Exploring the long-term training of sport-based youth development coaches serving with coach across America
Akhtar, Vanessa Loverme
MetadataShow full item record
This study sought to examine the impact on coaches' experiences, and perceptions of coaching efficacy, of an ongoing coach training program designed to support a diverse sample of sport-based youth development coaches serving with Coach Across America (CAA). This multi-modal training program consisted of an intensive three-day training, highlighting holistic youth development, monthly webinars and formal mentoring/peer- leadership. Participants were recruited from two years (2011-2012 and 2012-2013) of the CAA program. In year one, 82 coaches (52.4% male, 47.6% female; 43.9% Caucasian, 22% Hispanic, 14.6% African American, 6.1% Asian American, 11% Other, 2.3% Unidentified) completed the quantitative measures, and five coaches participated in focus groups. In year two, 160 coaches (48.4% male, 50.6% female, 0.6% transgender; 38.8% Caucasian, 20.6% Hispanic, 20% African American, 2.5% Asian American, 1.9% Native North American Indian, 14.4% Unidentified) completed the quantitative measures, and seven coaches participated in focus groups. Quantitative analyses examining dimensions of coaching efficacy (CES-11 dimensions: motivation, technique, game strategy, character building and total coaching efficacy) (Feltz, Chase, Mortiz & Sullivan, 1999) revealed several significant findings, including: coaching satisfaction was the only predictive factor of CES-II scores; number of webinars viewed did not predict CES-II scores; character building efficacy scores increased following attendance at the three-day training; and CES-II scores increased for all but technique efficacy over the course of the year. Focus groups provided a more robust picture of coaches' perceptions and experiences. Analysis revealed five higher order themes: overall positive impact of the training program, experiences at host site, factors facilitating a mentoring relationship, factors hindering a mentoring relationship, and suggestions for future support. In particular, coaches highlighted the need for content focused on holistic youth development, connection between theory and practice, addressing contextual challenges of coaching in an underserved community, and relationships with knowledgeable, engaged and available mentors/peers. Results support the potential efficacy of long-term training for youth coaches in positively impacting coaches' experiences and perceptions of coaching efficacy, with a particular focus on encouraging youth development principles, building relationships and responding to current coach challenges. Based on the data, specific implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--Boston University