International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) 14th Global Coach Conference (2024)

November 29–December 3, 2023 Singapore

Coaching Excellence/Effective CoachingS2
Coach Learning, Development and EducationS11
Coaching Policy and Systems/Other Coaching IssuesS26

Supplement created and edited by: Fynn Bergmann, Svenja Wachsmuth, & Bettina Callary

Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany

Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia, Canada

Coaching Excellence/Effective Coaching

(in alphabetical order by first author’s last name)


Athletes’ Perceptions of Coach Communication: Implications on Their Burnout

Atkinson. O.1; Bates, S.2; Anderson-Butcher, D.2; Goodway, J.3; Sutherland. S.3; Amorose, A.4; & Brandon, D.3

1The State University of New York Cortland, Department of Physical Education, Cortland, NY; 2The Ohio State University, College of Social Work, Columbus, OH; 3The Ohio State University, Department of Human Sciences, College of Education and Human Ecology, Columbus, OH; 4Illinois State University, School of Kinesiology and Recreation, College of Applied Science and Technology, Normal, IL

Researchers have investigated coaching behaviors as predictors of athlete burnout; however, limited research exists on the relationship between athletes’ perceptions of coach communication and their burnout. This study explored (a)the direct effects of athletes’ perceptions of each coach communication on their sport and social competence; and (b)the indirect effects of athletes’ perceptions of each coach communication construct on their burnout. A total of 291 high school athletes (Mage = 15.72years, 75.3% female, 84.2% White; 63.6% playing varsity) completed self-report measures assessing four coach communication constructs (social support, useful feedback, prosocial power, conformation), sport competence, social competence, and burnout. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was run in Mplus Version 8.1. Results indicated adequate model fit (X2 = 951.97; p < .001, TLI = .94; CFI = .95; RMSEA = .04 [CI:.039–.048]; SRMR = .06). Coaches’ use of social support (β = 0.24; SE = 0.06; p < .001), useful feedback (β = -0.13; SE=0.08; p<.01), and prosocial power (β = -0.09; SE = 0.04; p < .05) significantly predicted athletes’ sport competence, which predicted athlete burnout (β = -0.20; SE = 0.05; p < .001). Interestingly, only coaches’ use of useful feedback (β = 0.18; SE = 0.06; p < .01) significantly predicted athletes’ social competence, which in turn did not predict athlete burnout (β = -0.01; SE = 0.08; p = .877). The model accounted for 66% of the variance in athlete burnout. The indirect effects of athletes’ perceptions on each coach communication construct indicated that coaches’ use of social support (β = -0.25; SE = 0.06; p <. 001) and prosocial power (β = -0.13; SE = 0.03; p < .001) were significant predictors of athlete burnout. Our findings reinforce the complexity of coach communication and its critical role on athlete burnout.

Presenter Biography

Mr. Obi Atkinson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Education at the State University of New York Cortland. Mr. Atkinson’s research interests focus on the variables and social agents that influence the development, sport performance, and participation of youth. This includes the examination of youth’s sport trajectories and the identification of contextual factors, interactions, and personal characteristics that create positive conditions for youth sport performance and participation.


Humour in Elite Parasport Coaching: A Double-Edged Sword

Bentzen, Marte1; Alexander, Danielle2; Kenttä, Göran3; & Bloom, Gordon A2

1Norwegian School of Sport Sciences; 2McGill University; 3The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences.

Humour has been suggested as a facilitative coaching strategy, yet limited research has explored its use within high-performance parasport environments. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of national parasport head coaches’ use of humour from the perspectives of head coaches, athletes, and support staff. Three Paralympic national teams from North America and Europe were recruited, involving three head coaches, 10 support staff, and 19 athletes. Data were collected using individual interviews with support staff and coaches, and focus groups with athletes from each team. Data were analyzed using a reflexive thematic analysis. Coaches described their intention of creating an enjoyable training and competitive atmosphere where they “kept things light” by telling jokes or pulling pranks, yet also strove to maintain a high-performance environment. Interestingly, humour was perceived by athletes and support staff with mixed findings. They described the necessity of creating an enjoyable atmosphere at the high-performance level (“It can’t be so serious all the time”), but cautioned the balance required when using humour (“If it’s a young athlete who is insecure talking to the head coach, maybe it’s not great”). Athletes and support staff also spoke about ineffective uses of humour when jokes were used to dismiss conflicts, leaving athletes feeling misunderstood or disrespected (“That makes it difficult for the group to talk to him”). This study provides insight into how the use of humour can be both effective and counterproductive as a coaching strategy within high-performance parasport settings across the world.

Presenter Biography

Marte Bentzen works as an Associate Professor at the Department of Sport and Social Sciences, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences and at the School of Business, The University of South-Eastern Norway. She is lecturing in sport psychology, leadership and motivation, and statistics. Her research is focused on processes related to enhancement of well-being and prevention of ill-being within occupational psychology in general and among high-performance sport coaches in particular. Bentzen is in the Editorial Board of International Sport Coaching Journal.

Effective Coaching and the Value of Female Coaches in Women’s Football

Brady, Abbe1; Evans Nic2; Boyd, Jess1; & Shubber-Barton, Becky1

1St Mary’s University, Twickenham, UK; 2University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, UK.

Addressing challenges facing the women’s game, this research sought to examine characteristics of effective coaching and the value of female coaches in women’s football in England. The research was funded by the Football Association (FA) and was conducted in two phases via an initial study (2018–2019) and a follow-up study (2021–22). An action research methodology was adopted and both phases of research involved mixed qualitative methods. Participants (n = 427) involved players (n = 351, aged 9–61years) and coaches (n = 76, aged 19–58years, male = 42, female = 34). Data facilitation occurred via separate player and coach workshops (n = 38) hosted at clubs throughout England and across grassroots, talent and performance tiers of the game. Data produced in the workshops included 98 focus group transcripts and written artefacts. Findings produced about effective coaching were represented by a tailored version of transformational coaching model and reflected the particular priorities of the cohort and context. The four components of the model included: supportive relationships and knowing players, inspirational role model, supporting player engagement in learning, and positive motivation. Interpersonal competency was viewed as crucial skill set. The value of female coaches in the women’s game was portrayed via an ecological systems approach to show the varied and interconnected layers of value at individual, interpersonal, organisational and societal levels. Of particular value to players was the effect of having female coaches because they understood the struggle female players face in a male dominated sport which was empowering and provided a sense of community.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Abbe Brady is an academic, researcher and Director of the SWIFT (Sport, Well-being, Inclusion and FaiTh) Research Centre at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, UK. Abbe graduated from the NCDA International Coach Developer Academy in 2019 and has worked supporting coach development through her work as a sport psychologist. Her research focuses on coach development and coach and athlete well-being.

Coaches’ Self-Perceptions on the Development of Synergy

Bubna, Kabir1

1Oxford Brookes University, UK

Team invasion games all rely on cohesive and synchronous efforts for successful outcomes. Without this key fundamental, teams can appear disorganised and in turn perform poorly in competition. It becomes the coach’s responsibility to create shared understanding within the team. This can be done through planning engaging and diverse training situations and the interactions between coach and athlete seen during training sessions. This project focused on two main theories, Ecological Dynamics (ED; Bennie & O’Connor, 2010) and the Constraint Led Approach (CLA; Newcombe etal. 2019). Both tools suitably equip coaches to plan and build training environments that can challenge and progress the learning of their athletes. Semi-structured interviews were virtually conducted with 6 team sports coaches. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. The thematic analysis resulted in the development of three higher-order themes; a) Practice Design, b) Learning Environment and c) Coaching Behaviour that highlight how coaches perceived their contribution towards the development of a more synergistic team. In conclusion, coaches perceived themselves as environment builders that created environments promoting the problem-solving capabilities of the athletes. They reported various methods of task constraint. Furthermore, coaches reported that they applied a “hand-off approach when coaching to allow the athletes to develop autonomy and discover the answers to the practice tasks, instead of simply prescribing actions. Coaches also preferred the use of questioning as their behaviour of choice to help guide the perception of affordances in the learners.


Bennie, A., & O’Connor, D. (2010). Coaching philosophies: Perceptions from professional cricket, rugby league and rugby union players and coaches in Australia. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 5(2), 309–320.

Newcombe, D. J., Roberts, W. M., Renshaw, I., & Davids, K. (2019). The effectiveness of constraint-led training on skill development in interceptive sports: A systematic review (Clark, McEwan and Christie) – a commentary. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 14(2), 241–254.

Presenter Biography

Kabir Bubna is an aspiring academic and early career researcher in the field of sports coaching. Kabir started coaching at the age of 16, where he fell in love with the profession and is looking to cement a career as a pracademic. He aims to create impactful research that supports coaches’ current practice to optimise the learning and development of their athletes while adopting an ecological lens towards his own coaching practice.


Is “Better” Coaching Any Better?

Carr, Benjamin1

1University of Lausanne, and the Global Observatory for Gender Equality & Sport

McCullogh and Safai (2020) illustrate that the duty of care coaches are increasingly obliged to meet is inherently incompatible with any coaching practice which includes shaming tactics. They state that coaches cannot justify shaming as in the best interest of the athlete because “[e]ven if it appears that an athlete has improved as a result of being shamed, there is no way of discerning whether the athlete has genuinely learned from the experience in positive, productive and long-term ways or has internalized feelings of inadequacy and is merely performing in order to avoid being shamed again in the future” (2020, p.49). However, what a “positive, productive” way of learning is remains to be defined. They note that “caring coaching” as a whole lacks a clear definition or examples (McCullogh & Safai, 2020). The duality of the proposed positive or negative learning presents a paradox. An athlete who seeks, but fails to obtain, a positive experience, will have a negative one, just as the athlete who successfully avoids a negative experience will have a positive one. The paths of seeking praise and avoiding blame are two sides of the same coin. This social exchange, which directs how athletes receive coaching, abusive or otherwise, is often learned outside of sport well before any coaching takes place. What are coaches who want to be “caring,” or at least non-abusive, to do? This presentation aims to provide theoretical and practical directives for coaches to find an alternative to this duality.


McCullogh, E., & Safai, P. (2020). Athlete shaming and ethics of care: Opposing forces in sport coaching. In M. Lang (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Athlete Welfare (pp.43–53). Routledge.

Presenter Biography

Ben Carr is a doctoral researcher at the University of Lausanne, where he is also a member of the Global Observatory for Gender Equality & Sport’s research team. His research focuses on the bridging the gaps between safeguarding literature and current coaching practices and education. His career began in the United States as a professional rowing coach, and eventually led him to Switzerland where he made the transition to academia.

Reframing the Balance of Power Between Coach and Athlete

Hartman, Kevin1 & Koh, Jaime2

1National University of Singapore, Singapore; 2National Institute of Education, Singapore

A recent review of athlete-empowering coaching styles suggests a number of benefits to athlete motivation, athlete-autonomy, and long-term performance in training environments where coaches and athletes both have influence (Birr etal., 2023). Despite the potential development, training, and performance benefits of athlete-empowering coaching environments, there remain often-heard reasons for coaches relying on more coach-controlled motivation styles across foundation to elite training programs. These reasons include coaches’ differing (a)conceptions about athlete empowerment, (b)willingness to compromise on the structure of athlete training, and (c)preferred methods of delivering informational feedback to athletes. As the pendulum swings from focusing on optimization of athletic performance toward holistic athlete development, we contend that the tension between athlete-empowering and coach-controlled motivational styles in sports environments is partially due to differing perceptions of what coaching is and following through on the expectations that flow from those perceptions. Under an expansive definition of “coach” as one who (a) orchestrates learning through task selection, (b)provides apprenticeship support, (c)monitors performance, (d)delivers timely and productive feedback, and (e)makes choices with the trainee’s personal development in mind, the full complexity of coaching practices begins to emerge. In this presentation, we highlight the demands of coaches as experts, guides, and orchestrators in non-sporting contexts. We then describe the differing levels of potential athlete-empowerment and multi-faceted changes (Vaughan etal., 2019) the three roles support when extended to sporting contexts.


Birr, C., Hernandez-Mendo, A., Monteiro, D., & Rosado, A. (2023). Empowering and disempowering motivational coaching climate: A scoping review. Sustainability, 15(3), 2820.

Vaughan, J., Mallett, C. J., Davids, K., Potrac, P., & López-Felip, M. A. (2019). Developing creativity to enhance human potential in sport: A wicked transdisciplinary challenge. Frontiers in Psychology, 10: 2090.

Presenter Biography

Kevin Hartman holds a joint appointment with the Department of Pediatrics in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and the Institute for Applied Learning Sciences and Educational Technology at the National University of Singapore. He conducts research with university students and life-long learners focused on extending current research methods on learning and assessment to new domains.


Enhancing Team Functioning and Performance Through Athlete Leadership Groups: Meeting Basic Psychological Needs and Fostering Shared Social Identity

Haddad, Gina1; O’Connor, Donna1; & Burnes, Kellie1

1University of Sydney

Recent research illustrates that coaches in professional football teams in Australia and New Zealand rely on athlete leadership groups (ALGs) as a tool to help enhance their coaching effectiveness (Haddad etal., 2021). ALGs represent a hybrid leadership model typically involving a group of 3–8 players who are formally appointed to a leadership group that shares team leadership responsibilities with the coach. Our research, which was part of a larger project involving semi-structured interviews with 16 Head Coaches and 14 athlete leaders from top tier teams in the four Aust/New Zealand men’s professional football leagues (i.e.National Rugby League [NRL]; Australian Football League [AFL: for Australian Rules football]; Super Rugby [Rugby Union]; and A League [soccer]) illustrates that head coaches in this volatile, uncertain, complex, and contested environment believe ALGs help them lead their team more effectively and shape the team culture in a way that enhances team functioning and performance. The aim of this presentation is to increase understanding of how ALGs can enhance coaching effectiveness. Drawing on the collective findings from the three studies within this research project, the presentation aims to demystify how coaches can leverage the potential benefits of the ALG approach. The presentation will include practical, evidence- based strategies to assist coaches to operationalise ALGs in a way that meets athletes’ basic psychological needs (Deci & Ryan, 2000) and strengthens team identification to create an environment conducive to sustained performance excellence.


Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The ‘what’ and ‘why’ of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behaviour. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227–268.

Haddad, G., O’Connor, D., & Burns, K. (2021). The decision to adopt a formal athlete leadership group: Qualitative insights from professional football coaches. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 52: 101803.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Gina Haddad is an academic and researcher at the University of Sydney and high-performance sport consultant, with a background in elite sport as an athlete, coach, coach educator and sport administrator. Her experience includes leading Coach Education and Elite Athlete Development programs for National Sporting Organisations and consulting on successful World Championship and Olympic campaigns. Gina’s research focuses on athlete leadership in professional sports teams.

Using photovoice to See the Bigger Picture: An Exploration of How Football Coaches Experience and Make-Sense of Well-Being Over the Course of a Competitive Season

Higham, Andrew J.1; Newman, James A.1; Rumbold, James L.1; & Stone, Joseph A.1

1Academy of Sport and Physical Activity, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK

Football coaches often address how their work environment is volatile and demanding, encompassing an array of stressors, which can inhibit well-being (Baldock etal., 2021). The cultural masculinity within football habitually instills suppression of voice, often causing inhibition and isolation. To demonstrate the voice of coaches and to facilitate discussion, a combined interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) and photovoice approach (Burton etal., 2017) was implemented to explore how football coaches experience and make-sense of their well-being throughout a football season. Eight professional football coaches (7 male, 1 female) were interviewed at four timepoints across the 2022–2023 season, with coaches collectively providing ∼75 images to aid sense-making. The findings of the study were analysed using an IPA approach and represented through a variety of group experiential themes. Initial findings highlight the temporality of football coaches’ well-being as it often fluctuated in line with environmental and seasonal changes; and the subsequent work demands at those timepoints. Coaches also alluded to how perceived past, present, and future experiences shape their understanding of well-being. Many coaches voiced how they struggle to be present in the moment, often feeling overwhelmed which thwarted well-being and performance. Familial interactions helped mediate coach well-being and performance, specifically via a dissociation of the coaching role. From an applied perspective, the photovoice data collection method acted as a well-being intervention, which coaches expressed to be beneficial for making sense of their well-being and its management. It is recommended that football clubs consider their mechanisms of support for coaches throughout a season.


Baldock, L., Cropley, B., Neil, R., & Mellalieu, S. D. (2021). Stress and mental well-being experiences of professional football coaches. The Sport Psychologist, 35(2), 108–122.

Burton, A., Hughes, M., & Dempsey, R. C. (2017). Quality of life research: A case for combining photo-elicitation with interpretative phenomenological analysis. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 14(4), 375–393.

Presenter Biography

Andrew Higham is a Sport Psychology PhD student and graduate teaching associate at Sheffield Hallam University within the Sport and Physical Activity Research Centre (SPARC). His research interests include morality and coach well-being within professional sport contexts, with a particular focus on male football. Andrew’s PhD aims to utilize qualitative methods to illuminate how professional football coaches experience and make-sense of well-being.


Women Who Transition Into Coaching: An Elite Athlete’s Perspective

Kiosoglous, Cameron1

1Drexel University

Understanding coaches’ experiences with career planning and professional development is the focus here. Specifically, this presentation will explore ways female coaches transition into coaching after their elite athlete careers. The discussion here focuses on a long-debated questions: Does good athlete mean good coach? The purpose of this presentation is to examine the lived experiences of female national team athletes from the US National Rowing team from 2006–2016 who made the transition into coaching. During this period, the USRowing national team program experienced an undefeated streak in the women’s eight as world and Olympic champions. A number of those athletes upon ending their athletic careers started coaching. In this presentation, we will explore key themes that relate to the lifecycle of these coaches: their entry into coaching, what has kept them in coaching, and when relevant, why they transitioned out of coaching. This inquiry examines the reasons what was the moment they decided to start coaching, and why they stayed in coaching. And in some cases where they transitioned out of coaching, that experience will be explored as well. The findings from this study aim to inform future generations of coaches about the lifecycle and experience of the athlete to coach transition.

Presenter Biography

Cam Kiosoglous is an Assistant Clinical Professor and Sport Coaching Leadership Program Director at Drexel University. For the last five Olympic cycles, Cam Kiosoglous has supported high performance athletes and coaches and is currently the Director of National Team Sport Science with USRowing. He also serves as President with the United States Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE). He has consulted with a variety of organizations in coaching development.

Becoming a Coach Developer: The Different Ways Coaches Help Coaches

Kiosoglous, Cameron1

1Drexel University

Coaching the coaches is one description that informally describes coach development. This can also be an entry point to help those who know little about coach development to begin a conversation about what we do as coach developers. This presentation explores the process of becoming a coach developer. The role of a coach developer can take many forms. From an academic standpoint, faculty who run coach education programs are probably the most recognized form of those doing this work of coaching the coaches. Similarly, coach education and coach development programs in sport organizations like national governing bodies who certify coaches through their coach education systems are doing this work. More and more, we see consultants around the world offering their services and resources to communities searching for ways to improve coaching practices. Finally, many individuals who coach the coaches are doing this work as a part of their role as either high-performance director or executive director of their respective sport organization. This presentation examines the many roads that lead individuals into the various forms that coach development can take in the evolving space of coaching the coaches. And the key takeaway here is to examine how we can do a better job of onboarding and preparing these individuals who come into this role by highlighting the importance of earlier identification of these individuals before they get into the role.

Presenter Biography

Cam Kiosoglous is an Assistant Clinical Professor and Sport Coaching Leadership Program Director at Drexel University. For the last five Olympic cycles, Cam Kiosoglous has supported high performance athletes and coaches and is currently the Director of National Team Sport Science with USRowing. He also serves as President with the United States Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE). He has consulted with a variety of organizations in coaching development.

A Mobile Application for Effective Coaching

Koh, Koon Teck1

1Physical Education & Sport Sciences, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University

Coaching is a highly complex process and coaches are required to undertake a variety of tasks such as planning, implementing, and evaluating coaching programmes to meet the needs of various stakeholders’ goals and expectations. In this regard, coaches need a range of coaching knowledge such as professional knowledge (e.g.,sport-specific knowledge and pedagogical knowledge), interpersonal knowledge (e.g.,communication and presentation skills), and intra-personal knowledge (e.g.,reflective skills) to be effective (Côté & Gilbert, 2009). This knowledge can be acquired through various learning situations. In this presentation, I will introduce a mobile application that was developed based on the Arizona State University Observation Tool (Lacy & Darst, 1984) to systematically quantify coaching behaviours. In particular, the planned and actual percentage allocated to teaching sports skills, values, and character which are essential in developing athletes holistically. I will also share some results based on studies conducted in Singapore schools and discuss the findings in relation to coach learning literature to enhance coaches’ intra-personal and professional knowledge via unmediated and internal learning situations.


Côté, J., & Gilbert, W. (2009). An integrative definition of coaching effectiveness and expertise. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 4(3), 307–323.

Lacy, A.C., & Darst, P.D. (1984). The evaluation of a systematic observation instrument. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 3(3), 59–66.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Koh is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department for the Physical Education and Sports Science Department at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His research interests are in coach education and sport pedagogy. He holds key appointments in several international and local sports organizations.


What Works for Whom in What Context and Why? An Attempt to Explain Coach Effectiveness in Performance Sport

Lidums Maris1; Morley David2; McCarthy Liam2; & O’Connor Donna3

1La Trobe University, Australia; 2Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, UK; 3University of Sydney, Australia

Given the important role played by the coach in performance sport, there is a need to better understand what coaching effectiveness looks like in this context. For example, to develop a coaching effectiveness model that is more directly associated with athlete performance within the context of the coach’s practice. To achieve this, it is essential to further understand how, when, why, and under which circ*mstances coaching practice influences athlete outcomes, and subsequently impacts coaching effectiveness. To do this, a hybrid methodological approach incorporating realist evaluation (Pawson, 1997) and the ERE (Embedded, Relational, Emergent) model (North, 2017) will be used. While realist evaluation demands an explanatory account, in keeping with the research aims, the ERE model offers a more nuanced and synthetic way of thinking about relationships in given contexts, and how resources emerge between people over time. In short, this approach to research allows the researcher to explore the relationship between the performance sport context, actions of sport coaching stakeholders, and how outcomes can be achieved over time (North, 2017). Thus, the aim of this presentation is to (1) provide an overview of the existing research on coaching effectiveness, and to (2) outline a mixed methods research methodology that is being used to explore coaching effectiveness. Specifically, through sharing the latest insights on coaching effectiveness, and an approach to evaluation, this presentation will further contribute to the research on coaching effectiveness, providing coach educators and developers a framework to evaluate the effectiveness of coaches.


North, J. (2017). Sport coaching research and practice: Ontology, interdisciplinarity and critical realism. Taylor and Francis.

Pawson, R. (1997). Realistic evaluation. Sage.

Presenter Biography

Maris is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching at La Trobe University and is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, investigating coaching effectiveness. Central to his research interests are coach development and coaching effectiveness. Maris has worked as an S&C coach in high performance sport for over fifteen years and currently works with national sporting organisations contributing to the professional development of sport coaches.

Leadership Cycles, Styles, and Antecedent Factors: Coaches’ and Athletes’ Perspectives

Lisá, E.1; Resende, R.2; Sousa, J.3; Morais, C.4; & Gomes, A. R.5

1Institute of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences – Comenius University Bratislava; 2University of Maia, Portugal, Life Quality Research Centre (CIEQV), Portugal; 3Adaptation, Performance, and Human Development Research Group, Psychology Research Centre, University of Minho, Portugal; 4Research Centre for Human Development, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal; 5Psychology Research Centre, School of Psychology, University of Minho. Portugal.

The study of coaches’ efficacy is a major topic in the coaching literature. However, findings are not clear about what factors can contribute to explain the efficacy of coaches. Taking as background the Leadership Efficacy Model (Gomes, 2020; Resende & Gomes, 2020), this study integrates three major factors that may be involved in coaches’ efficacy (cycles of leadership, styles of leadership, and antecedent factors of leadership). This study was done with football coaches and athletes, assuming four main goals: (1) analyse the perceptions of coaches and athletes regarding coaches’ leadership philosophy, practice, and criteria; (2) analyse the differences between athletes’ and coaches’ perceptions of leadership cycles, controlling for athletes’ age and perceptions of sport performance; (3) analyse the differences between athletes’ and coaches’ perceptions of leadership styles, controlling for athletes’ age and perceptions of sport performance; and (4) analyse the differences between athletes’ and coaches’ perceptions of leadership antecedent factors, controlling for athletes’ age and perceptions of sport performance. The study involved 304 athletes of 20 different teams competing in youth leagues. Results of objectives 1 and 2 demonstrate that both athletes and coaches indicated that leadership philosophy should be increased. Objective 3 showed the tendency of coaches to have a better evaluation of their behaviors when compared with the opinions of their athletes. Results regarding objective 4 indicated that athletes believe they have better team conditions to work than their coaches perceive. These results will be discussed in terms of practical impactions for the coaching activity.


Gomes, A. R. (2020). Coaching efficacy: The Leadership Efficacy Model. In R. Resende & A. R. Gomes (Eds.), Coaching for human development and performance in sports (pp.43–72). Springer.

Resende, R., & Gomes, A. R. (Eds.) (2020). Coaching for human development and performance in sports. Springer.

Presenter Biography

Rui Resende is professor at the University of Maia in Portugal and holds a Ph.D in Sports Sciences. He has created and was coordinator of the master’s degree in Sports Coaching at the University of Maia. He is the editor in-chief of the Journal of Sport Pedagogy & Research, and conducts research on Sport Coaching and PE teachers. Together with R. Gomes, Rui Resende was the editor of the book Coaching for human development and performance in sports published by Springer. He is a coach developer from the NSSU-ICCE Coach Developer Programme.


The 5Cs as a Behavioral Analysis Method in Football

Rafnsson, Daði1; Kristjánsdóttir, Hafrún1; Sveinbjörnsdóttir, Berglind1; Harwood, Chris2; & Steptoe, Karl2

Reykjavik University, Iceland1; Loughborough University, UK

While stakeholders generally acknowledge the importance of sport psychology, those implementing a psychological skills training program (PST) in a football club environment must acknowledge various structural and cultural obstacles (Diment, 2014). Previous research has shown how sport psychologists must work around the conservative coach and player perceptions of psychology to increase the likelihood of buy-in. While well-being and player welfare are very important components of PST, football is a competitive sport, especially at higher levels. Coaches are the most important drivers of PST in football clubs. Success in competition is highly important for them to increase their job safety. Our aim is to increase the likelihood of buy-in by combining personal development strategies with performance strategies (Steptoe etal., 2016). For this, we used the 5Cs framework for positive youth development in football. The 5Cs are Commitment, Communication, Concentration, Control, and Confidence (Harwood, 2008). We gathered nine expert football coaches to build key performance indicators (KPI) according to positions to enhance coach efficacy, role clarity, and team cohesion. They were asked to attribute a C to each KPI through a workshop and one-on-one interviews. The resulting KPIs were used to build a tagging manual, presented here, where observations of individual behaviors from game videos are recorded by two analysts for interrater reliability. By presenting KPIs through the common language of the 5Cs, coaches can identify desirable behaviors in players, offer more objective feedback, and adjust their coaching strategies accordingly.


Diment, G. M. (2014). Mental skills training in soccer: A drill-based approach. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 5(1), 14–27.

Harwood, C. (2008). Developmental consulting in a professional football academy: The 5Cs Coaching Efficacy Program. The Sport Psychologist, 22(1), 109–133.

Steptoe, K., Barker, J., & Harwood, C. (2016). Psychological service provision to the elite football performance network. In J. G. Cremades & L. S. Tashman (Eds.), Global Practices and training in applied sport, exercise and performance psychology—a case study approach. Routledge.

Presenter Biography

Daði Rafnsson is a Ph.D. candidate at Reykjavik University’s department of psychology. He has a UEFA A degree and has held the positions of head of youth at Breiðablik, director of football development at HK, and the MK Dual Career Academy program director in Iceland. He was the assistant coach of the 2017 Chinese Women’s FA Cup Winners, Jiangsu Suning. Daði has been a lecturer, coach mentor, and coach assessor for the FA of Iceland department of education since 2012.

From Knowledge to Effective Competence: How to Establish Positive Cycles of Leadership in Volleyball

Resende, Rui1 & Gomes, A. R2

1University of Maia, Portugal; Life Quality Research Centre (CIEQV), Portugal; 2University of Minho, School of Psychology. Braga, Portugal

The activities of coaching require extensive knowledge to be competent. One factor that may contribute to the efficacy of coaches is the ability to transform positive and challenging ideas of coaching into effective leadership behavior in conjunction with objective and adequate indicators to monitor the coaching process. In theoretical terms, it is important to explain how coaches establish linear relationships between the philosophy of leadership, the practice of leadership, and the criteria of leadership (Gomes, 2020; Resende & Gomes, 2020). In practical terms, it is difficult to explain how coaches implement their philosophy of coaching on a daily basis when working with athletes and teams. In this presentation we will provide an example of how a volleyball coaching philosophy based on stimulating athletes’ autonomy and responsibility can be implemented in specific training activities delivered to athletes and how the process can be monitored along the sports season. The presentation will reinforce the benefits of coaches establishing linear relationship between their ideas as coaches (leadership philosophy), their specific behaviors to implement these ideas (leadership practice), and their indicators to monitor the success of the ideas and actions (leadership criteria).


Gomes, A. R. (2020). Coaching efficacy: The Leadership Efficacy Model. In R. Resende & A. R. Gomes (Eds.), Coaching for human development and performance in sports (pp.43–72). Springer.

Resende, R., & Gomes, A. R. (2020). Coaching for human development and performance in sports. Springer.

Presenter Biography

Rui Resende is professor at the University of Maia in Portugal and holds a Ph.D in Sports Sciences. He created and was coordinator of the master’s degree in Sports Coaching at the University of Maia. He is editor in-chief of the Journal of Sport Pedagogy & Research and does research in Sport Coaching and with PE teachers. Together with R. Gomes, he edited the book Coaching for human development and performance in sports published by Springer. He is a Coach developer from NSSU-ICCE Coach Developer Programme.


“Women Easily Feel That They Have Lost a Year If They Don’t Ski Faster”: Finnish ski coaches’ discursive constructions of gendered dual career pathways

Saarinen, Milla1; Ryba, Tatiana V.2; Kavoura, Anna3; & Aunola, Kaisa2

1Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Norway; 2University of Jyväskylä, Finland; 3University of Brighton, United Kingdom

Earlier qualitative researchers studying athletes’ dual careers (DCs) have shown that sociocultural discourses on gender are ingrained in DC policies and practices, creating gender inequalities and hierarchies. In this study, we aimed to extend this body of research by examining how Finnish elite youth ski coaches discursively construct athletes’ education and gender in their talk and coaching practices. Similarly, we examined how coaches’ beliefs about athletes’ holistic development are interlinked with broader sociocultural discourses on gender. In this qualitative study, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 10 Finnish ski coaches (seven male, three female) aged 25–62years (M = 38.5), and then analyzed the data using reflexive thematic analysis, interpreted through a feminist poststructuralist lens. The results showed that coaches’ discursive practices regarding education depended on their athletes’ ages. For athletes in secondary education, the coaches predominantly drew on DC discourses that emphasized the compatibility of sports and education, but for athletes transitioning to senior-level sports, they drew on dominant performance discourses, believing that athletes at the senior level should prioritize their sports. Moreover, coaches discursively constructed athletic development as especially important for female athletes, who were perceived as less capable of excelling in sports and therefore needing to invest in multiple careers. We conclude that by drawing on gender stereotypes and binary understandings of gender, the coaches discursively reproduced gender hierarchies and unequal power relations in sports. These gendered discourses influence athletes’ DC aspirations and the gendering of DC pathways.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Saarinen is a postdoctoral fellow at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Norway. In her doctoral dissertation, Dr. Saarinen explored the vulnerabilities of female student-athletes in the career construction framework especially focusing on gendered coaching practices. Her current research interests include youth athlete career development, athlete mental health and gendering of sport.

Excellence of Character for a Good Coach

Sarodo, Shigeki1

1Nippon Sport Science University

Good coaching requires skill and expertise. It is also essential to communicate with others and to improve oneself as a coach. These correspond to the so-called three types of knowledge (professional knowledge, interpersonal knowledge, and intrapersonal knowledge). On the other hand, some argue that in addition to such knowledge, excellence of character is also necessary. For example, Hardman and Jones (2011) discuss the excellence of character required of coaches from the perspective of virtue ethics. However, there are various claims about what kind of excellence of character is required for coaches. In this presentation, therefore, I will argue the essential excellence of character for coaches based on the Ethics of Aristotle (2019). In his ethics, Aristotle states that for a human being to be truly happy, it is important for them to realize their own excellence, and in this context, he describes the nature of excellence of character and excellence of intellect as a human being. The excellence of character as a human being corresponds to the various domains in which human beings live. In contrast, the excellence of character required for a coach should be what is needed in the domain of coaching. Taking the essential elements of coaching into account, the following personal qualities are the excellence of character for coaches: courage, temperance, integrity, calmness, honesty, care, friendliness, humour, and justice. These are, for the most part, the same as Aristotle’s description of excellence in character, but integrity and care are especially characteristic of coaches.


Aristotle (2019). Nicomachean Ethics (3rd ed.). Hackett.

Hardman, A. R., & Jones, C. (2011). Sports coaching and virtue ethics. In A. R. Hardman & C. Jones (Eds.), The ethics of sports coaching (pp.72–84). Routledge.

Presenter Biography

Shigeki Sarodo is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Sport Science at Nippon Sport Science University (NSSU), Japan and also serves as a Research Fellow at NSSU Coach Developer Academy (NCDA). His current research focused on the application of Ancient Greek Philosophy to coaching studies. Besides his research, he has been working for Japan Basketball Association as a member of coach development committee and Japan Sport Association as a coach trainer.

Language-Based Pedagogies for In-Game Communications in Adult Sport

Sherwin, I1,2 & O’Dwyer, F3

1Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Ireland; 2Sport and Human Performance Research Centre (SHPRC), University of Limerick, Ireland; 3Marino Institute of Education, Dublin, Ireland

The half-time (HT) interval constitutes a vital aspect of a coach’s performance strategy. It represents a complex and pivotal time (Mouchet & Duffy 2020) where the dynamic interaction between coaches and athletes relies on consistency in communication based on practiced routines. The absence of substantial research into in-game coaching is a shortcoming and little has been done to identify coaching practices in the competitive domain despite the International Council for Coaching Excellence’s (ICCE) identification of in-competition behaviours as an important element of a coach’s core functions. A recent study by Smith and Sherwin (2022) on coach and player perceptions of half-time in elite rugby union outlined a coach-facilitated collaborative environment was perceived to be the most effective half-time strategy. Therefore, the aim of this research was to establish what coaches say and how they deliver their messages by analysing the content of the coach-athlete interactions during half-time. This qualitative research focussed on four male coaches in three different sports and conducted a linguistic analysis to establish the meaning of the interactions. Coaches rely on questioning to highlight problems and elicit player-generated solutions. Open-ended questions are used to elicit player collaboration on decision making, followed by coach echoing expectations in final direction. Questioning is also employed to highlight opportunities, in particular asking challenging questions to motivate and encourage intensity. Coaches tend to use directive language by emphasising opportunities that will be created by desired behaviour and putting a positive spin on the past leading to expected future behaviour.


Mouchet, A., & Duffy, P. (2020). Rugby coaches’ perceptions of their in-competition role. Sports Coaching Review, 9(1), 24–47.

Smith, B., & Sherwin, I. (2022). Coach and athlete perceptions of half-times in high-performance rugby union. Sports Coaching Review, 1–23.

Presenter Biography

Dr Ian Sherwin is a lecturer in Coaching Science and Course Director for the Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Sciences in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences (PESS) at the University of Limerick, Ireland. Ian’s current research focuses on applied coaching practice in high-performance and participation environments. Ian previously worked with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) as a development officer and professional rugby coach. He currently coaches Senior Schools (U19) and local club rugby (U11).

Co-Production of An Evidence-Informed Coaching Resource for ‘Contact Confident’ Tackle Training in Women’s Rugby Union

Stodter, Anna1; Evans, Nic2; & McDonald, Katrina3

1Centre for Sport Coaching, Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, United Kingdom; 2Institute of Education and Humanities, University of Wales Trinity St David, Swansea, United Kingdom; 3Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Rugby union is a collision sport with high injury incidence. Research has tended to focus on injury surveillance and prevention using male data from a bio-scientific perspective, where limitations are noted in the implementation and maintenance of ‘good practice’. Women players, coaches and policymakers can be absent from evidence used to inform the development of rugby coaches’ knowledge and practice. The current research aimed to adopt co-production with coaches and players to develop coaching resources informed by, and relevant for, the context of tackle coaching in women’s rugby union. The design followed Bruder etal.’s (2023) 7-step intervention-development process, incorporating a partnership with rugby’s governing organisation. Eleven coaches and players from a university women’s rugby team took part in focus group interviews about their experiences surrounding contact training. Based on this case-study and previous research on rugby coaches’ knowledge (Hendricks etal. 2017), an online survey was developed. Twenty-two women in high-performance rugby coaching completed the survey, and thematic analysis of the findings were translated to generate content for the coaching resource by a working group. Examples of results, including confidence in contact and learning how to fall, will be shared with example video resources. Future research should look to deliver and evaluate resources and injury-prevention initiatives against theory, incorporating coach learning principles into the design of evidence-informed, context-specific training programmes.


Bruder, A.M., Donaldson, A., Mosler, A.B., Patterson, B.E., Haberfield, M., Mentiplay, B.F., Clifton, P., Livingstone, N.D., & Crossley, K.M. (2023). Creating Prep to Play PRO for women playing elite Australian Football: A how-to guide for developing injury-prevention programs, Journal of Sport and Health Science, 12(1), 130–138.

Hendricks, S., Sarembock, M., Jones, B., Till, K., & Lambert, M. (2017). The tackle in South African youth rugby union – Gap between coaches’ knowledge and training behaviour. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 12(6), 708–715.

Presenter Biography

Anna Stodter is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching in the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University. Her research interests lie in the processes and impacts of coach learning, inspired by a track record of high-quality professional practice in rugby coaching and coach development.

Coach Learning, Development and Education

(in alphabetical order by first author’s last name)


Coach Stress in the National Basketball Association

Baghurst, Timothy1 & Griffin, Adrian2

1Florida State University, USA; 2Toronto Raptors, National Basketball Association, Canada

Coaches, especially those in professional sports, are often a visible member of society, and the evaluation of their success is often predicated by their win-loss record. Assistant coaches are placed in the unique position of being less visible than the head coach but often handle more of the day-to-day responsibilities. Many hope to attain a head coaching position, yet can be fired at any time, especially when their head coach is fired or leaves. Consequently, job stress is likely high but research on coach stress, particularly amongst assistant coaches and professional sports, is limited. Therefore, using the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984), the purpose of this study was to describe and better understand the experienced factors of stress, stressors, coping strategies, and support interventions of elite assistant coaches in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Participants were 20 male assistant coaches in the NBA who agreed to participate in virtual, one-on-one semi-structured interviews regarding stress and burnout. Data revealed four core themes of: Experienced Stressors, Coping and Support Systems, Family Dynamics, and Team Organization. Participants reported experiencing high levels of stress that were sometimes moderated by utilizing family and organizational support systems. However, findings indicated a clear need for greater stress reduction and coping strategy training for coaches and the development of improved organizational support systems for professional coaches.


Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. Springer.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Timothy Baghurst is the Director of FSU COACH: Interdisciplinary Center for Athletic Coaching at Florida State University. Tim’s research interests have migrated from body image to modeling health in the health and sport professions, stress and burnout in coaching, and coach evaluation methods. He has had over 125 peer-reviewed articles published, along with five books, and is a Research Fellow of SHAPE America. He is the current president of the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education.

The Rise and Efficacy of Non-Formalised Coach Development Opportunities: An Assessment of Their Use and Validity Within Coach Development

Barkell, James1 & O’Connor, Donna1

1The University of Sydney

In recent years there has been an influx of non-formalised coach development opportunities through formats such as webinars, podcasts, blogs, and various other social media applications. Whilst some research has been conducted into the effectiveness of formalized online coach development courses (Driska etal. 2018), investigations into the use on non-formalised coach development remains scarce. This study aims to explore the efficacy of non-formal online coach development opportunities through various modes of delivery and discuss the potential direction of future coach development opportunities. The research aims to answer the following four key questions regarding non-formalised coach development opportunities: 1. What value do participants place on the various forms of learning opportunities (webinars, podcasts, blogs and social media)?, 2. How do participants choose what to engage in?, 3. What influence do these opportunities have on their overall coaching practices?, 4. Do the participants find these beneficial for their own development? This investigation was conducted through a series of qualitative interviews with coach participants across a range of sports. Participants coaching experience ranged from beginners (<5years) to intermediate (5–10years) and experienced (>10years) coaches. With the rise of webinars, podcasts and social media coaching accounts, this study will provide a greater understanding of the effectiveness of these various coach development opportunities. The research also provides clarification over preferences in delivery of information for coach development and inform future practice opportunities in coach development.


Driska, A. P. (2018). A formative, utilization-focused evaluation of USA swimming’s nationwide online coach education program. International Sport Coaching Journal, 5(3), 261–272.

Presenter Biography

Dr James Barkell is an academic within the Health and Physical Education Program at the University of Sydney, Australia. He is a Level 4 High Performance Coach in Rugby Union and has over 10years’ experience coaching both age group teams at both state and national levels. His research focuses on examining performance variables of sports and their relationship to coaching.

Applying the Latest Knowledge About the Brain to Sport Coaching Practices

Betts, Kristen1; Galoyan Tamara1; Murray, Fiona3; Perreli, Julie2; Steinman, Sara1; & Kiosoglous, Cameron1

1Drexel University; 2Western Connecticut State University 3Special Olympics International

In this presentation, findings will be shared from a study that examined the types of professional development attended by leaders in sport during the pandemic and the relationship between using evidence-based practices with instructional design and teaching. Sport coaches recognize that knowledge and understanding of the brain can positively impact their effectiveness, however, coaching practices are largely based on neuromyths (Bailey etal., 2018). Sport coaching mirrors the broader education literature where the professional educator, such as the practitioners who educate and certify coaches and teachers, is a complex and under-researched subject (Watts etal. 2021). The pressure of competitive success has led many coaches and sport organizations to search for new and advantageous ideas to improve their athlete performances, potentially increasing their vulnerability to pseudoscientific ideas (Collins & Bailey, 2013). More research is needed in how we develop our ideas related to learning in our professions (Dekker etal., 2012). The focus of this study was to advance the importance for sport coaches to increase levels of professionalization to develop a more complete body of knowledge that more accurately reflects current forms of evidence-based practices (Bailey etal., 2018).

Presenter Biography

Cam Kiosoglous is an Assistant Clinical Professor and Sport Coaching Leadership Program Director at Drexel University. For the last five Olympic cycles, Cam Kiosoglous has supported high performance athletes and coaches and is currently the Director of National Team Sport Science with USRowing. He also serves as President with the United States Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE). He has consulted with a variety of organizations in coaching development.

The CLAD: A Coach Learning and Development Model

Brown Helen1; Ross Ashley2; & Upton Mark3

1Deakin University, Australia; 2Coach Learning Solutions; 3My Fastest Mile

Coaches often use a variety of opportunities to learn and develop, including participation in formal, informal and nonformal activities. However, social learning initiatives have been highlighted as particularly beneficial for enhancing coach learning and development. This presentation outlines a new social learning model for coach development (known as the ‘CLAD’ model) and the results of a pilot program undertaken in Australia. The CLAD model, using self-determination theory at its core, is a form of structured learning that attempts to maximise the beneficial aspects of social learning. CLAD is designed for individuals to follow their field of interest while aggregating knowledge for sharing across the whole CLAD community. In this pilot project, participants included fifteen high level sporting coaches from Australia who undertook the CLAD social learning journey over 12 months. Each participant designed their own learning ‘project’ and utilised the Community of Practice to progress their own learning whilst supporting others. At completion, participants contributed their new knowledge to an ever growing ‘plantation’ of resources and ideas for all to share. The evaluation of this pilot project included the dissemination of an online survey to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the CLAD model and individual interviews to explore the value of the coach development model, framed by the Values Creation Framework (Wenger etal., 2011). Initial results identified CLAD community members appreciation of the self-driven research, interaction with fellow coaches and the opportunity to build their reflective practice. The main barrier identified was time to commit to the CLAD amongst other work priorities.


Wenger, E. & Trayner, B. & de Laat, M. (2011). Promoting and Assessing Value Creation in Communities and Networks: A Conceptual Framework.

Presenter Biography

Associate Professor Helen Brown is a senior academic at Deakin University, Australia. She is a Behavioural Epidemiologist, with specific expertise in Behaviour Change and Implementation Science. A. Prof Brown leads the Undergraduate coaching stream at Deakin University and has a research focus on coach development, particularly in the development and implementation of Communities of Practice as a tool for coach development.


A Principles-Focused Evaluation of a Coach Education Program

Campbell, Sara1 & McCullick, Bryan2

1University of Denver, USA; 2University of Georgia, USA

Collaboration between coaching scholars and coach developers can improve the relevance and usefulness of coaching research (Driska, 2018). Thus, the purpose of this study was to conduct a principles-focused evaluation (PFE) of a coach education program (CEP). PFE theory posits that an evaluation should be judged by whether it produces information that is useful to the primary stakeholders of the evaluation (Patton, 2018). To enhance use, scholars and practitioners work side by side to design an evaluation of their CEP. In this PFE, the first author and five coach developers at the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) collaborated over 17 months to: (a)develop principles guiding the program, (b)select a purpose for the evaluation, (c)construct evaluation questions, (d)decide upon data collection methods, (e)collect and interpret data, and (f)determine forms of use. The findings indicated that some of the group-developed principles were more meaningful and applicable than others. Coach developers used these findings to make changes to the original list of principles. They also took steps to integrate the principles into various aspects of the CEP such employee recruitment, curriculum design, and self-reflection. Moreover, the data revealed that coach developers gained skills in evaluative thinking as a result of participating in the evaluation. This study contributes to coaching literature by demonstrating the potential of evaluation theories, collaborative inquiry, and renewed focus on how, or if, findings are relevant and useful to practitioners.


Driska, A. P. (2018). A formative, utilization-focused evaluation of USA swimming’s nationwide online coach education program. International Sport Coaching Journal, 5(3), 261–272.

Patton, M. Q. (2018). Principles-focused evaluation. Guilford Press.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Sara Campbell is an assistant professor at University of Denver where she teaches courses in the undergraduate program in Kinesiology and Sport Studies and in the Master of Arts in Sport Coaching. Her research interests are in coach education, program evaluation and philosophy.

How London Grassroots Football Coaches Learn and Potential Knowledge Gaps to be Addressed By Coaching Education

Capalbo, Lucas S.1; Wyles, L.1; & Abendano, D.1

1London Metropolitan University

Football is the most popular sport in England. It is estimated that 11 million people play the game in the country—of whom 3.35 million are children. Organized football can be a fundamental tool for the development of children, especially under the supervision of qualified coaches. However, a systematic review found that the majority of studies on coaching education focused on the elite level (Walker etal., 2019) which represents a small fraction of the people playing football (the ones called “the 1%”). As a consequence, there is an eminent risk that the knowledge gap between the elite and grassroots levels continues to increase leaving grassroots coaches, working with the vast majority of football practitioners, less prepared to perform their roles well. The purpose of this study was to explore how grassroots coaches learn, identify possible barriers to coaching education, and determine potential knowledge gaps. An exploratory qualitative research design was used to investigate grassroots football coaches in London. The results demonstrated that the coaches prefer to learn about coaching in informal and nonformal settings, most of the content they preferred to learn was around training session set-up (e.g.,drills and activities) and player motivation and recruitment; finally, the major barriers to accessing formal coaching education programs were related to their costs, difficulty in getting into high-level badges, and the applicability of the course content to their context.

Presenter Biography

Lucas Capalbo is a multi-award-winning youth coach currently working at Bloomsbury Football (London) and a Lecturer in Sport Psychology and Coaching at London Metropolitan University. Lucas holds a PhD in Kinesiology specializing in the psychosocial aspects of sports from Michigan State University. Considered an academic practitioner, Lucas bridges the gap between research and the applied field in the areas of positive youth development through sports and coaching education.

It’s Leadership, But (Maybe) Not as You Know It

Cassidy, Tania1 & Byrne, Gary2

1University of Otago, New Zealand; 2Independent Consultant

For the most part, in the English-speaking world at least, leadership is still taught and researched from “an Anglo-Western-male capitalistic perspective” (Williamson, in Chin etal., 2018, p.323). If leadership practices are to be relevant and beneficial for our increasingly diverse communities then orthodox views of leadership need to be challenged, especially since the behaviours adopted by the leaders may not be the same across cultures (Chin & Trimble, 2015). The orthodox views of leadership may go some way to explain why women are underrepresented in elite coaching and in national and international governance positions. One way to challenge the leadership orthodoxy is to shift the discussion away from primarily focusing on the individual towards a broader discussion that includes sociocultural, pedagogical, and indigenous orientations to leadership. Yet, when exploring leadership via these orientations it is not possible to ignore the behaviours of individuals, after all they view leadership as a complex, social, cultural, relational, situated, and pedagogical practice. In the literature, and in practice, there are examples that suggest we are on the brink of a paradigm shift on how we understand and practice leadership in the sports coaching context. In this presentation we contribute to this paradigmatic shift by introducing sociocultural, pedagogical, and indigenous orientations to leadership and provide examples of what they look like in the sports coaching context. This discussion is important if we genuinely wish to achieve the goal of “Coaching for a Better Tomorrow”.


Chin, J. L. & Trimble, J. E. (2015). Diversity and leadership. Sage.

Chin, J. L, Trimble, J. E., & Garcia, J. E., (2018). Global and culturally diverse leaders and leadership: New dimensions and challenges for business, education and society. Emerald Publishing Ltd.

Presenter Biography

Tania Cassidy is an Associate Professor in the area of Sport Pedagogy, particularly sports coaching. Tania views sports coaching as a social and educational enterprise as well as one which is culturally bound. She is the lead author of Understanding Sports Coaching: The pedagogical, social, and cultural foundations of coaching practice (4th ed; 2023) and Understanding Strength and Conditioning as Sport Coaching: Bridging the Biophysical, Pedagogical and Sociocultural Foundations of Practice (2020).

Using Collaborative Action Research to Support the Learning and Development of Saudi Arabian Football Coaches

Cope, Ed1; Alsowayen, Mansour2; Turkistani, Amro3; & Cushion, Chris1

1Loughborough University; 2King Saud University; 3Head of Sports and Events, Riyadh2034

Collaborative Action Research (CAR) has been found to be an effective and valuable professional development approach for sport coaches. However, most of the work using CAR in sport coaching has been with experienced and elite coaches, and often those well known to the research team. This study sought to utilise CAR with less experienced coaches, and those not known by the lead researcher. Further, this study is the first to use CAR in a cross-cultural setting, and predominantly through an online educational setting. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of using CAR to support the learning and development of Saudi Arabian football coaches. A multi methods approach was employed consisting of coach observations and reflective conversations. These methods were initially used to inform the design of the educational programme, which was delivered online over a 9-week period. Reflective conversations were used post the educational programme to gain a sense of how the programme, based on the principles of CAR, had impacted coaches’ ideas about their coaching. Based on thematic analysis, four themes were generated, which were 1) development of pedagogical knowledge, 2) the opportunity to collaborate, 3) developing positive relationships with their players, and 4) credibility of programme deliverers. Like findings from other studies, CAR was received positively by these coaches, and provides a framework by which to think the education of coaches in Saudi Arabia more broadly.

Presenter Biography

Dr Ed Cope is a Lecturer in Sport Coaching at Loughborough University. His teaching and research interests centre on supporting the development of coaches’ behaviour and practice, and developing educational provision, which positively supports coaches’ learning and development.

How Did We Get Here: An Exploration of the Social Structures That Have Influenced FA Coach Education Over Time

Chapman, Reece1,2; Cope, Ed3, Richardson, Dave4; Littlewood, Martin1; Cronin, Colum1

1Liverpool John Moores University, UK; 2Northumbria University, UK; 3Loughborough University, UK; 4Bangor University, UK

Coach education courses are part of a wider education system and are typically designed by policy developers and led by coach educators. Extant coach education research has explored the complex, multifaceted micro pedagogical interactions between coach educators and coaches on courses (e.g.,Dempsey etal., 2021). However, research has neglected to explore the social influences on the (re)development of these coach education systems over time. In response, this study analyses the social construction of The FA coach education system since 1967. Specifically, this study aimed to 1) identify ‘social architects’ who influenced the development of FA coach education, and 2) analyse the wider social, economic, cultural, and political structures that influenced these architects’ and their development of FA coach education. To explore these aims, this study re-examines data from 47 policy documents and 16 semi-structured interviews. This interview sample all held positions of responsibility at The FA between 1967 and 2019 (e.g.,Head of Coaching) and thus have unique insight into how FA coach education has developed. Through a deductive crystallisation process this study extends on three prominent structures first identified by Chapman etal. (2020). Namely these structures include the military, education systems and economic influences. The findings recognise 1) the military’s influence in positioning the coach educator as a powerful being, 2) how insights from PE and education have informed FA coach education development, and 3) how economic opportunities in the 1990s and beyond prompted an expansion of FA coach education provision.


Chapman, R., Richardson, D., Cope, E., & Cronin, C. (2020). Learning from the past: A Freirean analysis of FA coach education since 1967. Sport, Education and Society, 25(6), 681–697.

Dempsey, N., Cope, E., Richardson, D., Littlewood, M., & Cronin, C. (2021). Less may be more: How do coach developers reproduce “learner-centred” policy in practice? Sports Coaching Review, 10(2), 203–224.

Presenter Biography

Reece Chapman is a Lecturer in Sports Coaching at Northumbria University and a coach in non-league football. Reece’s PhD research focused on the socio-pedagogical developments of FA coach education over time and how today’s courses are experienced in grassroots clubs by coaches and players alike. This PhD programme was jointly funded by the Football Association (The FA) and Liverpool John Moores University Reece holds a UEFA B coaching licence and has previously worked within the English football academy system.

CICEE-T: Culture-Sensitive Coach Education on Safe Sport

Chroni, Stiliani1; Lara-Bercial, Sergio2,3; Øystein Hansen, Per1; Skille, Eivind1; Alexopoulos, Antonis4; Kavoura, Anna5; Nerry, Miguel6; Hassandra, Mary5; Nicolini, Chiara7; Kerr-Kumbo, Renzo8,9; Vivirito, Sara7; Calmaestra, Juan10; de Dios Benitez, Juan10; Navarro, Alex10, Santos, Thiago6; Vertommen, Tine11; Verhelle, Helena11; & Brazier, Ruth2,3

1Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway; 2Leeds Beckett University, UK; 2International Council of Coaching Excellence, UK; 4European University of Cyprus, Cyprus; 5University of Thessaly, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, Trikala, Greece; 6Educacao E Formacao, Unipessoal LDA, ENSILIS, Portugal; 7CEIPES, Centro Internazionale per la Promozione dell’Educazione e lo Sviluppo, Italy; 8Sport Coaching Europe, Malta; 9MCAST Institute of Community Services, Main Campus, Malta; 10University of Cordoba, Faculty of Education Sciences and Psychology, Spain; 11 People & Well-being Research Unit, Prevention & Empowerment Research Group, Thomas More University of Applied Sciences, Antwerp, Belgium

When Safe Sport (Mountjoy etal., 2016) educational or informational resources are translated into another country’s language without adaptations to its culture, chances for these to be efficiently implemented and endorsed by sports persons may be weakened. Upon recognizing sport coaches as first responders to incidents of interpersonal violence in sport, we set out to employ a culture-sensitive approach to coach education to increase the chances of delivering safe for all coaching. In particular, the CICEE-T Erasmus+ sport partnership attempts to overcome the limitations of ‘importing and translating’ centrally developed guidelines by considering key cultural characteristics of different nations. The objective is to develop the first culturally informed digital coaching education toolbox to address the global phenomenon of interpersonal violence in sport (psychological, physical, sexual) in a seamless way for six cultures of the Mediterranean region. The toolbox is developed for Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain, and Portugal, with partners from Belgium and Norway supporting with their knowledge and expertise. In the presentation we share the bottom-up methodology employed and findings from the knowledge development phase where we conducted semi-structured interviews with coach education developers and coach educators to understand how coach education is organized and the prominent cultural characteristics of each country that may enable interpersonal violence. The data revealed hierarchical relations and person-centered powers, skewed gender hierarchies, and normalization of violence. Behind these, patriarchy, collectivism, a very strong family institution, and machismo culture appear to stand strong challenging individual empowerment and integrity as a safer way forward.

Presenter Biography

Stiliani “Ani” Chroni is Professor in sport psychology and coaching, and the first Director of the Sport and Social Science Research Group at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. She’s a Coach Developer certified by NCDA, ICCE, an international advocate for the Women in Sport Movement, and mentors young female professionals. Her research on coaches has focused on elite coaches’ performance psychology, transitions into coaching, and at present time on the cultural praxis heuristic for Safe Sport coach education.

Are We Selecting the Right Coaches?: The ITF Experience

Crespo, Miguel1; Martínez-Gallego, Rafael2; & Nash, Christine3

1International Tennis Federation, England; 2University of Valencia, Spain; 3University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

One of the challenges in running coach education and certification courses is the ability of organizing bodies to select the most appropriate candidates. This challenge is even greater when organizing courses for high-performance coaches or former high-performance athletes (Edwards & Washington, 2013). The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has, over the years, designed and refined a set of selection criteria for candidates to participate in these courses. We wanted to ascertain if this process was specific, objective, and transparent to the participants. A cohort of over 100 high-performance coaches representing 93 nations shared their views on these criteria through a dedicated survey and a series of semi-structured interviews. Analysis of the data revealed that the selection criteria of general (academic, language, and work-related) and tennis-specific (level of play, coaching experience, position in the industry, etc.) competencies were considered appropriate. We concluded that the feedback obtained from the parties involved: coaches, federations, coach developers, and organizers has facilitated the effective implementation of these criteria. The presentation will share examples of good practices in different contexts and how they have been implemented to make the experience of participating in these courses enriching for all.


Edwards, J., & Washington, M. (2013). Managing a sport organization: The impact of recruiting, selecting, and retaining elite level coaches in sport. Journal of Applied Sport Management, 5(3), 5.

Presenter Biography

Miguel Crespo is the Head of Participation and Education of the Development Department at the International Tennis Federation (ITF). He oversees the projects, resources, conferences, courses, and research on these areas. A former player and coach, he holds a Ph.D. in Law, a Ph.D. in Business Administration, and a Ph.D. in Psychology. He is Treasurer of the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE). He is a regular keynote speaker in International Conferences and has published books and peer reviewed articles extensively related to tennis, psychology, and skill acquisition.

Social Learning for Sport Safety: Value Implications By Coaching Context

Culver, Diane M.1; Duarte, Tiago1; Rourke, Siobhan1; McCallan, Rachel2; Priest, Frances2

1University of Ottawa, Canada; 2Coaching Association of Canada

Untraditional learning approaches such as social learning theory (SLT; Wenger, 1998) have been used in the context of coach development research over the past two decades. The ICCE has been engaging people in conversations about social learning for nearly half that time. This presentation about two coach communities of practice (CoPs) offers practical applications of how SLT concepts can further coach development beyond formal education. A CoP is a structured tool to support coaches’ individual and collective learning through connecting on issues, passions, etc. to grow and improve practice. This interactive process provides coaches with the opportunity to reframe and transform their beliefs and practices as they co-create knowledge with others. Two separate CoPs on sports safety were convened over six months following the coaches partaking in the associated e-learning modules. The first CoP was created in 2021 for high-performance sports directors and coaches who would attend the upcoming Tokyo Games. The initiative created value for the participants in a short timeframe, as some of the participants would experience 'transformative and realized values’ as quickly as the third meeting. The lessons were translated to create a new CoP involving sports safety. In September 2022, a new CoP was initiated for professional chartered coaches at the middle management level. While learning values were identified at CoP#2, the coaches differed in how they perceived their ability to promote changes to their landscape according to their power to impact their organizations. Overall, relief at knowing other coaches have similar concerns was appreciated.


Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge University Press.

Presenter Biography

Diane Culver is a Full Professor at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include coach development and collaborative inquiry. Diane’s funded research includes examining parasport coaching, women in sport leadership, and sport safety. In her teaching, research, and consulting she is particularly interested in social learning theory, communities of practice, and building social learning capability in sport. Diane is also an Alpine ski coach who has worked with all levels of skiers from youth to Olympic levels.


“Who am I to Tell Them How to Coach?” – An Analysis of Coach Developers’ Learning

Davidson, James1 & Townsend, Robert1

1University of Waikato

Coach Developers play a critical role in the development of coaches. However, coach developers themselves remain under-researched, in particular the social relations that contour their learning and development is poorly understood. Eleven coach developers working across regional and national sports governing bodies took part in a series of interviews and in situ observations over the course of 12 months. Engaging a reflexive thematic analysis, this paper focuses on the power relations that surround coach developers’ learning journeys; specifically describing the socialisation by powerful senior coach developers into the language and discourses associated with the role, and construction of professional identities against the power relations that surround them. Furthermore, while navigating power relations, participants described limited training or support and exposure to competing sets of expectations and beliefs about effective practice, leading to self-sourced and often contradictory practice theories. Implications from the research are that further support and development is required in the training of coach developers in situ, as well as the need for research to interrogate the language and discourse framing the role.

Presenter Biography

James Davidson works in and is a PhD researcher in coach development in Aotearoa, New Zealand. He currently works as a Coaching Advisor and hold several consultancy roles in High Performance coaching. Having previously been an athlete and coach at the international level, he works with multiple sports as a coach developer, trainer, and programme designer; having experienced many different aspects of the New Zealand coaching system. Building a wide array of experiences and insights which informs this research.

Using Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy to Cultivate Resilience and Mental Well-Being Among Sport Coaches

de Cruz, Nicholas1

1University of Surrey, UK

Sport coaching is a highly stressful profession that places the mental and emotional well-being of coaches at risk due to the pressure to continually deliver successful results as evidence of coaching efficacy and athlete development. Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) is a cognitive-behavioural approach that has been shown to be effective in promoting resilience, stress management, and mental well-being. The ABC model is a key component of REBT, which involves identifying the activating event (A), the belief/interpretation of the event (B), and the consequences or emotional/behavioural responses (C). This session will teach coaches how to utilise the ABC assessment model to identify and challenge negative thinking patterns and beliefs that may inhibit their mental well-being and coaching practice. For example, a coach who experiences a setback (e.g.,athlete achieves personal best in training but not in competition) may automatically interpret it as a personal failure and start to feel discouraged. By using the ABC model, the coach can identify the activating event (A; the setback), the belief (B; that it was a personal failure), and the consequences (C; discouragement). The coach can then challenge the belief by considering alternative and healthier interpretations, such as the opportunity for learning and growth, and developing a more positive and resilient mindset in the process. By understanding the principles of REBT and learning to utilise the ABC model in sport coaching practice, coaches can create a more positive coaching environment that supports well-being and sustainable sport engagement in both participation and performance settings.

Presenter Biography

Dr Nicholas de Cruz, a former World Champion and sailing coach, is a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Surrey. He is the author of the book “Cultural Sport Psychology and Elite Sport in Singapore,” published by Routledge. Nicholas is a chartered member (CPsychol) of the British Psychological Society, a full member of the Singapore Psychological Society (MSPS) and National Registry of Coaches (SG-Coach Level 3), and a registered sports instructor with the Ministry of Education.

“Just Like When I Was a Kid”: Challenge of Change in Youth Sport

Dieffenbach, Kristen1

1West Virginia University

Organized youth sport programming can be traced back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in the U.S. In 1925 Coleman Griffith, a sport psychology pioneer, wrote about the need to train and prepare coaches and in the ensuing century, sport science disciplines emerged providing evidence-based recommendations for supporting athlete health, well-being, and performance. Unfortunately, many community-based non-profit youth sport organizations are governed and operated by volunteers (Ives etal. 2022), relying on their motivation and personal experience as sufficient qualifications for leadership and coaching. Even for local programs connected to national sport leadership organizations, guidance and support are often logistical in nature (e.g.,rules, scheduling). While some provide training qualifications, local organizations rarely have the expertise or manpower to support best practices in application. In alignment with recommendations from the National Youth Sport Strategy, (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2019), a partnership was established between a sport science based academic unit and a volunteer community program to support good practice in volunteer parent youth sport coaching and to provide students with real world opportunities. This presentation will explore the conceptualization, growth, and impact of a multi-year partnership that was initiated prior to and survived COVID. The successes and challenges of supporting change within a volunteer youth sport community eager to grow but reluctant to evolve will be discussed. Strategies for managing roadblocks associated with small town politics, embedded personal histories, and an entitlement mindset that can impede progress will also be considered.

Presenter Biography

Kristen Dieffenbach is the director of the Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Science at West Virginia University and a professor in the School of Sport Sciences. She is the executive director of the United States Center for Coaching Excellence and has been a professional coach and a sport psychology educational consultant for over 25years working with developmental through Olympic level athletes and coaches. Her research interests focus on coach developer training, coaching and professionalism, and coaching pathways.

My Journey Facilitating Social Learning Spaces for Coaches

duch*esneau, Marc-André1 & Woodburn, Andrea1

1Université Laval, Canada

Recently, I participated in an action-research project conducted with two provincial sport federations in Quebec, Canada, the purpose of which was to implement and assess the impact of three social learning communities for coaches and the programme administrators that supported them. For this project, I acted as the research coordinator and facilitator for the three communities. Using narrative inquiry, the purpose of this paper is to tell my story of what turned out to be an unexpected and transformative learning journey for me as a coach developer. Various roles I previously held had prepared me well for the role of facilitator, or so I thought. A former national swim coach, award-winning university sessional lecturer, and coach developer in the province of Quebec, I have often found myself in leadership roles in coach education and development (CED). Given this experience, I thought I was well prepared to act as a facilitator for the three communities. This could not have been further from the truth. The Value Creation Framework (Wenger-Trayner & Wenger-Trayner, 2020) served as a theoretical model for creating a significant story, drawing on data from my journaling, recordings of reflective conversations with co-researchers, and from recordings of the meetings of all three communities. To become effective in this role required changes in my understanding of it and has since greatly influenced my work as a coach developer. My story may prove useful to other experienced coach developers engaging as facilitators in social learning spaces for the first time.


Wenger-Trayner, E., & Wenger-Trayner, B. (2020). Learning to Make a Difference: Value Creation in Social Learning Spaces. Cambridge University Press.

Presenter Biography

Marc-André duch*esneau holds a doctorate in psychopedagogy. He spends his time creating social learning spaces for developmental and high-performance coaches as a coach developer for various sport organizations. He is also a sessional lecturer at Université de Montréal and Bishop’s University in Québec, Canada.


The Learning of High-Performance Coaches Through Olympic Sport Experience

Galjaardt, Hans Björn1,2; Rynne, Steven1; & Mallett, Cliff1

1The University of Queensland, Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, Australia; 2The Queensland Academy of Sport, Sport Performance Innovation and Knowledge Excellence, Australia

High-performance coaching in Olympic sports is somewhat distinctive given the long period between peak competitions and the multi-sport format. Defining, understanding, and researching the learning of Olympic coaches presents opportunities for insights into the unique factors that impact the coaching process in this context. Moreover, the results of such research may influence the way we develop and deploy coach education, and arguably can impact the performance of Olympic coaches (Côté & Gilbert, 2009). Indeed, others have argued that the ongoing development of sports coaches is key to sustaining and improving the quality of coaching and professionalism (Mallett etal., 2009). Key questions remain, however, regarding how coaches might be prepared for the unique and high-stakes context of the Olympic Games. The aim of this presentation is to provide an insight into the learning of Olympic sport coached via a qualitative case study. Making use of a ‘letter to former self’ and follow-up interviews, data were generated with coaches who worked at the Beijing and the Tokyo Olympic Games. In keeping with the conference theme of “Coaching for a better tomorrow”, an initial guideline will be provided from a high-performance coaching perspective with a clear focus on supporting the learning of these key figures in the Olympic sport landscape. Possible constraints and opportunities for coach development and coach education will also be highlighted.


Côté, J., & Gilbert, W. (2009). An integrative definition of coaching effectiveness and expertise. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 4, 307–323.

Mallett, C. J., Trudel, P., Lyle, J., & Rynne, S. B. (2009). Formal vs. informal coach education. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 4(3), 325–364.

Presenter Biography

Björn Galjaardt is a water polo coach and an early career sports coaching researcher. He is a student at The University of Queensland and has researched and coached with a variety of emerging and elite, including Olympic, athletes and coaches. His research focuses on high-performance coach learning and experiences.


The Role and Impact of Coach Individual Differences on Coach Developer Practice

Hodgson, Gary1; Abraham, Andrew1; & Piggott, David1

1School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom

Coaches are encouraged to understand more about their athletes in order to personalise practice and there are numerous studies in the participant development literature that can facilitate this understanding. Our argument would be that the same emphasis should exist for coach developers and policy makers to know more about coaches in order to also personalise coach learning and coach development practice. Coach learners demonstrate a range of different individual differences through dispositional traits, characteristic adaptations, and life stories (McAdams, 2015) in their given contexts. While understanding these characteristics is important, there is a need to understand the narratives of coach learners to understand 1) what these characteristics look like over time, and 2) how these impact on coach developer practice. Nine elite coach educators participated in semi-structured interviews exploring strategies implemented with specific coach case studies. A range of appropriate strategies were discussed matched with a range of learner characteristics. While this is the case, strategies discussed were often general, with only a few specific cases elaborated on. From what specific narratives were shared, the concept of trust has been deemed a critical mediator to developing meaningful learning relationships, and facilitating positive shifts in learners’ openness to, and conceptions of learning and knowledge.


McAdams, D (2015). The Art and Science of Personality Development. Guildford

Presenter Biography

Gary Hodgson is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Leeds Beckett University. A former Lecturer in Sport Coaching and academy football coach, he is currently content and community manager for the ICOACHKIDS Global Movement, supporting the mission to promote sport policy, education and practice that puts kids first.


Field Hockey Coaches’ Perceptions and Knowledge Regarding Concussion – Providing a Framework for Coach Education to Enhance Management of Field Related Concussion Injuries Within the South African Context

King, Caeleigh1 & Morris-Eyton, Heather1

1University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Field hockey, despite not being classified as a contact sport, has a high risk for sports related concussion (SRC) injuries. This is primarily due to the speed and intensity of the game, rules, field surfaces and equipment. Head injuries are a commonly reported injury, with up to 75% of concussions being unreported or undetected. The research was conducted within the Gauteng province, with a cohort of coaches (n = 18), who were coaching teams in a provincial premier league. The modified RoCKAS-ST (Rosenbaum, 2009), questionnaire was used to measure attitudes and knowledge regarding concussion, followed up with interviews (n = 3). Coaches reported having witnessed between 1–5 concussions (March 2018 to March 2022), with 89% able to identify signs and symptoms of concussion. However, 61% felt that their concussion knowledge was not sufficient to be able to deal with a SRC injury. Within the coach education for South African field hockey coaches, there is no information dealing with signs and symptoms of concussion or management thereof. The concussion education programmes implemented in rugby have shown to decrease severe injuries and improve injury prevention behaviours (Patricios, 2014). Introducing a framework, embedded within the coach education, for the field diagnosis, reporting and management of SRC injuries will empower coaches who are predominantly the first responders to such injuries. This aims to enhance the management of SRC injuries, ensuring improved safety during training and competition for field hockey players.


Rosenbaum, A.M. & Arnett, P.A. (2009). The development of a survey to examine knowledge about and attitudes toward concussion in high-school students. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 32(1), 44–55.

Patricios, J. (2014). BokSmart – South African rugby’s national rugby safety and injury prevention programme. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 13(3), 142–144.

Presenter Biography

Caeleigh King is a biokineticist at the University of Johannesburg’s Biokinetic clinic on the Doornfontein campus. Caeleigh completed her Master’s degree in biokinetics (under the supervision of Professor Heather Morris-Eyton), where she examined the attitudes, knowledge and prevalence of concussion in amateur field hockey within the Gauteng province of South Africa. She is currently registered for a doctorate in Biokinetics.

An Online Tool to Help Coaches to Implement Nonlinear Pedagogy

Komar, John1; Choo, Zhi Yi Corliss1; Ismail, Irfan1; & Chow, Jia Yi1

1Physical Education and Sport Science, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Nonlinear pedagogy (NLP; Chow, 2013) was defined as an application in training and coaching of the concepts and tools of non-linear dynamics and refers to several general principles to follow in pedagogical practice, like representative learning design, developing relevant information-movement coupling, relevant manipulation of constraints, leveraging on functional movement variability. Although numerous resources and workshops exist on the topic, coaches and trainers are still on their own when it comes to daily coaching and training practice. To help coaches to get familiar with the NLP principles and to reflect on their current practice, this project aimed at developing and implementing an online tool aiming at the application of NLP principles in training by quantifying the degree of linearity/non-linearity of coaches’ practice, at a micro-level of practice (i.e.,during the session) and through the different pedagogical channels (i.e.,practice, instruction, feedback). For this purpose, an observation tool was developed based on existing tools (Roberts & Fairclough, 2012) and validated with 10 sessions. The observation tool was designed to observe pedagogical activities conducted by the coach within the three pedagogical channels (practice, instruction, and feedback). Coaches’ activities within those channels were observed and machine learning techniques were used to train a computer to recognise NLP based on the observed activity of the coach in the session. The tool then provided a quantification of NLP observed in the session, accounting for the interactions between the pedagogical channels. In addition, the results show the breakdown of all the raw activities deployed by the coach during the session.


Chow, J. Y. (2013). Nonlinear learning underpinning pedagogy: Evidence, challenges, and implications. Quest, 65(4), 469–484.

Roberts, S., & Fairclough, S. (2012). A five-stage process for the development and validation of a systematic observation instrument: The system for observing the teaching of games in physical education (sotg-pe). European Physical Education Review, 18, 97–113.

Presenter Biography

Dr. John Komar is an academic, researcher at the National Institute of Education in Singapore. He has worked as a coach in different activities including swimming, climbing, orienteering and handball, and at various levels from grassroot to national.

Fighting for Emancipatory Feminist Coaching: An Experience in Wrestling

Korsakas, Paula1; Harumi Cruz Tsukamoto, Mariana2; Graciano, Mayara3; Silva, Aline3; & Galatti, Larissa Rafaela1

1University of Campinas, Brazil; 2University of São Paulo, Brazil; 3Associação Mempodera, Brazil

Patriarchy in sport can be understood as a limit-situation (Freire, 2013) violating women in various ways through “naturalized” coaching practices, a sexist trap for female coaches and athletes. Beyond increasing girls’ participation in sport, it is urgent to critically examine the quality of sport experiences and replace patriarchal coaching for feminist pedagogies that sustain their permanence and promote holistic development. Underpinned by the intersections between Sport Pedagogy and Feminist Pedagogies (Tato etal., 2022), this investigation sought to answer what and how to coach sport in a feminist perspective? Participants (and co-researchers) were two afro Brazilian female wrestling athletes, one coach and the other manager in a girls’ wrestling program founded by them. With a qualitative approach, data gathering and analysis made use of bricolage (semi-structured interviews, observation, filming of practice sessions, reflective meetings, field notes) during a 12-month period in which the first four authors worked together to 1. critically reflect on current practices, 2. co-construct a wrestling curriculum, and 3. apply feminist coaching in practice. Coaching examination denounced that authoritarian practices were reproduced as “the way sport is”. Consciousness emerged as a perception of “being sick from sports”. Feminist coaching practices took place procedurally, evidencing the curriculum in motion. Practitioners’ tacit knowledge was crucial for coach development as an iterative praxis process by confronting patriarchal versus feminist coaching. Fighting for emancipatory feminist coaching presupposes acknowledging coach education as a political act for liberating women coaches and athletes from gender oppression in sport towards social justice.


Freire, P. (2013). Pedagogia do oprimido (1. ed.). Paz e Terra.

Tato, E., Aon, J., Lozano, J. R., Bramanti, M. B., Figueroa, M. J., Santino, M., Korsakas, P. (2022). La Nuestra Fútbol Feminista: A social experimentation and learning territory. In: J. Knijnik, & G. Garton (Eds.). Women’s football in Latin America. social challenges and historical perspectives Vol.2. Hispanic countries (p.307). Palgrave Macmillan Cham.

Presenter Biography

Paula Korsakas is a PhD candidate at the University of Campinas Brazil researching coaching and coach development from a feminist perspective. She is certified as Master Coach Developer from NCDA/ICCE and has worked as consultant for sports organizations and sports federation on long-term athlete development and coach development initiatives.

The Status of Female Football Coaches in South Africa: Challenges and Future Directions

Kubayi, Alliance1 and Morris-Eyton, Heather2

1Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

2University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Participation in women’s football within the South African context has increased exponentially in recent years. In the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football Survey Report, South Africa had the highest number of registered players. This however does not reflect the inequity of coaching opportunities within the football system where 12% of licensed coaches are women in South Africa. Football is dominated by male leadership, thriving within patriarchal attitudes and masculine hegemony at the exclusion of women. Utilising the ecological model (LaVoi & Dutove, 2012), barriers related to female football coaches is interrogated. These include organisational, intrapersonal, interpersonal and sociocultural barriers. The barriers encompass the foundational premise of gender stereotyping which negatively impacts career advancement for female coaches. Despite FIFA’s commitment to increase the number of teams participating at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the South African Football Association (SAFA) has been sluggish in their responsibility to the women’s game. Within the football coach education landscape, women tend to have low football coaching qualifications, hindering their upward mobility through the SAFA coach education system. This not only refers to the explicit barriers faced by women but encompasses the disregard by the national federation in considering the specific needs of female football coaches. The South African government has emphasised a transformation agender geared at creating greater opportunities for successful participation of women and children in all facets of sport and recreation. Within football an ideological shift is required, allowing women coaches greater opportunities for success and value add within the male dominated football space.


FIFA, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (2019). Women’s Football member associations survey report 2019. Zurich: FIFA.

LaVoi, N. M., & Dutove, J. K. (2012). Barriers and supports for female coaches: An ecological model. Sports Coaching Review, 1(1), 17–37.

Presenter Biography

Alliance Kubayi is a senior lecturer in the Department of Sport, Rehabilitation and Dental Sciences at Tshwane University of Technology. He has published more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Alliance’s research interests include coach education, talent identification and development, and match analysis in soccer. He is a member of the International Council for Coaching Excellence and a Southern Africa universities coordinator for the Africa Student Football Union.


Promoting Political Activism Through Coach Education: Strategies for Coach Developers

Larsen, Leslie K.1

1California State University, Sacramento, USA

Sport has the potential to be a site for social change. Athletes and coaches are well positioned to promote social change due to their unique celebrity status at both local and international levels (Agyemang etal. 2020). Since the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in June 2020, a larger percentage of athletes are stepping into activist roles. However, coaches seem less likely to use their platform as a site for political activism. Currently, it is unclear if this is due to apathy, fear of consequences, or a lack of knowledge from coaches. While each of these reasons could be explored in coach education programs, most coach education books and programs do not address social justice concerns or prepare coaches for political activism (Gearity etal., 2020). Coach developers must take active steps to ensure coaches are equipped to become change-makers within their teams and society. Therefore, the purpose of this presentation is to educate coach developers on strategies for empowering and supporting the development of political activism by coaches in their programs. The strategies coach developers can use to help promote political activism include: (a)learn about their own positionality in society, (b)recognize coaches as whole people, (c)celebrate the unique impact of coaches, (d)call attention to potential roadblocks and consequences, and (e)emphasize the importance of self-care.


Agyemang, K. J., Singer, J. N., & Weems, A. J. (2020). ‘agitate! agitate! agitate!’: Sport as a site for political activism and social change. Organization, 27(6), 952–968.

Gearity, B., Metzger, L. H., Wong, D. S., & Butryn, T. (2020). Understanding and acting upon

white privilege in coaching and coach education. In B. Callary & B. Gearity (Eds.), Coach education and development in sport: Instructional strategies (pp.248–259). Routledge.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Leslie K. Larsen is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Kinesiology major in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, Sacramento. She received a PhD in Kinesiology, Sport Psychology from the University of Tennessee. Her research interests include cultural sport psychology, women in coaching, and coach education. Prior to her time in Sacramento, Leslie was a Mental Conditioning Coach at IMG Academy and a former NCAA Division I women’s basketball coach.

From Theory to Practice: Examining Evidence-Based Approaches in Sport Coaches in Singapore

Loo, Joanne K.1; Choong, Gabriel C.W.1; Chew, Lewis Y.Q.1; & Suppiah, Haresh2

1National Youth Sports Institute, Singapore; 2Department of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, La Trobe University

This study investigated the implementation of evidence-based practice (EBP), sources to access EBP, and barriers to EBP from coaches’ perspectives in youth sports in Singapore (n = 53; Mage = 33.1years ± 8.1). The top three research areas used in EBP implementation were “Strength and conditioning/fitness,” “Skill development,” and “Mental training and preparation,” with coaches believing that “Optimizing individual athlete performance” benefitting the most from research. Despite the availability of scientific evidence, coaches relied more on their own personal experience when designing performance/training programs. The top three preferred methods of feedback from practitioners were “Informal conversations/speaking,” “Scheduled meetings,” and “Shared access of database/cloud-based software.” The top three qualities/attributes of practitioners that make coaches more likely to engage with applied sport science were “Excellent knowledge of the sport/game,” “Years of experience as a practitioner/performance staff,” and “Strong communication skills.” The top five preferred sources of information were “Websites/podcasts/forums,” “Practitioners within their sport were sources to access information,” “Social media,” “Peer-reviewed research articles,” and “Infographics.” Barriers to EBP included non-applicable or irrelevant research reported, the inability to translate or apply research information to applied sporting context, and time limitations. This study highlights the need for more accessible and practical scientific knowledge to be made available to coaches. Future research could focus on developing effective communication strategies that promote the translation of scientific research into practical knowledge for youth coaches in Singapore through various informal scientific communication methods.


Fullagar, H. H. K. (2019a). The translation of sport science research to the field: A current opinion and overview on the perceptions of practitioners, researchers and coaches. Sports Medicine, 49(12), 1817–1824.

Schwarz, E. (2021). Practitioner, coach, and athlete perceptions of evidence-based practice in professional sport in Australia. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 1–8.

Presenter Biography

Gabriel Choong is a Performance Pathways Manager from the National Youth Sports Institute (NYSI) in Singapore. His roles include facilitating successful collaborations amongst key stakeholders instrumental in enhancing the youth athlete development pathways in Singapore. He aspires to build positive relationships with coaches and deepen the understanding of the sports and the environments in which the athletes are nurtured. He also aims to advocates evidence-based practices as the basis to support the advancement of the environment and people he collaborates.


Wellbeing and Pasifika Rugby: One Man’s Journey

Manu, Deacon1; Cassidy, Tania2; & Hapeta, Jeremy2

1Pacific Rugby Players Association; 2University of Otago, New Zealand

This presentation draws on the experiences of the first author who is an ex-professional rugby player who identifies as Pasifika. He played for two Super Rugby franchises, a Welsh rugby club, New Zealand Māori, and captained Fiji (in a World Cup). He personally witnessed and experienced the highs and lows of professional rugby and the limited attention coaches and administrators gave to the wellbeing of the players, and even less attention to a holistic view of wellbeing. In this presentation a case is made that failing to adopt a holistic approach to player wellbeing is particularly harmful to professional rugby players who identify as Pasifika. In an attempt to reduce future harm various Pasifika frameworks of wellbeing will be introduced.

The presentation is informed by an autoethnographic study undertaken by the first author. Plenty has been written about the power of narratives and their links to (auto)ethnographic

methodologies (for an overview see Cassidy etal., 2023). Others have explained how narratives are consistent with talanoa, which is a deeply emotional and intersubjective methodology with embedded Pacific values (Farrelly & Nabobo-Baba, 2014). We contend the wellbeing of athletes can be enhanced when coaches develop their understanding of what it means to adopt a holistic approach to wellbeing. Insights provided in this presentation are transferable across sporting codes and are integral to the goal of “Coaching for a Better Tomorrow”.


Cassidy, T., Potrac, P. & Rynne, S. (2023). Understanding sports coaching: The pedagogical, social, and cultural foundations of coaching practice (4th ed). Routledge.

Farrelly, T., & Nabobo‐Baba, U. (2014). Talanoa as empathic apprenticeship. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 55(3), 319–330.

Presenter Biography

Deacon Manu is an ex-professional rugby player and current international coach. He was born in New Zealand and played for the NZ Māori All Blacks and captained Fiji to a Rugby World Cup. After retiring from playing, he became a coach and worked with various teams, at both club and international levels. Manu is also known for his work off the field, advocating for mental health awareness and community development initiatives in his role as chairman for Pacific Rugby Players.

Assessing Futsal Coach Education in Brazil

Marques Filho, Cesar Vieira1; Galatti, Larissa Rafaela2; Galdino, Matheus3; Queiroz, José Luiz1; Tibúrcio, Alefe Alves Maia1; & Montagner, Paulo Cesar1

1Catholic University of Brasília, BR; 2State University of Campinas, BR; 3Bielefeld University, DE

According to the coaching literature, the assessment of coach education programs should be integrated into learning activities, covering self-assessment processes, and generating reflections on the practice of coaches (McCarthy etal., 2021). It must be carried out individually and collectively, enabling greater exploration of the knowledge built from exchanges between peers (McCarthy & Hounsell, 2019). Following this approach, the present research investigates how coaches are assessed within a large-scale coach education program in Brazilian futsal, which has already certified over 500 coaches in its domestic territory. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with the program’s coordinator and five coach developers. Additionally, 45 coaches were consulted through a questionnaire, while a participant observation was also experienced by the leading researcher himself. Employing an instruments triangulation, the preliminary results assemble five key areas: (1) program definition, (2) educational model, (3) program identity and coaching awareness, (4) pedagogical approach, and (5) evaluation and impact. Surprisingly, the program did not present any guidance on how the assessment should be organized by coach developers, posing low levels of interaction and practical reflection. In most cases, coaches did not even receive any feedback on the activities they performed. Fundamentally, this study suggests a switch from the program’s traditional assessment into a processual and contextualized perspective as a means for coaches to enhance their learning and development in practice.


McCarthy, L., & Hounsell, T. (2019). Exploring the use of technology in coaching education: Digital coach development or disaster? Olympic and Paralympic Coach, 30(3), 17–24.

McCarthy, L., Vangrunderbeek, H., & Piggott, D. (2022). Principles of good assessment practice in coach education: An initial proposal. International Sport Coaching Journal, 9(2), 1–11.

Presenter Biography

Larissa Galatti is a Brazilian PhD associate professor at University of Campinas and an International Master Coach developer by NCDA/ICCE. She is also a member of the ICCE Research Committee. Galatti’s practice and research have been walking together, having the sport development as a goal and the coaching research and education as part of her contributions in connection with partner universities around the world, as much as sport organizations, including Olympic Committees.

Trenerløftet 2 - A National Norwegian High Level Coach Development Program

Midtun, Ingvild Riise1 & Heggebø, Frank2

1The Norwegian Olympic Sport Center/Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway; 2The Norwegian Olympic Sport Center, Norway

“Trenerløftet” is a mentoring program provided to targeted high-level coaches responsible for talented athletes. The main purpose is to strengthen coach development through a tailored approach based on the coaches´ situational and/or personal needs. A key objective is to develop coaches in ways that benefit their athletes. The Norwegian Olympic Sport Center (NOSC) developed the program in 2019. After participation in “Trenerløftet 1”, coaches can apply to continue in an advanced group, “Trenerløftet 2”, an 18-month project. This group, consisting of 30 coaches was selected from 16 different sports. Each coach was given minimum 15 meetings with their mentor, at least six meetings/seminars/study tour with other coaches that was part of the project, and received a scholarship (1000 Euros) to further strengthen own development.

Bjørkøy (2021) addressed experiences from Trenerløftet 1 in ICCE in Lisbon. The presentation in Singapore will mainly present experiences from Trenerløftet 2. In addition, we discuss research, evaluation, and continuous improvement of Trenerløftet 1 in relation to experiences from Trenerløftet 2 and vice versa. More precisely, how do such experiences influence the leadership, organization, and pedagogy of Trenerløftet 2? Knowledge about these questions is vital in order to succeed with the tailored approach of the program.

Presenter Biography

Ingvild Riise Midtun work with coach development at the Norwegian Olympic Sport Center and has been working with different level coaches and athletes from different sports for the last 13years. She is a lecturer at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, with responsibility for the bachelor program in sport coaching. Her research interest is on how to organize coaching development programs in the best way for the coaches and their impact on athletes.

Designing and Implementing An “Integrated Model of Athlete Development” in a Brazilian Multisport Club

Milistetd, Michel1, Tozetto, Alexandre Bobato2; & Culver, Diane3

1Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil; 2Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil; 3University of Ottawa, Canada

Systems convener (SC) are individuals who bring people together from different sectors for a multi-meeting process around complex issues, enabling collaboration across social and institutional systems (B. Wenger-Trayner & Wenger-Trayner, 2015). The aim of this work is to situate the role of a SC as a key actor in the negotiation of knowledge, resources, and activities among diverse stakeholders to design and implement an “Integrated Model of Athlete Development” in a Brazilian Multisport Club. The design and implementation of the integrated model of athlete development used the Appreciative Inquiry approach considering two dimensions: (a)technical-pedagogical – with a group of academics, coordinators and coaches, the creation and negotiation of the conceptual model of athlete development (e.g.,coaching frameworks); and (b)political-structural – the negotiation of the conditions for implementing the project (e.g.,external and internal communication, alignment of language and coaching practices, data systems, coaches’ development). This project is an example of a complex landscape in which a systems convener had to immerse himself, build bridges, and facilitate partnerships to translate scientific principles into the coaches’ routines.


Wenger-Trayner, E., & Wenger-Trayner, B. (2015). System Conveners in Complex Landscapes. In E. Wenger-Trayner, M. Fenton-O’Creevy, S. Hutchinson, C. Kubiak, & B. Wenger-Trayner (Eds.), Learning in landscapes of practice: Boundaries, identity, and knowledgeability in practice-based learning (pp.99–118). Routledge.

Presenter Biography

Michel Milistetd is an assistant professor at Sports Centre in Federal University of Santa Catarina. His main research focus is coach development and coach education programs. He is certified as coach developer from NCDA/ICCE and also works as consultant in sports federations and sports clubs.

Evaluation of a Youth Coach Development Program in Singapore

Mizushima, Jun1; Loo, Joanne Kyra2; & Lee, Sai Meng2

1Toyo University, Japan; 2National Youth Sports Institute, Singapore

The purpose of this study was to evaluate a two-year coach development program applying the concept of community of practice (CoP) and identify the future direction, needs, and priorities of the program. The findings from this study are expected to be useful in developing a program to systematically and continuously support the learning of youth sport coaches. This study used a qualitative research design based on social constructivism. The value creation framework (VCF; Wenger & Wenger, 2020) was used as the theoretical framework for this study. Eleven youth sport coaches from 11 sports including track and field, badminton, canoeing, floorball, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, bowling, water polo, and wushu and four mentors participating in a coach development program organised by the National Youth Sports Institute (Singapore) participated in this study. Two individual interviews were conducted with all the participants. Data generation included a focus group, documents produced by the program, the researcher’s observation notes during each gathering. Qualitative thematic analysis was implemented to understand the participants’ values created through participating in the program following the procedures outlined by Braun and Clarke (2006). The findings revealed that the coaches and mentors created value within each of the eight cycles of value creation in VCF. The details of the values created will be presented and the future direction, needs, and priorities of the program will be discussed in the conference.


Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77–101.

Wenger-Trayner, E. & Wenger-Trayner, B. (2020). Learning to make a difference: Value creation in social learning spaces. Cambridge University Press.

Presenter Biography

Jun Mizushima is a lecturer of sport coaching at Toyo University. He worked as a throws coach in Japan and Paraguay. He has also been involved in youth coach development in Singapore. His research focuses on athlete development from both biomechanical and psycho-social perspectives, as well as coach learning and development from psychological and socio-cultural perspectives.

Oceania Online Coach Developer (Pilot Project) Community of Support: Insights and Future Direction

Mulcahy, Liam1; Cowan, Jackie1; Fyall, Glenn1; Bennett, Blake2; & Rodgers, Andy3

1University of Canterbury, New Zealand; 2University of Auckland, New Zealand; 3Sport New Zealand; ICCE.

Coach developers (CDs) are becoming increasingly recognised for facilitating positive coach learning experiences that contribute to positive athlete learning experiences. Recent research suggests that pedagogical and epistemological change in coach education programmes are requisite if their evolutionary potential is to be realised. Therefore, this research explores the role of technology and online learning environments as one such area of pedagogical and epistemological change that may enhance, or indeed be a necessary adaptation for the future of coach development (Cushion & Townsend, 2019). Specifically, this study explores an online coach education community of practice – The Oceania Online Coach Developer pilot project. The programme is underpinned by concepts of social learning, self-reflection, personal development, and communities of practice where participants co-create the content and drive the direction of the learning. The researchers purposively recruited 30 coach developers who participated in the online programme (15 from Australia and 15 from New Zealand) to explore their perceptions of the programmes value. Data was gathered via online questionnaires and focus group interviews. Analysis of the data involved both deductive and inductive methods. Through deductive analysis, transcripts were thematically coded using Wenger and Wenger-Trayner (2020) Value Creation Framework. The researchers then drew on their research experience and theoretical knowingness to inductively interpret deeper underlying meaning from the data. Initial findings, at time of writing this abstract reflect the following - (i) there is great potential, but this is not realised, (ii) online social learning is engaging and empowering, and (iii) ‘real world’ challenges impede the transformative value of the programme.


Cushion, C. J., & Townsend, R. C. (2019). Technology-enhanced learning in coaching: A review of literature. Educational Review, 71(5), 631–649.

Wenger, E., & Wenger-Trayner, B. (2020). Learning to make a difference: Value creation in social learning spaces. Cambridge university press.

Presenter Biography

Liam Mulcahy is a student at the University of Canterbury, the Junior Academy Director at Brisbane City Football Club, and works in various football development environments. His research focus on coach education and volunteerism involving football coaches and their challenges within an ever-growing professionalised system within Australasia.


The Role of the Coach Developer in High-Performance Coaching

Nash, Christine1; Martínez-Gallego, Rafael2; & Crespo, Miguel3

1University of Edinburgh, Scotland; 2University of Valencia, Spain; 3International Tennis Federation, England.

The coach developer is an integral component of continuous learning and growth of sport coaches (Nash etal, 2019). In a pilot study carried out in tennis, we investigated how the experienced coach developer utilises their skills and experience to meet the needs of the learners. We interviewed coach developers (4) employed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to deliver and support programmes, as well as participants on the residential advanced coaching programme (12). We analysed the subsequent interview data using reflexive thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2019). This revealed the following themes: 1) integration of theory to practice, 2) creating a learning environment in high-performance coaching, and 3) ensuring high standards are maintained on-court. Effective coach developers have a lasting impact on a coach’s knowledge and practice. However, acquiring this expertise takes time and requires the ability to reflect on practice, be adaptable, positive, and approachable.


Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2019). Reflecting on reflexive thematic analysis. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 11, 589 – 597.

Nash, C., Culver, D., Koh, K-T., Thompson, M., Galatti, L., & Duarte, T. (2019). The coaching journey: Learning as lifelong and life-wide. In R. Thelwell, & M. Dicks, (eds.). Professional advances in sport coaching: Research and practice. Routledge.

Presenter Biography

Christine Nash currently leads the Applied Coaching Research Group at the University of Edinburgh, researching in coaching expertise and has over 100 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and conference presentations. She has worked within a number of Higher Education institutions worldwide, most recently as a Visiting Professor at Technische Universität München (TUM), Germany. She has worked in multiple countries as a coach within the sport of swimming.


Co-Development in Disability-Specific Coach Education

Randrup, Kelsey1; Townsend, Robert1; Frawley, Patsie1; & Roberts, William1

1University of Waikato

Inclusion of disabled people in sport at all levels is reliant on challenging the ableist ideas, attitudes and practices that are inherent in sporting culture. Coaches are central to ensuring access and sustained participation of disabled people in sport. However, disability sport in Aotearoa New Zealand continues to exist in a segregated model (McBean etal., 2022). Furthermore, coach education lacks research that uses a co-development approach to knowledge creation and translation with disabled people, drawing on their ‘expertise by experience’ position. The aim was to explore coach education, by engaging with advisory structures in collaboration with disabled people, positioning them as co-developers of the research. Drawing from a broader project focused on disability coach education in Aotearoa New Zealand, in this presentation we illustrate the use of equitable and experientially-informed co-development to inform the development of disability-specific coach education programmes - an area identified by the disability sport sector as of crucial importance in terms of ensuring inclusion. Drawing on the engagement of a multi-stakeholder advisory network throughout the study and valuing lived experience – we illustrate the development of a framework for infusing knowledge about disability into coach education structures, thus challenging the structure of existing education, and delivery of coach education programmes. Disability knowledge and experiences continue to remain a rarity from general coach preparation (Townsend, 2022). This presentation reflects on the ways in which co-development of knowledge can be undertaken in a collaborative research design where disabled people and allies within sport focus on transforming coaching practices by challenging norms framed by ideas of ability, and how they are understood in coaching. In doing so we provide a methodological avenue for informing coach education that has broader implications for disability sport research.


McBean, C., Townsend, R. C., & Petrie, K. (2022). An historical analysis of disability sport policy in Aotearoa New Zealand. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 14(3), 419–434.

Townsend, R. (2022). Coaching Disabled Children: A Brief Look Around and Forward. Routledge.

Author Biographies

Kelsey Randrup, MSc, is a Speech and Language Pathologist turned sports coaching doctoral candidate at the Te Huataki Waiora School of Health - University of Waikato. With a clinical background in health and education, Kelsey is embedded in the disability sector both personally through family and professionally.

Training Social Learning Leaders: Thoughts for Future Practice

Rourke, Siobhan1; Culver Diane M.1; Duarte, Tiago1; & Priest Frances2

1University of Ottawa, Canada; 2Coaching Association of Canada

The use of social learning theory (SLT) as pioneered by Wenger and colleagues has produced positive results in the context of coach and sport leadership development (e.g.,Kraft etal., 2020). Establishing successful social learning spaces (SLS) such as a community of practice (CoP), requires social learning leaders (SLLs, i.e.,facilitators) schooled in SLT. Given the theoretical underpinnings of SLS, a common critique is that once academic support is removed, these communities disappear. This presentation disseminates knowledge on how to lead SLS, alleviating the current dependence on academics. Two facilitators were hired by the Coaching Association of Canada to lead a six-month CoP pilot project on Anti-Racism in Coaching. The facilitators began with both lived experience and content expertise, resulting in the first few meetings heavily resembling webinars. Our role as SLL trainers was to continually re-evaluate how we were supporting the facilitators’ shift towards a social learning approach. Our evaluation utilizing the Value Creation Framework (Wenger-Trayner & Wenger-Trayner, 2020) found the facilitators were successful overall in developing and nurturing the CoP as a result of their ability to lead through vulnerability and discomfort. Facilitating a SLS requires a paradigm shift from a teaching agenda to an agenda driven by learner needs, which requires the SLL to let go of power and continually question their habitual approach to facilitation. This pilot project has provided the foundation for our future research: the development of a training program for novice SLLs including a step-by-step plan for developing and nurturing SLS.


Kraft, E., Culver, D. M., & Din, C. (2020). Exploring a women-only training program for coach developers. Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal, 28, 173–179.

Wenger-Trayner, E., & B. Wenger-Trayner. (2020). Learning to make a difference: Value creation in social learning spaces. Cambridge University Press.

Presenter Biography

Diane Culver is a Full Professor at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include coach development and collaborative inquiry. Diane’s funded research includes examining parasport coaching, women in sport leadership, and sport safety. In her teaching, research, and consulting she is particularly interested in social learning theory, communities of practice, and building social learning capability in sport. Diane is also an Alpine ski coach who has worked with all levels of skiers from youth to Olympic levels.

The Work and Learning of Representative Sport Coaches

Rynne, S. B.1, Mallett, C. J.1,2, O’Connor, D.3, Huxley, D.4, Sterling, J.5; & Stewart, M.4

1The University of Queensland, School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, Australia; 2Technical University Munich, Institute for Advanced Study, Germany; 3The University of Sydney, School of Education and Social Work, Australia; 4Athletics Australia, Australia; 5Basketball Australia, Australia

Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, World Championships and World Cups of various configurations are the pinnacle performance contexts for many sports. The Representative Coaches who lead and support the teams and athletes competing at these events are known to be key to successful performance outcomes, yet this form of coaching is poorly understood and severely lacking in support (Lyle & Cushion, 2017; Rynne & Mallett, 2014). Although it has been established that the work of Representative Coaches is vastly different to other forms of coaching, there remains insufficient detail about the specific work that these coaches undertake in these distinctive roles. This presents a serious problem as effective and impactful coach development is premised on a sound understanding of what coaches do. In seeking to address this problem, we are undertaking a co-constructed project focused on the varied dimensions of work that Representative Coaches undertake prior to, during, and after pinnacle sporting events. In this presentation we offer an account of our research on the work and learning of Representative Coaches with the aim of providing improved clarity for coaches, athletes, and the organisations that support them. We anticipate that such findings will also support prospective actions related to the preparation, recruitment, evaluation, and exit of Representative Coaches.


Lyle, J., & Cushion, C. (2017). Sport Coaching Concepts: A framework for coaching practice (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Rynne, S. B., & Mallett, C. J. (2014). Coaches’ learning and sustainability in high performance sport. Reflective Practice, 15(1), 12–26.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Steven Rynne is an Associate Professor and Program Convenor for Sports Coaching at The University of Queensland, Australia. Steven has worked and conducted research with a variety of peak domestic and international sporting bodies in the areas of high-performance coach learning and Indigenous sport. Steven teaches undergraduate and graduate students, is a registered HPE teacher, coaches track cyclists, and is involved in Surf Life Saving.


Implementing Psychosocial Competencies in Strength and Conditioning Coach Education: A Participatory Action Research Approach

Szedlak Christoph1; Callary, Bettina2; Eagles, Kimberly2; & Gearity, Brian3

1Hartpury University, UK; 2Cape Breton University, Canada; 3University of Denver, USA

Psychosocial coaching competencies such as philosophical, pedagogical, psychological, and sociocultural aspects are essential to develop effective athlete-centred coaching practice. However, strength and conditioning (S&C) coach educators like the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) have so far neglected to include these in their curriculum. Researchers suggest that organizational change requires the engagement and collaboration from stakeholders, who are responsible for curriculum development (Stringer & Aragón, 2020). Thus, the aim of this presentation is to outline how our participatory action research approach with the UKSCA enabled us to start implementing psychosocial coaching competencies within the curriculum. In the first phase, we analysed perceptions of 95% of the UKSCA’s stakeholders regarding psychosocial competencies. Our findings highlighted that stakeholders perceived psychosocial competencies to be important and integral to S&C coaching practice (Callary etal., 2022). Furthermore, we identified sociocultural considerations, where current accepted coaching practices (i.e.,behaviours, language, attitudes) are impacted by the dominance of hegemonic masculinity and focus on performance. Following on, we explored stakeholders’ perception of how learning should be encouraged. Although stakeholders lacked an understanding of how to implement psychosocial coaching competencies, they suggested that a new module could be integrated within the accreditation process. Therefore, we developed an initial workshop that introduced psychosocial coaching competencies. Using the value creation framework, we evaluated stakeholders’ responses to the workshop. The results enabled us to collaboratively plan a more comprehensive implementation phase, which focuses in more detail on specific psychosocial coaching competencies.


Callary, B., Gearity, B. T., Eagles, K., & Szedlak, C (2022). Defining psychosocial strength and conditioning coaching competencies: A qualitative participatory action research approach. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching (ahead of print).

Stringer, E. T., & Aragón, A. O. (2020). Action research. Sage.

Presenter Biography

Dr Christoph Szedlak is a lecturer (research) in S&C at Hartpury University. He is the programme lead for the MSc in S&C. His research focuses on the psychosocial aspects of coaching using innovative qualitative methods to enhance data collection and to disseminate research findings. His applied experiences span over thirteen years of working with a variety of different level athletes including Olympic and World champions.


Evidence-Based Tools to Develop Coaches’ Critical Reflection Skills in Formal Coach Education

Vangrunderbeek, Hans1, De Backer, Maarten2; McCarthy, Liam3; Buelens, Evi1; & Ponnet, Hans1

1Flemish School for Coach Education, Brussels, Belgium; 2KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; 3Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, United Kingdom

Next to knowledge and understanding of the sport (what to coach) and strategies to support learning (how to coach), critical reflection is considered an important feature of high-quality coaching practice. Therefore, there is a clear need for evidence-based tools and frameworks for appreciating and developing coaches’ critical reflection (i.e.,intrapersonal) skills, through coach education programs. Since 2020, coach education programmes within the Flemish School for Coach Education (Belgium), include a research-based framework to enhance and assess coaches’ critical reflection skills. The aim of this presentation is twofold: first, to share this framework and corresponding tools such as the online Flemish Critical Reflection Measurement Scale (FCRMS), second, to discuss the results of a recent intervention study within our organization.

In this study, a pre–post test design was used to compare the development of written critical reflection skills in 25 gymnastics coaches (14 intervention and 11 control). Statistical analysis of data revealed that the intervention had a significant (p < .01) impact on the quality of coaches’ critical reflection. Coaches exhibited a positive, upward, trajectory from descriptive verbalizations to a deeper level of self-awareness, and greater criticality, along with demonstrating a willingness to adopt alternative ideas/approaches. Findings will be discussed with reference to future coach education research and policy work.


Vangrunderbeek, H., De Backer, M., McCarthy, L., Buelens, E., & Ponnet, H. (2022). Developing critical reflection skills in a formal coach education program. International Sport Coaching Journal, 10(1), 54–69.

Vangrunderbeek, H., Callewaert, M., Skopinski, A., & De Backer, M. (in print). Achieving multiple outcomes through assessment in Belgium: Assessment as learning and for certification. In L. McCarthy (Ed.), Assessment in sport coach education and development: International perspectives. Routledge.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Hans Vangrunderbeek is coach education manager at the Flemish School for Coach Education. In his PhD, he focussed on the scientific development of physical education/sports in Belgium. In 2011, he obtained a grant for a research stay at Harvard University in Cambridge. He published more than 50 papers within the fields of sports (coach education, history, ethics) and gave lectures at several international congresses. In 2019–2020, he successfully completed the NSSU-ICCE Coach Developer program in Tokyo.

Value Creation in a Coach Developer Social Learning Space: Stories of Predispositions, Non-Prescribed Guidance and Legitimacy

Vinson, Don1; Bradshaw, Andrew2; & Cale, Andrew1

1School of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Worcester, Worcester, United Kingdom; 2UK Sport, London, United Kingdom

Previous studies concerning Coach Developer learning have demonstrated notable deficiencies in the provision offered to practitioners, commonly reporting what they experienced was prescriptive instruction of how to deliver coach education courses – a practice starkly in contrast to the espoused theoretical underpinnings of the courses themselves. This Participatory Appreciative Action and Reflection investigation (PAAR; Ghaye etal., 2008) aimed to better understand the learning of 10 participants recruited to a 9-month Coach Developer professional development programme which was designed not to prescribe, but to guide, the practitioners’ learning. Data were collected through individual and group interviews, field notes and professional discussions. Additionally, this investigation aimed to utilize the Value Creation Framework (VCF; Wenger-Trayner & Wenger-Trayner, 2020) and the concept of short and long flows of value to further illuminate Coach Developer learning. Two main themes were constructed, namely: (a)Openness, applications and transformations; and (b)Orientations, loops and making a difference. The most prominent findings of this investigation include demonstrating the importance of the consideration of Coach Developers’ predispositions, non-prescribed guidance by programme facilitators, and the legitimacy of practitioners in their workplaces. These findings represent a significant advance in our understanding of how Coach Developer learning can be facilitated.


Ghaye, T., Melander‐Wikman, A., Kisare, M., Chambers, P., Bergmark, U., Kostenius, C., & Lillyman, S. (2008). Participatory and appreciative action and reflection (PAAR) – democratizing reflective practices. Reflective Practice, 9(4), 361–397.

Wenger-Trayner, B., & Wenger-Trayner, E. (2020). Learning to make a difference. Cambridge University Press.

Presenter Biography

Don Vinson is a principal lecturer in sports coaching science at the University of Worcester, UK where he is also Director of the Coaching and Performance Research Group. Don is also secretary to the Cluster for Research into Coaching (CRiC) and is also part of the International Council for Coach Education (ICCE) Research Committee. Don is also the English representative for the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) Special Interest Group. Don has written extensively in the areas of Coach Developer learning, coaching pedagogies, and leadership.


Sport Federation Use of Social Learning for Coaches

Woodburn, Andrea1 & duch*esneau, Marc-André1

1Université Laval, Canada

An ongoing question in coach education and development (CED) is how best to support coach learning beyond initial training and certification, particularly as coaches gain in expertise and desire support that is bespoke and connected to their practice problems. The purpose of this action-research project was to collaborate with two provincial sport federations in Quebec, Canada, in implementing and assessing the impact of three social learning communities for coaches and for the programme administrators that supported them. Wenger-Trayner and Wenger-Trayner’s (2020) Value Creation Framework was used to deductively analyse data from post-participation interviews (n = 22 coaches and n = 4 federation staff). For coaches, the results showed value creation in terms of feelings of safety, comfort, and validation in their work and stimulated them to question their current practices (immediate and potential value). The community also provided opportunity to extend and reinforce their peer network (potential value), and they reported using social learning in their own environments and initiating collaborations with one another (applied value). Participation also resulted in new perspectives, contributed to their professional identity, and built their network (realised value). Some reported that their participation changed them in more profound ways (transformative value). Positive value creation appeared to be conditional upon the presence of certain conditions. For programme administrators, the results showed that living is learning - experiencing what social learning brought to participating coaches led to changes in their own practice including adding social learning activities to their CED offerings (applied and realised value).


Wenger-Trayner, E., & Wenger-Trayner, B. (2020). Learning to make a difference: Value creation in social learning spaces. Cambridge University Press.

Presenter Biography

Andrea Woodburn is Associate Professor in the Département d’éducation physique at Université Laval, Canada. Her research interests include coach learning and professional development and socio-economic barriers to inclusion in competitive sport. She has worked extensively in Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program in various roles. More recently, she has worked as a trainer in the Nippon Sport Science University’s Coach Developer Academy (NCDA) and currently serves on three ICCE committees.

Coaching Policy and Systems/Other Coaching Issues

(in alphabetical order by first author’s last name)


Norwegian Student-Athlete Learning in Development in Lower Secondary Sport Schools

Bjørndal, Christian Thue1,2; Saarinen, Milla1,2; Aune, Lotte Stang1,2; Øydna, Marie Loka1,2; & Gjesdal, Siv1,2

1Department of Sport and Social Science, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway; 2The Norwegian Research Centre for Children and Youth Sport, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway

The Scandinavian education sector has adopted an approach of providing opportunities for talent development in schools, with Norway being a prime example. One popular approach is offering dual careers in education and sport, where a new specialized sector of Norwegian lower secondary schools provides sports coaching to young athletes within compulsory education. However, the impact of this hybridization of education and sport on coaching and athlete development in sports and school is not yet fully understood. Therefore, it is necessary to prioritize research that explores how this hybrid approach influences young people’s socialization processes through their teenage years. Current research indicates that helping athletes succeed in both sport and school creates unique opportunities and challenges, which must be addressed to ensure sustainable dual career paths for young people (Thompson etal., 2022). As such, educational institutions offering sport programs and coaches working there have a responsibility to enhance opportunities and deal with these challenges effectively (Storm etal., 2021). This study aims to explore the biopsychosocial developmental processes of athletes aged 13–15years in Norwegian lower secondary sport schools, with a particular focus on how the hybridization of sport and school affects their everyday activities, future orientation towards education and sport, motivation, and psychosocial development. We present data from three different sub-studies, conducted over the course of 1.5years. The results have important implications for coaching and athlete development, providing insights into enhancing opportunities and dealing with challenges to ensure young people have sustainable dual career paths.


Storm, L. K., Henriksen, K., Stambulova, N. B., Cartigny, E., Ryba, T. V., De Brandt, K., Ramis, Y., & Cecić Erpič, S. (2021). Ten essential features of European dual career devel-opment environments: A multiple case study. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 54.

Thompson, F., Rongen, F., Cowburn, I., & Till, K. (2022). The impacts of sports schools on holistic athlete development: A mixed-methods systematic review. Sports Medicine, 52(8), 1879–1917.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Saarinen is a postdoctoral fellow at the Research Centre for Children and Youth Sport, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. In her doctoral dissertation, Dr. Saarinen explored the vulnerabilities of female student-athletes in the career construction framework especially focusing on gendered coaching practices. Her current research interests include youth athlete career development, athlete mental health and gendering of sport.


Opening Doors to Coach Education in Masters Sport: Imagining a Different Approach

Callary, Bettina1; Eagles, Kimberley1; Rathwell, Scott2; & Young, Bradley3

1Cape Breton University; 2University of Lethbridge; 3University of Ottawa

Coach education directors of national and provincial/state sport organizations are responsible for developing and nurturing coaching effectiveness, oftentimes across all levels from grassroots to high performance, for the betterment of athlete performance and sport participation. But where does Masters sport fit into this system? Masters sport is targeted to adults past the normative age of peak performance who are registered in sport events and programs with a focus on practicing towards performance (competition and/or improvement). While adults comprise an increasingly larger cohort in many sport organizations, their programming, including coaching and the development of these coaches, is marginalised. The purpose of this study is to explore administrators’ perceptions of adult-oriented professional development for coaches in their sport organizations. Five sport organization directors of coach education (two national; three provincial/state; from Canada, USA, and Australia), sought out the research team to conduct a professional development session specific to Masters sport. They organized the date and registration, attended the session, and engaged in a follow-up interview to discuss coach development in adult-oriented psychosocial approaches. The results indicate there is logical interest in supporting Masters sport for lifelong sport participation, economic benefits, and the value of fostering adult-oriented approaches. However, administrators acknowledged a dominant narrative in their sport organizations that focuses on development towards high performance, in which adults are an after-thought and remain a neglected area of development. We conclude by tendering the need for a shift in narrative for sport systems and discuss what that might mean for coach education directors and coaches.

This project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Bettina Callary is the Canada Research Chair in Sport Coaching and Adult Learning and an Associate Professor at Cape Breton University, in Nova Scotia, Canada. She researches coach education and development, coach developers, and psychosocial understandings of inclusive coaching. Dr. Callary is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Sport Coaching Journal.


Sport Organization Coaching Education: Member Service or Professional Development System?

Dieffenbach, Kristen1 & Kiosoglous, Cameron2

1West Virginia University, 2Drexel University

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) was created in 1972 to oversee Olympic sport development programs and is currently home to over 50 National Sports Governing Bodies (NGBs). The unfunded government mandate known as the “Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act” responsible for the formation of the USOPC designated their charge as grass roots through Olympic level sport leadership. Despite a shared affiliation with the USPOC and being non-profit organizations, NGBs operational structures vary from small businesses with just a few employees and a shoe-string budget to major operations with multiple divisions and million-dollar budgets. Accordingly, the role and structure of coaching education within these organizations also varies across NGBs. Unfortunately, to date no systematic review has been conducted to understand the operating principles and resources allotted to developing and supporting the coaching workforces NGBs need to prepare in support of their athlete development mandates. This study surveyed current USPOC recognized organizations regarding their educational mission, personnel, budget, resources programming, athlete development and pathway model integration, and qualification and registry systems related to designing and implementing coaching education and supporting coach development. Summary data and implications for system design and cross organizational collaboration will be presented.

Presenter Biography

Kristen Dieffenbach is the director of the Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Science at West Virginia University and a professor in the School of Sport Sciences. She is the executive director of the United States Center for Coaching Excellence and has been a professional coach and a sport psychology educational consultant for over 25years working with developmental through Olympic level athletes and coaches. Her research interests focus on coach developer training, coaching and professionalism, and coaching pathways.


Coaching Transitions Across Borders: The Pursuit of Individuals Advancing Coaching Careers Within the Global Sporting Arms Race

Kim, Yoon Jin1 & Tak, Minhyeok2

1University of Birmingham, UK; 2Loughborough University, UK

Intensified competition between nations for international sporting success has facilitated coaches’ cross-national migration as talented and skilled labour (e.g.,Maguire, 2004), which constitutes a space for coaches’ career transitions and development. This paper examines elite coaches’ international recruitment and relocations from the non-West to the West. Using a qualitative case study design, data were generated from documents and semi-structured interviews with seven South Korean elite coaches who moved to Western nations (the UK, the US, France and Ireland) to coach national or regional teams in two Olympic sports (taekwondo and short-track speed skating). The analysis identifies three key findings. First, the coaches’ migratory flow was shaped by the macro context of a ‘global sporting arms race’ (De Bosscher etal., 2008) in which sports federations aspire to world-class performance in their respective sports, actively recruiting foreign elite coaches. Secondly, individual coaches’ social networks served as the key to opening the door to international recruitment. Finally, the coaches’ initiatives to migrate to Western countries showed high levels of their agentic endeavours, seeking opportunities to explore more advanced sporting environments for personal growth as a coach, while rejecting what they perceived as less modernised coaching practice and sporting culture in their home country. By highlighting the macro-micro contexts in the cross-border movement of elite coaches, the paper contributes to the body of knowledge on coaching transitions and coach migration in international contexts.


De Bosscher, V., Bingham, J., Shibli, S., van Bottenburg, M., & Knop, P. (2008). The global sporting arms race: An international comparative study on sports policy factors leading to international sporting success. Meyer & Meyer.

Maguire, J. (2004). Sport labor migration research revisited. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 28(4), 477–482.

Presenter Biography

Dr Yoon Jin Kim is an Assistant Professor at the University of Birmingham in the UK. Her research interests include issues around safeguarding and abuse in sport, and coach/PE teacher socialisation and identities. After completing her PhD at the University of Otago in New Zealand, Yoon Jin conducted two IOC-funded projects focusing on safeguarding policies and practices in high-performance coaching settings. Prior to her academic career, Yoon Jin worked as a secondary school PE teacher for 11years in South Korea and represented her country as an elite swimmer.

Where Are We Headed as a Profession? An Update on the State of Coach Development in the United States

Kiosoglous, Cameron1 & Dieffenbach, Kristen2

1Drexel University; 2West Virginia University

The United States Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE) is a leading organization in the United States that focuses on strengthening quality coach development systems. This presentation will highlight how the USCCE is helping coach developers and organizations in different contexts provide quality programs, train coach developers, and accredit programs based on cutting edge sport coaching practices. The focus of this presentation is to sharing ways the USCCE is:

  1. 1.Utilizing data relating to trends in coach development in the United States,
  2. 2.Sharing examples of application of principles related to system development in coaching, and
  3. 3.Describing a vision for where coach development is headed.

The challenges of the system are discussed here that involve describing the complex, evolving and ever changing sport landscape in the US and illustrating how this is impacting the decision-making process of sport leaders, coaches, and coach developers. In this presentation, we will also examine the ways that the USCCE is working with other leadership organizations in the US to address these challenges and prioritizing improving coach development so that this will impact quality coaching with the ultimate outcome of optimizing the athlete experience.

Presenter Biography

Cam Kiosoglous is an Assistant Clinical Professor and Sport Coaching Leadership Program Director at Drexel University. For the last five Olympic cycles Cam Kiosoglous has supported high performance athletes and coaches and is currently the Director of National Team Sport Science with USRowing. He also serves as President with the United States Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE). He has consulted with a variety of organizations in coaching development.


The Importance of Athlete Education Literacy and Curriculum When Developing Athletes

McDonald, Katrina1; Stodter, Anna2; Dowling, Mathew1; & Roberts, Justin1

1The Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom; 2Centre for Sport Coaching, Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, United Kingdom

Athletes are pivotal in the sporting landscape and should be given every opportunity to succeed and understand what it takes to be a high-performing athlete. On an athlete’s journey it is unclear what education, learning and support is needed for them to achieve sporting excellence. Constructivist grounded theory was chosen to explore the inherent processes imbedded in the system of developing athletes and to explicate a theory driven by the data. Data collection occurred in two phases via intensive interviews (Charmaz, 2014). Phase one consisted of 12 high-performance athletes, training full-time at an England Performance Pathway, in phase two, 11 NGB and support staff were interviewed. Data analysis commenced on completion of the first interview, in line with constructivist grounded theory’s iterative, comparative, and interactive methods. A model, grounded in the data was constructed which illustrates how an athlete starts in the sport, progresses through the NGB, the support that they have on their journey, how different cultural and environmental factors impact this journey and where they should be receiving education on their development. It is important for coaching staff to have an awareness of the process of athlete education to ensure that their athletes have access to information at the relevant points on their journey. The grounded theory model evidenced that a more holistic approach is needed to educate athletes, with the key contribution to the endorsem*nt of a literacy to help an athlete develop, with specific resources being pulled together in the form of an athlete education curriculum.


Charmaz, K. (2014). Constructing grounded theory (2nd ed.) Sage.

Author Biographies

Katrina is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching and PE at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK. Her research interests are focused in and around the coaching domain and with qualitative research methods. Her real passion is in athlete education which stems from her time as a full-time judo athlete, coaching internationally and working on programmes to support athletes in their development.


Challenges of Fatherhood in Professional Football Coaching: An Autoethnography

Rafnsson, Daði1 & Saarinen, Milla2

1Reykjavik University; 2Norwegian School of Sport Sciences

Motherhood represents a significant turning point for women in professional sports coaching. Maintaining a work-family balance can be difficult, with a small child’s developmental needs weighed against a sports team’s ambitions. Organizations like FIFPRO have fought for recognition of motherhood in professional sports, yet many women see their careers halt as working hours, contracts, and role demands are irreconcilable with family needs (Bruening etal., 2016). Fatherhood’s physiological and cultural demands might appear more compatible with careers in coaching. However, research has shown almost equal work-family and family-work conflict in male and female coaches. Indeed, changes in societal expectations of fatherhood have not been followed by changes in expectations of men in the workplace (Graham & Dixon, 2014). There exist notable accounts of male professional coaches quitting or turning down positions due to absence from family. Through an autoethnographic approach, one of the authors recounts how he decided not to accept a top coaching job due to the birth of his first child. Through three stories, he explains the grind of a coaching career, how and why he made his decision, and how his privileged background offered him a choice that is unavailable to many men. The authors recommend that sports institutions prioritize work-life balance amongst coaches of all genders. Provisions must be made to enable women to aspire towards and attain professional positions. Men must be able to raise their children equally with their partners for the well-being of all involved.


Bruening, J. E., Dixon, M. A., & Eason, C. M. (2016). Coaching and motherhood. In N. M. LaVoi (Ed.), Women in Sports Coaching. Routledge.

Graham, J. A., & Dixon, M. A. (2014). Coaching fathers in conflict: A review of the tensions surrounding the work-family interface. Journal of Sport Management, 28(4), 447–456.

Presenter Biography

Daði Rafnsson is a Ph.D. candidate at Reykjavik University’s department of psychology. He has a UEFA A degree and has held the positions of Head of youth at Breiðablik, director of football development at HK, and the MK Dual Career Academy program director in Iceland. He was the assistant coach of the 2017 Chinese Women’s FA Cup Winners, Jiangsu Suning. Daði has been a lecturer, coach mentor, and coach assessor for the FA of Iceland department of education since 2012.


Cultural Holism: An Expression From Japan

Sekiguchi, Jun1 & Cassidy, Tania2

1Nippon Sport Science University; 2University of Otago, New Zealand

This presentation draws on the experiences of the first author who is currently working on and practicing modern/avant-garde martial arts called Tenshin-taido. This work has caused him to reflect as he transitions from being an international coach developer academy manager and a global network and community builder to Tenshin-taido practitioner. Moreover, the experience has raised questions around the implications that a dominant Occident (European/Western) view of sport has on the cultural and indigenous practices of people from non-Occident countries. UNESCO (2001) adopted a “Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity” and in doing so encouraged member states to deepen “the international debate on questions relating to cultural diversity, particularly in respect of its links with development and its impact on policy-making, at both national and international level”. It raises questions for the global sports coaching community: How do we contribute to this debate? How do we as coaches and coach educators enable cultural diversity and holism to flourish while working in a system that is dominated by an Occident view of the world? In a modern society, there may be value in (re)visiting indigenous and spiritual features and viewing culture as a meaning making process (Cassidy etal., 2023). The presentation is informed by an autoethnographic study undertaken by the first author. Plenty has been written about the power of narratives/storytelling and their links to (auto)ethnographic methodologies (for an overview see Cassidy etal., 2023). Insights provided in this presentation raise questions which have implications for the theme of this conference.


Cassidy, T., Potrac, P. & Rynne, S. (2023). Understanding sports coaching: The pedagogical, social, and cultural foundations of coaching practice. Routledge.

UNESCO, (2001). Records of the General Conference, 31st session, Paris, 15 October to 3 November. Retrieved from:

Presenter Biography

Jun Sekiguchi M.S is an academic researcher of coach learning and assistant professor at Nippon Sport Science University and one of former project managers of NSSU Coach Developer Academy. His research focuses on examining somatic spirituality through practicing a modern avant-garde martial arts called Tenshin-taido.


Coach Developer Responsibilities in US Youth Soccer

Villalon, Christina1; Dieffenbach, Kristen2; & Thompson, Melissa3

1Tarleton State University, 2West Virginia University, 3Southern Mississippi University

Who coaches the coaches? Until recently little attention was given to this question (ICCE, 2014). Although the formal ‘coach developer’ role has gained in popularity in recent years, most of the research in this area has focused on those working at elite levels. Further, the specifics of the coach developer job description are vague and undefined. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore responsibilities of the coach developer in the United States youth soccer sport context. A two-round modified Delphi approach for a job task analysis showed that the responsibilities of the coach developer role largely outnumbered the tasks identified by the organization as the coach developers’ responsibilities. This discrepancy supports Cale and Abraham (2016) and Harvey and colleagues (2022) argument for the identification of more specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) for the coach developer position. A more specific identification of KSAs could better inform the selection, hiring, training, education, development, and overall support of individuals pursuing roles as coach developers, especially for those functioning in the youth sport context. Recommendations for next steps in this line of research will be discussed.


Cale, A., & Abraham, A. (2016). Future directions in coaching research. In W. Allison, A. Abraham, & A. Cale (Eds.), Advances in coach education and development (pp.183–196). Routledge.

Harvey, S., Gano-Overway, L., Baghurst, T., Blom, L., & Eisenmann, J. (2022). 50 million strong (TM): The contribution of sports coaching. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 1–12.

ICCE. (2014). International Coach Developer Framework. Human Kinetics.

Presenter Biography

Christina Villalon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sport Science at Tarleton State University and the Director of the Sport IMPACT Lab. Her research interests broadly involve coach and coach developer education and development. She has also served as a youth softball coach and camp coordinator, physical education instructor, collegiate sport psychology consultant, and coach developer.


(in alphabetical order by first author’s last name)

Symposium 1

Global Perspectives About Effective Coach Leadership and Behaviours

Bloom, Gordon A.1; Bespomoshchnov, Vladislav2; Koh, Koon Teck3; & Lefebvre, Jordan S.4

1McGill University; 2Sports Institute of Finland, and Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences; 3Nanyang Technological University; 4University of Queensland

Effective coaching is a vital component that contributes to the achievement, personal satisfaction, and enhanced well-being of athletes at the youth and elite levels (Vallée & Bloom, 2005). The purpose of this symposium is to present effective coach leadership behaviors that are designed to maximize athlete satisfaction, performance, and well-being. Each presenter will summarize evidence-based research from around the globe that adopted various theoretical backgrounds and research approaches to explain how to optimize both coach leadership and effectiveness. Presentation one focuses on Paralympic coaches in Canada and how they created exceptional environments that led their national teams to success. Presentation two introduces a case study on a Russian athlete who was voted one of the 100 greatest players in National Hockey League history. This presentation provides coaching suggestions for shaping an exceptional learning and development environment for elite athletes. Presentation three examines both coaches’ and Physical Education teachers’ approaches to facilitate the learning and development of values, character, and life skills of athletes in Singapore. Finally, presentation four focuses on high performance coaches in the Australian context. Informed by a program grounded in basic psychological needs theory, this presentation explains a framework that is designed to foster effective coaching behaviours that lead to performance in high-pressure situations. In conclusion, information from this symposium will contribute to our cross-cultural understanding of coaching effectiveness by presenting research from several regions around the world.


Vallée, C. N., & Bloom, G. A. (2005). Building a successful university program: Key and common elements of expert coaches. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 17(3), 179–196.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Gordon Bloom is a Professor and research director ( at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Gordon has developed an internationally recognized coaching research program related to the knowledge, strategies, and behaviours employed by coaches in terms of leadership practices, mentoring, and team building that develop successful teams and athletes. He has also received numerous invitations from academic and sport coaching associations around the globe to present his research and practical experiences to scientists, athletes, administrators, and coaches.

Dr. Jordan Lefebvre is a researcher, lecturer, and consultant. He received a PhD in sport psychology from McGill University in Canada and works as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Queensland in Australia. In this role, Jordan has led the development, implementation, and evaluation of a coach development initiative that educates elite coaches about effective behaviours in high-pressure situations. He currently leads a project that aims to understand and improve the role of coaches who represent Australian national teams.

Vladislav Bespomoshchnov is a Learning and Development Coordinator at the Sports Institute of Finland and a Lecturer in the Degree Programme in Sports Coaching and Management at the Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Vierumäki, Finland. His fields of interest and research include coach and athlete development, skill acquisition, sports psychology, concussion prevention, and the socio-historic context surrounding sports. His background is in ice hockey coaching, and strength and conditioning.

Dr. Koon Teck Koh is the Department Head at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. His research areas are coach education and sport pedagogy. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal papers, books, book chapters, and technical reports. He is also instrumental in developing and conducting coach education programmes in Singapore and in Asia. He holds key appointments in several international and local sport organizations such as FIBA Commission and the President of the ASEAN Council of PE and Sport.

Symposium 2

Supporting Systems Change in Coaching Education: Two Case Studies

Dieffenbach, Kristen1; Kiosoglous, Cameron2; & Nash, Christine 3

1West Virginia University; 2Drexel University, 3University of Edinburgh

Designing and implementing systematic change is a long term, multifaceted undertaking requiring both top-down and bottom-up buy-in, financial resources, a framework, flexibility, and accountability (Hughes, 2019). This presentation focuses on examining two multi-year collaborations between US National Sport Governing Bodies (NGB) and the United States Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE), a non-profit sport leadership organization. Each collaboration focused on supporting the design, development, and implementation of an organizational coaching education system that aligned with and supported internal athlete development models. The recognition of the value of the coach both as a professional to be developed and as an essential resource for quality athlete experiences (Duffy, etal., 2011) provided the framework for examining and evolving the coaching education systems, resources, and opportunities within each NGB. Essential champions and early adopters were identified to form the base of the collaborative coaching education team within each organization. The first case study will focus on USA Hockey, an organization serving 630,000 ice hockey participants and 60,000 registered coaches. The second case study will look at system evolution within the US Tennis Association, an organization serving over 650,000 members including a diverse range of professionals including community grassroots coaches, physical education teachers, club pros and private instructors. The third presentation within this symposium will explore the common and unique challenges and strategies encountered in facilitating systems growth. Guidelines for supporting program development, including the creation of a coach development workforce to sustain the systems will be highlighted.


Duffy, P., Hartley, H., Bales, J., Crespo, M., Dick, F., Vardhan, D., & Curado, J. (2011). Sport coaching as a ‘profession’: Challenges and future directions. International Journal of Coaching Science, 5(2), 93–123.

Hughes, M. (2018). Managing and leading organizational change. Routledge.

Presenter Biography

Kristen Dieffenbach is the director of the Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Science at West Virginia University and a professor in the School of Sport Sciences. She is the executive director of the United States Center for Coaching Excellence and has been a professional coach and a sport psychology educational consultant for over 25years working with developmental through Olympic level athletes and coaches. Her research interests focus on coach developer training, coaching and professionalism, and coaching pathways.

Cam Kiosoglous is an Assistant Clinical Professor and Sport Coaching Leadership Program Director at Drexel University. For the last five Olympic cycles Cam Kiosoglous has supported high performance athletes and coaches and is currently the Director of National Team Sport Science with USRowing. He also serves as President with the United States Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE). He has consulted with a variety of organizations in coaching development.

Christine Nash currently leads the Applied Coaching Research Group at the University of Edinburgh, researching in coaching expertise and has over 100 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and conference presentations. She has worked within a number of Higher Education institutions worldwide, most recently as a Visiting Professor at Technische Universität München (TUM), Germany. She has worked in multiple countries as a coach within the sport of swimming.

Symposium 3: iCoachKids

Four separate presentations will be delivered in this symposium.

Underpaid, Undertrained and Undeterred: The UK Youth Sport Coaching Workforce

Lara-Bercial, Sergio1,2,3; Hill, Megan1,2; & Brazier, Ruth1,2

1Centre for Sport Coaching Leeds Beckett University, UK; 2ICOACHKIDS, UK; 3International Council for Coaching Excellence, UK.

The positive role sport coaches play in society has been recently highlighted. Notwithstanding the above, the youth sport coaching workforce in most countries and sports is still composed of a blend of volunteers, part-time and full-time paid individuals (Rankin-Wright etal., 2017). The exact make up of this workforce across the youth sport participation spectrum, their motivations and development needs, and how these vary across personal and organisational contexts, are not well understood. Using a mass survey methodology combining demographic, motivational and occupational data, this study aimed to create an up-to-date detailed picture of the current state of affairs in youth sport coaching in the UK. Findings show youth sport coaching is still primarily a voluntary activity (62%) yet opportunities to access paid positions have grown in the last decade. Youth sport coaches are predominantly male (62%), white (92%), between 34 and 54years of age (52%) and hold mid-level coaching qualifications (42%). A high level of heterogeneity is however present when demographic and occupational factors are combined leading to varying motivations to coach, risk of dropout, coaching goals, and development priorities. Overall, youth sport coaches appear to be undertrained and underpaid, yet mainly undeterred in their desire to make a difference to young people’s lives. Their diversity, however, calls for the consideration of a broader, context-specific range of initiatives to recruit, develop and retain youth sport coaches.


Rankin-Wright, A. J., North, J., Lara-Bercial, S., Fix, M., Veldhoven, N., O’Leary, D., & Statkeviciene, B. (2017). Audit of the Children’s Coaching Workforce in seven European countries: Audit of the Children’s Coaching Workforce in seven European countries. Leeds: ICOACHKIDS

Understanding Youth Sport Dropout Across Five European Nations: Recommendations for Coaches, Clubs and National Governing Bodies of Sport

Lara-Bercial, Sergio1,2,3; Jowett, Gareth1; Hill, Megan1,2; McKenna, Jim1; Gledhill, A.1; Schipper-Van Veldhoven, Nicolette3,4; Navarro-Barragan, Rafael5; & Petrovic, Ladislav2,3,6

1Leeds Beckett University, UK; 2ICOACHKIDS, UK; 3International Council for Coaching Excellence, UK; 3NOC*NSF, Netherlands; 4Windesheim, University, Netherlands; 5Universidad Europea de Madrid; 6Hungarian Coaching Association

Despite its widespread benefits, sport participation diminishes by as much as 90% in some sports as children get older (Emmonds etal., 2023). To date no comprehensive scale allows researchers to investigate the causes of this withdrawal across large samples and multiple contexts. We used the COM-B behaviour model (Michie etal., 2014) to conceptualize sport dropout. As a result, a 13-factor 49-item questionnaire (Youth Sport Dropout Questionnaire; YSDQ) was developed following a two-round expert consultation, and three participant focus groups. A pilot study was conducted administering the YSDQ to a sample of over 441 university students in the UK. At an individual item level, finding other things to do, performance related stress and prioritising studies where the highest reasons for dropout. At dimension level, low social support and lacking internal motivation were highest rated. Notably, intragroup differences were found based on key demographic and historic factors such as gender, socioeconomic status, and migratory background. Likewise, the sporting history of the young person – type of sport, level of participation, age at dropout, and perceptions of competence – also influenced dropout reasons. Following the pilot, the study has been replicated across an additional four European countries (Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Spain). Preliminary analysis indicates between country similarities and differences which will be further explored and presented at Global Coach Conference Singapore 2023. Based on these, a set of recommendations for coaches, clubs and national governing bodies of sport will be proposed.


Emmonds, S., Till, K., Weaving, D., Burton, A., & Lara-Bercial, S. (2023). Youth sport participation trends across Europe: Implications for policy and practice. Research Quarterly for Exercise & Sport, 94(1), 1–12.

Michie, S., Atkins, L. & West, R. (2014). The Behaviour Change Wheel: A guide to designing interventions. Silverback.

Towards a Model of Holistic Talent Development in Sport

Sargent Megicks, Barnaby1; Rongen Fieke1; Till, Kevin1; & Lara-Bercial, Sergio1

1Research Centre for Sport Coaching, Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, Headingley Campus, Leeds, UK.

Holistic development in the context of talent development is a popular yet ambiguous concept. A caring, healthy and ‘all future eventualities’ approach to talent development has been advocated, most notably by the International Olympic Committee (Bergeron etal., 2015). Yet, little is known about how coaches can create talent development environments (TDE) that can foster holistic athlete outcomes. This study aims to develop a working model of holistic development practice. First, holistic development was conceptualised from previous literature as a combination of three athlete outcomes: athletic skills, health and wellbeing and life readiness. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with academy directors (n = 6), coaches (n = 8), and support staff (n = 9) from three team and three individual sport TDEs. Subsequently, a ten-week ethnography was conducted in one professional cricket club TDE, with male athletes (aged 10–18), to understand specific and contextual mechanisms of practice. Data were collected through observations of the environment (120 hours) and informal interviews recorded with descriptive field and reflective notes, and semi-structured interviews with the academy director (n = 1), coaches (n = 3), support staff (n = 2) and focus groups with parents (n = 9) and athletes (n = 16). An abductive approach to thematic analysis was adopted to iteratively compare data against the working model. Preliminary findings support the three-outcome conceptualisation of holistic development and suggest that coaches can adopt the following mechanisms in their environment to support holistic development outcomes: an explicit philosophy of holistic athlete development, stakeholder alignment and support, a climate of care, a long-term development focus, appropriate challenge, and integrated life-skill development.


Bergeron, M. F., Mountjoy, M., Armstrong, N., Chia, M., Côté, J., Emery, C. A., Faigenbaum, A., Hall, G., Kriemler, S., Léglise, M., Malina, R. M., Pensgaard, A. M., Sanchez, A., Soligard, T., Sundgot-Borgen, J., Van Mechelen, W., Weissensteiner, J. R., & Engebretsen, L. (2015). International Olympic Committee consensus statement on youth athletic development. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49(13), 843–851.

Understanding the Learning Needs of the Children’s Coaching Workforce

Brazier, Ruth1; Lara-Bercial, Sergio1; & Hill, Megan1

1Leeds Beckett University

Coach development and learning has been the focus of academic debate for some 50years (Walker etal., 2018). Understanding how coaches learn is crucial in maintaining and raising quality among the workforce. Moreover, coaches have a strong influence on positive outcomes in youth sport – thus ensuring they are well trained is paramount. This research focused on the children’s coaching workforce and used a qualitative methodology to capture coaches’ insights into their preferred training needs (i.e.,what they want to learn more about) and learning contexts (i.e.,the mechanism of delivery). Crucially, this research sought to better understand how different segments of the children’s coaching workforce may differ. Our sample varied in a range of ways, including:

  1. Demographics
  2. Experience and qualification level
  3. Coaching context
  4. Employment status

This presentation will explore some of the major findings from this research. The preferred training needs largely linked to generic coaching skills, rather than sport-specific knowledge - including the development of children, how to differentiate practice and planning and reflecting skills. The coaches also reported a variety of preferred learning contexts, spanning across formal, informal, and non-formal learning opportunities (Walker etal., 2018). Crucially, our findings highlight the heterogeneous nature of the coaching workforce, with some key distinctions between coaches from different backgrounds. A one-size-fits-all approach to coach education may not account for the needs of different types of coaches, thus it is important for coach educators and developers to be aware of these subtle differences and nuances and tailor their work appropriately.


Walker, L., Thomas, R. & Driska, A. (2018) Informal and nonformal learning for sport coaches: A systematic review. International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching, 13(5), 694–707.

Presenter Biographies for the Full Symposium

Dr Sergio Lara-Bercial is a Professor of Sport Coaching at Leeds Beckett University, Vice President of the International Council for Coaching Excellence and Co-Founder of ICOACHKIDS. He is also a national and international basketball coach. His research spans coach development, coaching systems, and youth sport.

Barnaby Sargent Megicks is a PhD student at Leeds Beckett University in the Research Centre for Sport Coaching. His PhD contributes to the ICOACHKIDS+ project and has been used to develop resources and outputs for the organisation. So far, his mixed-methods PhD has focused on the convergence of holistic and talent development, specifically understanding the conditions which lead to the creation of holistic talent development environments. He is also an academy coach in his sport, field hockey.

Dr Megan Hill is a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at Leeds Beckett University and a swim coach. Her research spans various topics in youth sport, from talent development to participation and dropout. She is the lead researcher in the evaluation of UEFA’s flagship Playmaker’s and Football in Schools programmes.

Dr Ruth Brazier is a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at Leeds Beckett University and a football coach. Her research spans various topic in youth sport, from coach recruitment and development to girls participation and dropout. She is the lead researcher in the ICOACHGIRLS programme within the ICOACHKIDS Global Movement.

Dr Fieke Rongen is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching in the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University, as well as a TASS lifestyle advisor. She is an alumnus of the Radboud University, the Netherlands, and the University of Edinburgh. She has worked as a High-Performance Sport Officer at Nottingham Trent University, where she coordinated the sport scholarship program as well as the TASS hub. Fieke’s principal research interest is investigating youth athlete development with a particular focus on the balance between personal development, well-being, and performance outcomes.

Symposium 4: Thinking About and Exploring High Performance Culture and Ethics – Coaching and Beyond: An Overview of Work Being Developed in the UK

Four separate presentations make up this symposium

High Performance Culture and Ethics: The Problem Space, and An Appreciative and Critical Exploration of Existing Understandings and Solutions

North, Julian1; Cowburn, Ian1; McKenna, Lesley1; & Rongen, Fieke1

1Centre for Sport Coaching, Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University

At the 13th ICCE Global Coach Conference North etal. (2021), through the Centre for Sport Coaching (CfSC), at Leeds Beckett University, introduced an emerging body of work on ethical coaching practice using a multi-dimensional framework. Two years on, the work has extended significantly in terms of the concepts utilised, the data collected, the number of practical engagements, and the number of staff, students, and partners, involved. Although social and cultural structures were always an important part of the initial multi-dimensional framework (North, 2017), we found it conceptually, practically, and presentationally valuable to extend the initial focus on practice (coaching practice, ethical practice) to a more explicit cultural rendering. Social and cultural structures provide the site, and media (‘the air we breathe’), for ideas about, and practical engagements in, effectiveness and ethicality. A socio-cultural rendering helps to correct – at least presentationally – any misconceptions that effectiveness and ethicality are problems just for individuals, or organisations, outside broader system structures. This presentation, the first of four CfSC presentations on culture and ethics, will explore/assimilate appreciatively and critically existing conceptual and data driven work, existing cultural and ethical tools to provide a platform for an emerging practically orientated framework to understand coaching and ethics.


North, J. (2017). Sport coaching research and practice: Ontology, interdisciplinarity, and critical realism. Routledge.

North, J., Cowburn, I., & Rongen, F. (2021). Exploring ethical coaching practice: Developing and utilising a multi-dimensional framework. 13th ICCE Global Coach Conference, Lisbon.

Remarking the Territory: A Pragmatic Practice-Based Layered Understanding/Conceptualisation, of High-Performance Sport Culture and Ethics, and the Return of the ‘Good’

North, Julian1; Cowburn, Ian1; McKenna, Lesley1; & Rongen, Fieke1

1Centre for Sport Coaching, Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University

In this presentation we will overview conceptual thinking that has underpinned intervention work on culture and ethics in high performance sport, with reference to performance teams, and coaching.

The following are the emerging touchpoints for this work:

  1. The entry point is practice, a culturally, organisationally, socially, politically embedded practice – where it is understood stakeholders are asked to achieve goals, to do things (commit to actions, underpinned by particular strategies) against those goals, based on their reasoning and decision making, and enabled and constrained by a range of resources – individual, in groups, institutionally, and socio-culturally (North, 2017)
  2. An explicit cultural rendering helps to understand the very important influence of particular modes of thought and influence (1) social Darwinism, (2) a particular mode of managerialism, and (3) the influence of sport science.
  3. A commitment to exploring practices, culture arrangements, and incidents, through stakeholder stories slowly, carefully (caringly), and collaboratively.
  4. A careful recognition of the socio-cultural, organisational, political backdrop to sport – changing sport, changing people, in a changing world (e.g.Sacks, 2020)
  5. The pragmatic exploration of pluralistic cultural and conceptual resources – including theories of effectiveness (the technical), ethics (the relational), political, legal, even aesthetics! We are tentatively exploring the combination of these frames with reference to the idea of ‘good’ (effective and ethical) coaching in the traditional philosophical sense.
  6. In terms of ethics specially, it recognised most ethical theorists contribute important ideas (Dewey multiple references). Thus, we might usefully apply rules/duties (Kant), utilitarian calculus (Bentham), contracts/rights (Hobbes), phenological experience (Husserl), responsibility and good faith (Satre), even bold unencumbered re-imaginings (Nietzsche).
  7. We see considerable value, as do many others, in exploring the internal goods of social/sport practices, and appropriate management of external goods, with reference to virtue ethics and critical realist ethics (MacIntyre, 2007 [1985]).


MacIntyre, A. (2007 [1985]). After Virtue: A study in moral theory Bloomsbury.

North, J. (2017). Sport coaching research and practice: Ontology, interdisciplinarity, and critical realism. Routledge.

Sacks, J. (2020). Morality: Restoring the common good in divided times. Hodder.

An Overview of the LBU ‘UK Programme’: Ongoing Culture and Ethics Research, Learning, and Development, Projects – Similarities and Differences

Cowburn, Ian1; North, Julian1; & McKenna, Lesley1

1Centre for Sport Coaching, Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University

Recent incidents in high-performance sport have highlighted the importance of culture, and effective and ethical practice within it, through high profile examples of ethical breakdown in coaching and coaching systems (e.g.,the Whyte Review of UK gymnastics). While there is an imperative in high-performance sport to make changes to culture and practice, it is important to understand in greater detail the cultural and ethical realities to develop understanding for change. Accordingly, the Centre for Sport Coaching (CfSC) at Leeds Beckett University has undertaken several research, learning, and development projects with key stakeholders with this aim in mind. The session will summarise ongoing and emerging CfSC projects in three areas of inquiry: (1) ethnographic studies across Olympic (e.g.,swimming), team (e.g.,football), and Paralympic sport, that provide understanding of the day-to-day of effective and ethical practice; (2) studies with governing and funding bodies that examine performance and learning culture, and its influence on effective/ethical practice; and (3) emerging work examining cultural subversion in action sports. In drawing together these projects, the presentation aims to examine and highlight areas of similarity and difference to paint an evolving picture of how we might understand culture, and effective and ethical practice. Discussion will be grounded in realities and challenges of high-performance sport culture and suggest social collaboration as a method to mobilise and facilitate existing expertise in the delivery of effective and ethical coaching.

Sharing and Exploring Ethical Moments in the UK Programme

McKenna, Lesley1; North, Julian1; & Cowburn, Ian1

1Centre for Sport Coaching, Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University

Ethical issues in the context of high-performance sport have recently been the focus of attention for both sport governing bodies and also the mainstream media both in the UK and around the World (Ingle, 2022). Understanding and learning from the experiences of athletes, coaches, and stakeholders in relation to the everyday ethical moments of coaching practice in high-performance sport can help to inform the need for change at system and practice levels (Kavanagh etal., 2017; Olusoga & Kenttä, 2017). Drawing on on-going work in different high-performance sports environments in the UK including gymnastics, triathlon, swimming, canoe sprint, action sports and with coach developer practitioners from the Scottish high-performance sport system, this practically focused session will aim to share and support the exploration of the ethical moments as experienced and described by the stakeholders involved. Using conceptual ideas from the UK work, examples from practice- based research and development, as well as stories shared in the room, the aim is to help scaffold discussions among the community of experts in such a way as to collaboratively extend the understanding of ethical and effective coaching practice. In this way the session will aim to initiate shared learning and meaning for the group in respect to effective and ethical coaching practice and offer some suggestions for further research.


Ingle, S. (2022) ‘A voice to the silenced: Harrowing gymnast testimonies in Whyte review’, The Guardian, 16 June. Retrieved from:

Kavanagh, E., Brown, L., & Jones, I. (2017) ‘Elite athletes’ experience of coping with emotional abuse in the coach–athlete relationship’. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 29(4), 402–417.

Olusoga, P. & Kenttä, G. (2017) ‘Desperate to quit: A narrative analysis of burnout and recovery in high-performance sports coaching’. The Sport Psychologist, 31(3), 237–248.

Presenter Biography

Professor Julian North is the Director of the Centre for Sport Coaching, in the Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, UK (2011 to current). He has been a social and sport researcher for 30years in a variety of policy, practice and academic roles in the UK and Australia. He previously worked for UK Coaching (Director of Research, 2003–2010), the Australian Sports Commission (Research Consultant, 2002–2003) and UK Sport (Research Manager, 1999–2002). His main areas of interest are (1) effective and ethical practice; (2) learning and development; (3) policy and systems; and how philosophical ideas and how practical engagement/new data can contribute to our understanding of these three spaces.

Dr Ian Cowburn is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching in the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University. He has previously worked at Queen’s University (Postdoctoral Fellow), Saginaw Valley State University (Assistant Professor), and Michigan State University (PhD student and graduate assistant). His research focuses on athletic talent development and life skill development of youth through sport, with a particular interest in working with parents and coaches to understand and enhance their roles in athlete development.

Lesley McKenna is a three-times Olympian snowboarder and PhD research student in the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University, UK. Lesley has spent 25years in high-performance snowsports as an athlete, coach, team manager, programme manager, Olympic Team Leader and coach developer. Lesley is currently studying the cultural subversion of traditional Olympic sports by action sports.

Dr Fieke Rongen is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching in the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University, as well as a TASS lifestyle advisor. She is an alumnus of the Radboud University, the Netherlands, and the University of Edinburgh. She has worked as a High-Performance Sport Officer at Nottingham Trent University, where she coordinated the sport scholarship program as well as the TASS hub. Fieke’s principal research interest is investigating youth athlete development with a particular focus on the balance between personal development, well-being, and performance outcomes.

Symposium 5

The Psychology of Talent Selection

Roberts, Alexandra1,2; Johnston, Kathryn3; Schorer, Joerg4; & Baker, Joe3

1La Trobe University, Australia; 2Queensland Academy of Sport, Australia; 3York University, Canada; 4University of Oldenburg, Germany

Talent identification and selection has always been a significant component of sport coaching, yet the components and processes of selection are not well understood. The role of psychological factors in talent selection has never been denied. In this symposium, we will present two main streams of research that are currently developing along with a discussion of current talent selection practices across several countries and sports. The first concerns the use of psychological constructs such as motivation, coachability or self-regulation as predictors for future performances. While these may seem to be the elephant in the room, little research has investigated these using a longitudinal perspective. The second stream of research on the psychology of talent selection involves the decision-making of coaches and scouts. Previous research has looked at the coach’s eye from a practical perspective with interviews and observations. Recently, a focus on the psychology of selection, using frameworks such as the iCodes-model, has expanded knowledge of decision-making during selections. These first experimental studies provide deeper insight into the decision-making process and, as a result, may lead to new hypotheses for known biases in talent selection like the relative age effects. In this symposium, initial ideas regarding these approaches will be presented and will serve as a starting point to the third talk on the practical side of talent selection. In the end the selection of the most ‘promising’ athletes has and will always have a great relevance and importance for everyone interested in young elite sports.

Presenter Biography

Dr Alex Roberts is an applied practitioner, academic and researcher. In her current role as a Talent Advisor, Alex works closely with a variety of sports to identify, select and develop potentially talented transfer athletes. She also works as coach developer with the Australian Institute of Sport and is an adjunct lecturer at La Trobe University. Her research focuses on the role of the coach in identifying and developing talented youth athletes through the lens of skill acquisition.

Dr. Joe Baker is a sport scientist at York University, Canada. His research focuses on understanding, modeling, and predicting athlete development. He has worked with a range of teams and organizations around the world in their pursuit of international sporting success. His latest book is The Tyranny of Talent: How it compels and limits athlete achievement. . . and why you should ignore it.

Dr. Jörg Schorer is a sport science professor at the Carl von Ossietzky university Oldenburg, Germany. He has worked with national associations like the German handball federation and the German table tennis association on the topic of talent selection. His research focuses on the areas of motor behaviour, sport psychology and expertise across the life-span.

Dr. Kathryn Johnston is a postdoctoral fellow and sessional lecturer at York University, Canada. Her research examines the decision-making behaviour of athlete selectors/scouts and some of the cognitive biases influencing such decisions. Through consulting, she works with competitive sport organizations to critically assess their selection practices, and to enhance their reporting and assessment strategies.

Symposium 6

Impact of Remote and Technology-Enhanced Learning Strategies in Sport Coaching and Coach Development: Current Advances and Future Recommendations

Szedlak Christoph1; Hodgson, Gary2; Lara-Bercial, Sergio2; Lara Bercial, Pedro3; Quinn, Sheelagh4; O’Leary, Declan4; Van Der Haegen, Kris5; Eagles, Kimberly6; Fyall, Glenn7; Bennett, Blake8; & Callary, Bettina6

1Hartpury University, UK; 2Leeds Beckett University, UK; 3Universidad Europea de Madrid, ES; 4Sport Ireland, IE; 5Royal Belgian Football Association, BE; 6Cape Breton University, CA; 7University of Canterbury, NZ; 8University of Auckland, NZ

Technology enhanced learning has the potential to impact both athlete and coach development. To date, our understanding of the ways technology can better facilitate learning of technical and psychosocial skills in athletes/coaches, and how information and communication technologies are best integrated into online and remote coaching and coach development (ORC/CD) is limited. This symposium highlights the emerging work stemming from the International Sports Coaching Journal’s special issue on technology enhanced learning in coaching. We explore current advances of effective online remote coaching practice, considerations for online coach development, and offer philosophical suggestions to underpin future research. Eagles and Callary analyze the impact of remote online coaching on the coach-athlete relationship between kettlebell athletes and their online coaches. Hodgson and colleagues outline the skills required of coach developers when designing an online coach development course, which includes choosing a pedagogical model and agreeing a target audience and learning outcomes. Fyall and Bennett investigate how online coach development environments have been conceptualised in the Pacific region, with a particular focus on the value participants place on the online experience. Last, and to guide future research approaches, Szedlak and Bennett position ORC/CD within the philosophical framework of the New Culture of Learning (Thomas & Brown, 2011) and propose a novel onto-epistemological approach for ORC/CD researchers, which considers the theory of connectivism (Siemens, 2005) as an expression of New Materialism. Furthermore, they offer a working definition of ORC/CD to guide the quickly emerging field of ORC/CD research.


Siemens. G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2(1). Retrieved from

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change (Vol. 219). CreateSpace.

Presenter Biography

Dr Christoph Szedlak is a senior lecturer (research) in S&C at Hartpury University. He is the programme lead for the MSc in S&C. His research focuses on the psychosocial aspects of coaching using innovative qualitative methods to enhance data collection and to disseminate research findings. His applied experiences span over thirteen years of working with a variety of different level athletes including Olympic and World champions.

Dr. Bettina Callary is the Canada Research Chair in Sport Coaching and Adult Learning and an Associate Professor at Cape Breton University, in Nova Scotia, Canada. She researches coach education and development, coach developers, and psychosocial understandings of inclusive coaching. Dr. Callary is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Sport Coaching Journal.

Gary Hodgson is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Leeds Beckett University. A former Lecturer in Sport Coaching and academy football coach, he is currently content and community manager for the ICOACHKIDS Global Movement, supporting the mission to promote sport policy, education and practice that puts kids first.


(in alphabetical order by first author’s last name)


University Students Perceived Competencies of Coaching

Ahtiainen, Juha1; Gagnon, Sheila1; Ihalainen, Johanna1; & Hietavala, Enni-Maria1

1Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

The expectations and experiences of university students in the early stages of their studies are highly relevant to the later learning processes of sports coaching. This study investigated the 1st and 2nd year coaching science students’ perceived competence in different areas of coaching expertise. The survey contained 19 questions related to the core competencies of a coach defined in the International Sport Coaching Framework (version 2.1, 2013). Nine of 17 students from the 1st year course and five of 11 from the 2nd year responded to the survey. Perceived competence was higher (p < 0.05 to 0.01) in the following nine questions in the 2nd-year students as compared to 1st-year students: 1) knowledge of the holistic nature of the human being, 2) understanding information related to sports physiology and 3) using it in practice, 4) understanding information related to coaching, 5) considering the athlete as an individual and 6) as a holistic person in coaching work, 7) setting appropriate goals for the athlete and 8) plan activities to achieve the goals, and 9) ability to make choices and decisions that promote athletes performance and well-being. These results will help identify and quantify sports science students’ learning process in the early stages of their five-year university studies. The results can be used to assess the curriculum learning objectives’ achievement and adapt the curriculum accordingly. The present kind of surveys will also allow comparisons to be made between learning outcomes in different teaching organizations of sports coaching.


Juha Ahtiainen is an associate professor in sports coaching science at the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. His main research area is the heterogeneity in exercise training responses. He has focused on individuality in physiological responses to resistance training. His research, teaching, hobbies, and coaching experience have long been strongly linked to various aspects of strength coaching, from sedentary people and rehabilitations to elite strength athletes.


Modifications to the Competition Format in the National School Games: What Are Teachers/Coaches’ Perceptions of These Changes?

Choo, Zhi Yi Corliss1; Swee Meng Wong2; Chi Cherng Hsieh2; Koon-Teck Koh1; & Komar, John1

1Physical Education and Sports Science, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; 2Physical, Sports & Outdoor Education Branch, Ministry of Education, Singapore

The National School Games (NSG) is the largest annual inter-school competition in Singapore, with more than 58,000 student-athletes taking part in more than 29 different sports competitions. Since 2019, in conjunction with the assumption that early performance is not equivalent to future potential and that a broad-based foundation is preferred for future athlete development, modifications have been made to the rules of some CCA activities. Between 2019 and 2021, modifications to the competition format of ten games (basketball, netball, floorball, hockey, sepak takraw, tennis, track & field, volleyball, softball, swimming, and netball) have been or will be made. This study aims to assess how the modified version is perceived by teachers/coaches by confronting their own representation of the activity with the modified format (i.e.,what the students actually do) and defining to what extent the introduction of the new competition format led to any changes in proposed training. Semi-structured interviews adopting a phenomenology approach by Thereau (2003) were used to access the discrepancy between the teacher/coach’s representation of the real game and the modified version. The interviews were designed to a) elicit precision from the coaches and b) obtain supplementary information about their preoccupations, thoughts, interpretations, and emotions. The study’s outcomes aim to provide more information about the need and direction of communicating the new modified format of competition and to help design potential next steps and amendments to the modifications, if any.


Theureau, J. (2003). Course of action analysis & course of action centred design. In E. Hollnagel (Ed.), Handbook of cognitive task design (pp.55–81). Lawrence Erlbaum.

Presenter Biography

Corliss Choo is a research assistant at the National Institute of Education in Singapore. She is graduate of their Sport Science and Management as well as their Master of Science program.


Retaining Girls in Sport: Keys to Success

McCarthy, Anna-Marie1; Sherwin, Ian1,2; & Kearney, Philip E.1,2

1Department of Physical Education & Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland; 2Sport & Human Performance Research Centre, Health Research Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

Adolescent girls are dropping out of sport at a higher rate than boys, with limited research focusing on community-based and culturally relevant sports intervention programmes. The aim of this study was to investigate why and how a Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) club which took part in the Gaelic4Teens (G4T) programme in 2019 successfully implemented the intervention, including how they overcame any challenges. Four (two males, two females) prominent members of a large LGFA club in a commuter town in Ireland participated in semi-structured interviews; these members were a mixture of coaches (n = 3), committee members (n = 3) and parents (n = 4). This data, alongside focus groups held with players and parents, was iteratively thematically analysed. The analysis developed three major themes: (1) Why the club took part in the programme (e.g.,retention; a male dominated coaching environment); (2) How the coaches applied their learning (incorporating fun into training sessions and being aware of player welfare); and (3) The keys to success (e.g.,the G4T programme structure, finding their champions). These findings provide important insights into the G4T programme that can be used to refine and tailor the initiative for successful implementation in other LGFA clubs across the island of Ireland.

Presenter Biography

Phil Kearney is the Course Leader for the MSc Applied Sports Coaching at the University of Limerick. His teaching and research centres on the domain of skill acquisition. Phil is currently the Irish representative on the Teaching Games for Understanding Special Interest Group of the International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education, and chairs the Skill Acquisition and Biomechanics subgroup of the Gaelic Athletic Association’s Sport Science Working Group. Phil is a co-founder of Movement and Skill Acquisition Ireland.


Coach Experiences of Formal Coach Education Developed by National Governing Bodies: A Systematic Review

Wang, Zhenlong1; Casey, Ashley1; & Cope, Ed1

1University of Loughborough, UK

The education and training of coaches is considered central to maintaining and improving the quality of coaching (Cushion etal., 2003). Formal coach education is accessed by thousands of coaches each year. However, coaches perceived this form of learning as playing a minor role in their learning and development. One possible reason is coaches’ perspective is not considered in current programmes design (Cushion etal., 2010). This study aims to systematically review the existing empirical evidence on how coaches experience formal coach education programmes developed by NGBs. The significance of the study lies in understanding how coaches have experienced NGB coach education with a view that this understanding can help inform the future design and delivery of such learning provision. A systematic review followed ENTREQ guidelines, searched six e-databases. The inclusion criteria were: coach; formal coach education courses developed by NGBs; English peer-reviewed qualitative articles published between 2000 and 2021. Thematic analysis was used to analyse data from the included articles. Fifteen studies were included. Analysis showed three main themes influenced coaches’ course experience: coach educator pedagogy, learning design, and course content. Specifically, coaches’ experience depended heavily on whether the educator used pedagogical approaches which include interactive elements and whether educators had good interpersonal skills. In addition, coaches experienced their NGB course positively when there were opportunities to apply their learning in practical-based workshops. The review provides a detailed understanding of what coaches perceive they want and need from NGBs courses. These findings provide insight to inform how NGB could more effectively design and deliver coach education.


Cushion, C. J., Armour, K. M., & Jones, R. L. (2003). Coach education and continuing professional development: Experience and learning to coach. Quest, 55(3), 215–230.

Cushion, C., Nelson, L., Armour, K., Lyle, J., Jones, R., Sandford, R., & O’Callaghan, C. (2010). Coach learning & development: A review of literature. Sports Coach UK.

Presenter Biography

Zhenlong Wang currently is a PhD candidate at the Loughborough University. His research focuses on examining sport coaches’ learning and development, especially in formal coach education programmes developed by national governing bodies.

Voice of the Coach Survey 2022: Sport Waikato, Aotearoa New Zealand

Wrigley, Tracy1 & Davidson, James2

1Sport Waikato; 2Sport Waikato/University of Waikato

The Voice of the Coach Survey was distributed to primary schools, secondary schools, clubs and regional sporting organisations seeking to understand the coaching community in the Waikato region and to gather the Voice of the Coach; 404 coaches completed the 20-question survey. The coaches operated across a range of levels, coaching those who ranged in age from four years old to older adults and including athletes with disabilities. The survey collected demographics, including details of the coaches as well as their participants. Importantly to inform future coaching system development, coaches were asked about their developmental experiences and role satisfaction. Theming of results by the authors provided insights into the experience of coaches’ exposure to formal and informal development. A comparison of the opportunities facilitated by regional sporting organisations and the ways in which coaches seek out and value growth has exposed a chasm between provider and user. The desire for connection and support were expressed as a desire for mentorship and exposure to experienced coaches within their context. This has caused us to start an examination of the role and functions of the formalised coach developer as well as the place and development of mentorship within the regional sporting organisations. Survey results point to the poor levels of satisfaction and retention of coaches in the early stages of their participation. The authors have used this data to produce a model (Coach Growth Cycle) reflecting the expressed needs and preferences of the coaches within their development to inform systemic review of the behaviour of the regional sporting organisations within our region in the pursuit of “Coaching for a Better Tomorrow”.

Author Biographies

Tracy Wrigley works as a Coaching Advisor for a Regional Sporting Trust (Sport Waikato) in Aotearoa New Zealand and is undertaking a Masters degree in Sport Development & Management. As a football coach who has experienced a formalised coach education system, she works to ensure a wider range of development experiences for coaches working with rangatahi (adolescent) sporting participants.

International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) 14th Global Coach Conference (2024)


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