Primary factors identified in sport science students' coaching philosophies : sport education and community involvement
Liandi van den Berg
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Youth sport coaches have a great influence on the experiences and development of children who participate in organized sport. Given this influence of coaches on children and the huge participation numbers of children in sports, coach education programmes received increasing research attention over the past 30 years. Numerous important facets of coach educational programmes have been identified, of which the first key developmental domain as indicated by the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, refers to the philosophy and ethics of the coach. This important aspect needs to be incorporated into coach education programmes and the effectiveness has to be evaluated on a continuous basis. Novice coaches lack knowledge and insight in setting up effective coaching philosophies even after completion of an applicable educational course. The evaluation of factors identified within novice coaches' philosophies could give insight to the effectiveness of the coach education programme intended to teach them aspects regarding the philosophy of sport. This study was qualitative in nature and conducted with 23 students enrolled in a third-year practical coaching module who made electronic submissions of their coaching philosophies. Data analysis was done inductively using the qualitative techniques proposed by Côté, Salmela and Russell (1993) which rendered 143 meaning units, grouped together into nine categories and established as five primary factors namely: Fun, Relationships, Coaching Behaviour, Development and Values. Student coaches were able to freely articulate these primary factors of importance to pursue within their coaching environment effectively, but lacked in-depth knowledge regarding strategies of implementation of their coaching philosophy factors. Insights gained from such exploration could assist coach education programmes to effectively teach novice coaches in the development and application of their coaching philosophies.