Exploring the Higher-Order Cognitive Capacities of Sports Coaches

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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  • 1 School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD, Australia
  • | 2 School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD, Australia
  • | 3 Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Technical University of Munich, München, Germany
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Higher-order cognitive functions refer to a collection of executive processes, which support the production of controlled, coordinated, and adaptive cognitive operations. Within the field of sports coaching, higher-order cognitive functions, such as cognitive control, are perceived to be beneficial for expert performance. Nevertheless, there is currently no empirical evidence base linking these cognitive capacities with sports coaching expertise. It, therefore, seems both timely and appropriate to explore the higher-order capacities of sports coaches and better understand existing relationships. In this insight paper, we make a case for adopting domain-general experimental approaches to progress knowledge and understanding of the relationships between fundamental higher-order cognitive capacities and sports coaching expertise. In making our case, we provide conceptual discussions on the possible associations between higher-order cognitive functions and sports coaches’ cognitive operations. We additionally outline the potential advantages of informing an empirical evidence base about higher-order cognitive capacities for sports coaching research and practice.

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