is realistic/pragmatic about available resources and suggests a prioritized and phased approach. Thus, initially the service offer will be relatively modest, for example, focusing on research representation to the ICCE and helping the ICCE with the GCC. However, as the RC develops and with greater access to a network of aligned researchers and resources, the service offer may broaden.
(g) The GCC and Research Fair to continue. However, their purpose, target audience, relationship to each other, theming, streaming, and planning and operations, to be reviewed.The RC offered proposals to the ICCE that the GCC and the Research Fair should be collapsed into one 5-day event with research streams featuring earlier in the Conference and applied streams later. Researchers have also been encouraged to submit applied abstracts, thus making their research more amenable and useful to practitioners. This model will be piloted at Portugal 2021.

Note. GCC = Global Coach Conference; ICCE = International Council for Coaching Excellence; RC = Research Committee.

ahttps://www.icce.ws/research.html.

Concluding Thoughts

The GCC Japan 2019 provided a timely opportunity to review how much progress had been made in relation to the ICCE and its research governance and activities. The RC was happy to initiate a consultation and review and was grateful for the responses received. The main lessons have not been a radical rethink of the RC. The purpose remains very similar to that proposed in 2013. However, there has been a considerable increase in the engagement and energies of the Committee, and a plan/commitment to open up the research workings of the ICCE, and its RC, and this, initially at least, will be the main focus of attention. Processes will be put in place to improve governance, membership, and communications. Engagement/reengagement with the sport coaching research community is seen as being essential, and a means to open up the collective resource and potential to advance sport coaching and research.

The consultation revealed a considerable “wish list” of potential activities and services from the ICCE and RC. While action on the entirety of this list will not be possible in the short term, it establishes clear priorities and an agenda for the medium to long term. Delivery against this will only be possible if the ICCE, the sport coaching community, and the sport coaching research community, work together to maximize resource and impact. This should be done through collaboration, deliberation, mutual listening, and trust. Any significant changes to service provision should be managed in a phased and measured way.

Author Biographies

Julian North is the director of the Research Centre for Sport Coaching and professor, in the Carnegie School of Sport, at Leeds Beckett University. He researches sport coaching practice, coach learning and development, and coaching policy and systems, and works extensively with external partners/clients including UEFA, UK Sport, and Sport Scotland. He was interim chair for the International Council for Coaching Excellence’s Research Committee during the consultation and review.

The follow are current members of the International Council for Coaching Excellence’s Research Committee:

Bettina Callary is the Canada Research Chair in Sport Coaching and Adult Learning and an associate professor in the Department of Experiential Studies in Community and Sport at Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia. She researches coach education and development strategies, coach developers, and psychosocial understandings of inclusive coaching. Dr. Callary is the editor-in-chief of the International Sport Coaching Journal.

Kristen Dieffenbach is an associate professor of Athletic Coaching Education at West Virginia University and the director of the Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Science at WVU. Kristen currently serves as the president of the United States Center for Coaching Excellence. Her research forcuses on professionalism in coaching, coach development, and long term athletic talent development. She is also a professional coach with an elite USA Cycling license.

Larissa Galatti is a professor in the School of Applied Sciences of the University of Campinas, Brazil. She researches coach practice, learning and development, as well as athletes development. She’s also a coach developer by the NCDA and ICCE, and been a consultant for sport organizations such as Olympic Committees, National and Intenational Federations, and sport NGOs.

Sergio Lara-Bercial is a professor of Sport Coaching at Leeds Beckett University and the manager for Strategy & Development at the International Council for Coaching Excellence. He researches coaching policy, coaching practice, and youth sport. Sergio is also the co-founder of ICOACHKIDS, a global movement helping coaches put kids first in sport, and consults for multiple high-level organisations such as Nike, UEFA, and FIBA.

Christine Nash is head of the Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh. She researches coaching process, coach developer and expertise. She also has a considerably applied profile being a national, as well as a university, swimming coach, and an accredited coach developer. As well as her work with the ICCE, Christine is also a committee member for the United States Center for Coaching Excellence.

Donna O’Connor is a professor of Sports Coaching and coordinates the postgraduate Sports Coaching program at the University of Sydney. She is an active researcher and consultant on coaching practice, athlete and coach development, and sports performance. Donna is an International Council for Coaching Excellence trained coach developer, and a member of the World Congress Science and Football Steering Committee.

Notes

1.

These reviews were conducted on English language papers only. There will undoubtedly be many more published articles in other languages.

2.

All information extracted from the ICCE website: www.icce.ws and in correspondence with the ICCE President John Bales.

3.

It is important to note that the ICCE and ICCE RC have important but partial influence on GCC program. The hosting country and organizing committee also have influence reflecting their agendas and investments. This has implications for the overall structure of the GCC program. The Portuguese Lisbon 2021 organizing committee worked very closely with the ICCE and RC and it is hoped this will provide a template for future GCCs.

5.

As per Note 3, it is important to note that the ICCE and ICCE RC have important but partial influence on the GCC program.

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  • Gilbert, W.D., & Trudel, P. (2004). Analysis of coaching science research published from 1970–2001. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 75(4), 388399. PubMed ID: 15673038 doi:10.1080/02701367.2004.10609172

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lara-Bercial, S., Calvo, G., North, J., Moustakas, L., & Petry, K. (2020). The EU coaching landscape baseline report. CoachForce21 Consortium. https://www.coachforce.eu/project-outputs

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lara-Bercial, S., North, J., Abraham, A., Rankin-Wright, A.J., Fix, M., Schipper-van Veldhoven, N., . . . Statkeviciene, B. (2017). The European coaching children curriculum. ICOACHKIDS Consortium. https://www.icoachkids.eu/european-coaching-children-curriculum.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lyle, J., & Cushion, C. (2017). Sports coaching concepts: A framework for coaches’ practice. Routledge.

  • North, J. (2017). Sport coaching research and practice: Ontology, interdisciplinarity, and critical realism. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

  • North, J., Hämäläinen, K., Oltmanns, K., Petrovic, L., Minkhorst, J., Lara-Bercial, S., & McIlroy, J. (2016). CoachLearn: Enhancing coaches’ learning, mobility and employability in the European Union: Report#3 (appendix 1): Sport coaching workforce data collection across five countries. Leeds, UK: Leeds Beckett University on behalf of the European Union.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • North, J., Piggott, D., Lara-Bercial, S., Abraham, A., & Muir, B. (2019). The professionalization of sport coaching. In R. Thelwell & M. Dicks (Eds.), Professional advances in sports coaching: Research and practice (pp. 321). Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rangeon, S., Gilbert, W., & Bruner, M. (2012). Mapping the world of coaching science: A citation network analysis. Journal of Coaching Education, 5(1), 83108. doi:10.1123/jce.5.1.83

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Segwaba, J., Vardhan, D., & Duffy, P. (2014). Coaching in South Africa. International Sport Coaching Journal, 1(1), 3341. doi:10.1123/iscj.2013-0042

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Williams, S.J., & Kendall, L. (2007). Perceptions of elite coaches and sports scientists of the research needs for elite coaching practice. Journal of Sports Sciences, 25(14), 15771586. PubMed ID: 17852663 doi:10.1080/02640410701245550

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Appendix: ICCE Research Committee—Terms of Reference for Submission to ICCE Board June 2021

  1. (1)Authority
    • The ICCE Research Committee (ICCE RC) has been established by the International Council for Coaching Excellence.

  2. (2)Mandate
    • The ICCE RC acts in an advisory capacity to the ICCE Board with respect to coaching research interests. It acts as a champion for community building through ICCE membership of coaching researchers internationally. These broad goals are accomplished through the following objectives.

      • Objective i: Advise on ICCE related programs and research

      • Engagement in, and consultation with, the ICCE board on the development and delivery of ICCE related research and the formation of working groups/special interest groups.

      • Objective ii: Support the research and applied agenda within ICCE events

      • Supporting the ICCE’s research and applied agendas and initiatives at ICCE events such as the ICCE Global Coach Conference (GCC) and regional events.

      • Objective iii: Support the International Sport Coaching Journal

      • Supporting the International Sport Coaching Journal by promoting reach and engagement globally.

      • Objective iv: Connect coaching researchers through coaching research advocacy

      • Facilitating connections to other coaching research communities and individuals, including new researchers, students, and others.

  3. (3)Membership:
    1. (A)The ICCE RC consists of eight (8) voting members, plus the editor of the International Sport Coaching Journal (voting) and the ICCE designated representative (nonvoting).
      1. (i)A Chair and the necessary roles for the administration and leadership of the ICCE RC shall be designated from within the ICCE RC membership.
      2. (ii)The ICCE RC will reflect, to the greatest extent possible, the diversity of the global coaching research communities (including, but not limited to, geographic, gender, national, cultural, racial diversity as well as considering differing areas of expertise within coaching research).
      3. (iii)The ICCE RC will include individuals who reflect the highest standards of excellence across the field of coaching research and applied practice.
    2. (B)ICCE RC membership appointments, participation, and contribution terms
      1. (i)Membership shall consist of a 4-year term that is renewable once.
      2. (ii)ICCE RC members responsibilities include:
        1. (a)Contributing to the ICCE RC’s objectives/activities by sharing knowledge and experience.
        2. (b)Preserving the confidentiality of ICCE and ICCE RC discussions.
        3. (c)Acting as an ambassador and representative of the ICCE.
        4. (d)Joining and serving on a minimum of one ICCE RC working groups/subcommittees for which they are responsible to carry out the work associated with those groups/subcommittees, as well as meet with the larger RC.
        5. (e)Recommending qualified individuals to assist with ICCE activities (group members, peer review, speakers, etc.).
        6. (f)Preparing for and attending full committee meetings and appointed groups/subcommittee meetings on a regular basis.
    3. (C)Meeting frequency and membership terms
      1. (a)To accomplish the ICCE RC mandates, the ICCE RC will hold a minimum of four meetings per year with the full ICCE RC. Additional working groups/subcommittee meetings will be held as needed (virtual and/or in-person at the GCC).
      2. (b)Members unable to attend any meetings and/or contribute toward the ICCE RC objectives for more than 6 months may be excused or asked to step down.
    4. (D)ICCE RC membership compensation
      1. (i)Service as an ICCE RC member is voluntary.
      2. (ii)Where possible, ICCE RC members will be reimbursed by the ICCE for some of their expenses to attend meetings.
      3. (iii)ICCE RC member receive ICCE memberships, ISCJ subscriptions, and GCC conference registration fees paid for the duration of their rotation on the ICCE RC.
    5. (E)ICCE RC vacancies
      1. (i)Shall be filled through an open application process adjudicated by the sitting ICCE RC members.
      2. (ii)Calls for membership shall be made every 2 years to coincide with the Global Coaches Conference; applications will be reviewed based on predetermined criteria outlined in the application process call.
      3. (iii)New members shall be announced on appointment and confirmed at the GCC ICCE General Membership Meeting.
    6. (F)ICCE RC membership conflict of interest
      1. (i)ICCE RC will act in the best interests of the ICCE. They will set aside personal self-interests and perform their duties in a manner that promotes public confidence and trust in the organization.
      2. (ii)ICCE RC members are considered to be in a “conflict of interest” whenever they have an interest in a Committee decision which may benefit them personally or professionally, or when their personal or professional interests in a decision conflict with the interests of the organization. A conflict of interest may be “real,” “potential,” or “perceived.” The same duty of disclosure applies to each situation.
      3. (iii)ICCE RC members shall serve in a personal capacity and not represent a particular constituency.
      4. (iv)ICCE RC members are required to abide by the ICCE “Promise” in relation to conflicts of interest.
    7. (G)The ICCE RC will operate by consensus. When needed, a majority vote of 5 (five) will be required to pass a motion (including online or other electronic voting).
    8. (H)The ICCE RC has the authority to create working groups and subcommittees, hold meetings and invite experts and others to contribute to its objectives, activities, and to its meetings.
  4. (4)ICCE oversight of the ICCE RC
    • ICCE RC terms of reference and membership shall be reviewed biannually by the ICCE Board.

  5. (5)Approval of the ICCE RC Terms of Reference
    • To be approved by the ICCE Board on June 28, 2021.

North and Lara-Bercial are with the Research Centre for Sport Coaching, Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, United Kingdom. Callary is with the Experiential Studies in Community and Sport, Cape Breton University, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. Dieffenbach is with the Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA. Galatti is with the Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Campinas, Limeira, São Paulo, Brazil. Nash is with Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. O’Connor is with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

North (j.north@leedsbeckett.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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  • Galatti, L.R., Bettega, O.B., Brasil, V.Z., Sobrinho, A.S.D.S., Bertram, R., Tozetto, A.V.B., . . . Milistetd, M. (2016). Coaching in Brazil: Sport coaching as a profession in Brazil: An analysis of the coaching literature in Brazil from 2000–2015. International Sport Coaching Journal, 3(3), 316. doi:10.1123/iscj.2015-0071

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gilbert, W.D., & Trudel, P. (2004). Analysis of coaching science research published from 1970–2001. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 75(4), 388399. PubMed ID: 15673038 doi:10.1080/02701367.2004.10609172

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lara-Bercial, S., Calvo, G., North, J., Moustakas, L., & Petry, K. (2020). The EU coaching landscape baseline report. CoachForce21 Consortium. https://www.coachforce.eu/project-outputs

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lara-Bercial, S., North, J., Abraham, A., Rankin-Wright, A.J., Fix, M., Schipper-van Veldhoven, N., . . . Statkeviciene, B. (2017). The European coaching children curriculum. ICOACHKIDS Consortium. https://www.icoachkids.eu/european-coaching-children-curriculum.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lyle, J., & Cushion, C. (2017). Sports coaching concepts: A framework for coaches’ practice. Routledge.

  • North, J. (2017). Sport coaching research and practice: Ontology, interdisciplinarity, and critical realism. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

  • North, J., Hämäläinen, K., Oltmanns, K., Petrovic, L., Minkhorst, J., Lara-Bercial, S., & McIlroy, J. (2016). CoachLearn: Enhancing coaches’ learning, mobility and employability in the European Union: Report#3 (appendix 1): Sport coaching workforce data collection across five countries. Leeds, UK: Leeds Beckett University on behalf of the European Union.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • North, J., Piggott, D., Lara-Bercial, S., Abraham, A., & Muir, B. (2019). The professionalization of sport coaching. In R. Thelwell & M. Dicks (Eds.), Professional advances in sports coaching: Research and practice (pp. 321). Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rangeon, S., Gilbert, W., & Bruner, M. (2012). Mapping the world of coaching science: A citation network analysis. Journal of Coaching Education, 5(1), 83108. doi:10.1123/jce.5.1.83

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Segwaba, J., Vardhan, D., & Duffy, P. (2014). Coaching in South Africa. International Sport Coaching Journal, 1(1), 3341. doi:10.1123/iscj.2013-0042

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Williams, S.J., & Kendall, L. (2007). Perceptions of elite coaches and sports scientists of the research needs for elite coaching practice. Journal of Sports Sciences, 25(14), 15771586. PubMed ID: 17852663 doi:10.1080/02640410701245550

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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