Heating up Coaching Education: What Coaches Need to Know

in Journal of Coaching Education

Background:

The National Standards for Sport Coaches (2006) acknowledges that differences exist in athletes’ ability to tolerate heat. As such, Domain 2: Safety and Injury Prevention (S7-10), Domain 3: Physical Conditioning (S12-13), and Domain 7: Organization and Administration (S34) list expectations for coaches’ ability to recognize and respond to heat illness. However, only the American Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis (Domain 2 specific) and 13 programs are accredited by NCACE. Moreover, on-line trainings frequently used to educate novice interscholastic and recreational sport coaches provide only a cursory review of heat illness precautions, symptoms, and remedies.

Objective:

The purpose of this exploratory study is to identify changes in coaches’ actual and perceived knowledge after an on-line educational intervention, as well as determine whether the educational intervention will decrease the knowledge gap.

Research Design:

A pre-test/post-test design was used to identify the effect of an educational intervention on perceived and actual knowledge of sport coaches.

Participants:

Coaches (n=19; male=14, female=5) were solicited via email made available by the Indiana High School Athletic Association and the Indiana Youth Soccer Association – Olympic Development Program.

Instrumentation:

The Perceived Knowledge Questionnaire (five-item survey) and an actual knowledge assessment (two versions of 19-item quiz) were used to measure the coaches’ perceived and actual knowledge about the prevention, recognition, and treatment of exertional heat illnesses. Participants completed the “Beat the Heat: Be a Better Coach in Extreme Environmental Conditions” educational intervention.

Procedures:

Coaches completed the on-line educational module including pre-test and post-tests evaluations of actual and perceived knowledge.

Statistical Analysis:

Researchers performed three separate paired t-tests to identify the effect of the educational intervention on the dependent variables: actual knowledge, perceived knowledge, and knowledge gap. Significance was set a-prior at p<0.05.

Results:

Participants demonstrated a significant 18.1% improvement (t18=-4.877, p<0.001, ES=0.62) in actual knowledge scores. Perceived knowledge also significantly improved (t18=-2.585, p=0.019, ES=0.25). Knowledge gap, the difference between actual knowledge and perceived knowledge, became significantly smaller (t18=4.850, p<0.001, ES=0.63).

Conclusions:

Results indicate the on-line educational intervention improved actual knowledge, perceived knowledge, and decreased the knowledge gap. Additional large scale study of this intervention is warranted.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.