The purpose of this study is to report the knowledge used in training and competition by 17 expert high-performance gymnastic coaches. A qualitative research methodology was used to collect and inductively analyze the data. The knowledge elicited for the competition component was categorized as competition site, competition floor, and trial competitions. These categories indicated that the coaches are minimally involved with the gymnasts in competition. The knowledge of the coaches elicited within the training component were categorized as coach involvement in training, intervention style, technical skills, mental skills, and simulation. Properties of these categories that were extensively discussed by the expert coaches, such as teaching progressions, being supportive, and helping athletes to deal with stress, are consistent with the literature on coaching and on sport psychology. Other aspects considered important in the sport psychology literature, such as developing concentration skills, were not discussed as thoroughly by the expert coaches.
Jean Côté is with the Department of Physical Education at Brock University, St. Catharines, ON Canada L2S 3A1. John H. Salmela is with the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa, 125 University, Ottawa, ON Canada KIN 6N5. Storm Russell is with the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute, 1600 Naismith Dr., Gloucester, ON Canada K1B 5N4.