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University of Guelph
PSYC 3480
Dan Yarmey

Friday, November 16, 2012 Chapter 11: Coaching Psychology Common Myths about Coaching Psychology MYTH: Outstanding athletes have an advantage in becoming excellent coaches MYTH: Aspiring coaches must emulate the most successful coaches in their sport, re- gardless of their own personality, beliefs or philosophy MYTH: All elite-level coaches are focused solely on winning at the expense of athlete growth and development MYTH: Coaching confidence is determined solely by one’s innate personality Introduction Coaching Science - comprises research on the coaching, learning, and instructional processes as directed by coaches Coach Education - in Canada, coach education and development is governed by the Coaching Associa- tion of Canada (CAC) which was created in 1970 - CAC’s mission is to provide the foundation of skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to ensure effective coaching leadership for Canadian athletes - in 1974, CAC created the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) to meet the needs of all coaches, from beginner to most experienced - NCPP trains and certifies coaches in more than 60 sports through workshops - the original model was a knowledge- and course-based program run by CAC with 5 levels of certification - the new model is structured around a competency-based approached to coach training and education that places more emphasis on coaches’ abilities to meet the needs of their participants - more emphasis is placed on the environment or context in which the coach is coaching - CAC has moved from “what a coach should know” to “what a coach should do” - the new NCCP model is divided into 3 streams: 1. Community Sports Stream: focuses on broad-based participation at introductory lev- els of sport. Coaches are instructed to introduce sport for fun, to develop skills, and to foster social interaction and life-long participation 2. Competition Stream: focuses on skill development for participation in competitive con- texts. Coaches are instructed in all areas of athlete training, including physical, techni- cal, tactical and mental. 3. Instruction Stream: focuses on skill proficiency in non-competitive situations (e.g. ten- nis camp, golf instructor) - additional coach education and development information can be acquired through ei- ther the educational system or the National Coaching Institutes - Canada has National Coaching Institutes (NCI) located in 7 provinces across the coun- try whose mission is to enhance the training environment for high-performance coaches and athletes through a variety of services - successful completion of this program grants students a diploma in High Performance Coaching which attests to expertise in 3 main areas (1) planning, designing, and imple- menting a sport program that fits within the context of their athletes, (2) knowledge on practical coaching and (3) leadership skills and ethical coaching strategies - the NCIs integrate classroom study with a coaching apprenticeship - the program aims to improve one’s critical thinking, communication skills, and overall philosophy on coaching elite athletes - coaching is becoming recognized as an important field that can assist the growth and development of today’s amateur and professional athletes - coach education is aided by the International Council for Coach Education (ICCE), whose mission is to improve the quality and exposure of coaching at all levels around the world Coach Development - there has been a lack of scientific research on ways of becoming a successful coach - all of the elite Canadian coaches reported living active and successful sporting lives that began with a love of sport that was often fueled by the encouragement of family members and accessibility to physical resources - some researchers have found that elite athlete experiences were found to be an impor- tant aspect of expert coaches career development, knowledge, and perhaps even ca- reer success - successful high-school and elite sport coaches accumulated a minimum of several thousand hours of athletic participation, across several sports, for at least 13 years - expert coaches accumulated highly competitive sport experiences - another study demonstrated that with persistence, it was possible to acquire coaching knowledge without having been an elite athlete - recommendations for acquiring coaching knowledge: volunteering in the community, gaining experience as an assistant coach, frequently interacting with other coaches, ob- serving other coaches, studying kinesiology and physical education in university, attend- ing coaching clinics, and reading coaching books and the internet - mentoring may be an important factor in coaches’ growth, it helps mold their coaching ideas and philosophies - data on high-level head coaching position in Canada indicate that women are under- represented (only 10-15%) Youth-Sport Coaching - may have more important global implications that for elite sport e.g. physical inactivity usually begins at a young age and the medical and economic impact of physical inactivi- ty accounts for $5.3 billion in Canadian health-case costs - only 2/5 Canadian children are defined as being active enough for optimal growth Characteristics of Youth Coaches - most are male - most are in their mid-30s - as few as 10% of these coaches continue coaching for 10 years or more - almost all of these coaches competed in sport, and most were above-average athletes - most acquired athletic experience for 5 years or more in the sport they now coach - love of sport, wanting to remain associated with the sport, a desire to help young peo- ple develop skills, and a desire to serve as a leader and supervisor for young people were the main reasons for coaching - most coaches had a child of their own on the team they coached - just over half were university educated Ideal Behaviours of Youth Coaches - impinges of training youth-sport coaches to ensure young athletes had fun, enjoyed being part of a team, learned skills, and developed and increased their self-esteem - research can be divided into 2 phases: - (1) involved the development of the mediational model of leadership and the coaching behaviour assessment system (CBAS) to categorize coaching behaviours - findings demonstrated that coaching behaviours influenced children’s self-perceptions, anxiety and adherence levels, coaching behaviours can be modified through structured coach training and education programs - (2) involved the implementation of an intervention program called coach effectiveness training (CET), and the subsequent testing of the program in the youth-sport setting - research has demonstrated that children playing for trained coaches had significant in- creases in self-esteem, decreases in anxiety levels, enjoyed their sporting experience more, and evaluated their coach and teammates more favorably - children were more likely to return the following season - CET workshop follows 5 coaching principles: 1. to create a healthy climate that is enjoyable and is focused on mastering skills in- stead of trying to beat an opponent - coaches must understand that their success or failure is not dependent on the out- come of the game 2. to utilize a positive approach to coaching that involves positive reinforcement, encour- agement, and appropriate instruction, punitive behaviours are highly discouraged 3. to establish norms that emphasize athletes’ obligations to help and support one an- other, thereby increasing cohesion and personal commitment to the team, coaches must model and support these behaviours 4. to include athletes in decision-making roles regarding team rules and compliance 5. to engage in self-monitoring and assessment in order to focus on positive coaching behaviours - the CET program has recently been modified and renamed the Mastery Approach to Coaching (MAC) - the philosophy remains the same, which is the promotion of team cohesion and posi- tive coach-athlete interaction that creates an atmosphere that allows for skill develop- ment and reduces the fear of failure - the goal of both is to increase intrinsic motivation in young athletes - among the key changes, the 5 principles were reduced to 2 themes: (1) reinforcement in positive ways and (2) measuring success based on maximum effort - other differences include the length and delivery of material Coaching Knowledge - including goals, roles, and responsibilities and the extent to which they can affect the learning and performance of their athletes - 3 bodies of literature in coaching psychology will be examined: (1) Chelladurai’s sport leadership model, (2) Felts and colleagues’ coaching efficacy model, and (3) Cote et al.’s coaching model Sport Leadership - leadership has been defined as “a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal” - leadership has been one of the most studied areas in industrial and organizational psy- chology - it is one of the least understood phenomena beaks almost every finding can be contra- dicted by other results - effective leadership has been cited as a vital component of achievement - Chelladurai’s Multidimensional Model of Leadership (MML) is a linear model compris- ing antecedents, leader behaviours, and consequences - it conceptualized leadership as an interactional process, and thus allows researchers to evaluate leadership effectiveness through team member satisfaction and perfor- mance of athletes (consequences) - these consequences are directly affected by the degree of congruence among the 3 states of leader behaviours, called required, preferred, and actual - required leader behaviours are those that are expected of a coach e.g. not allowed to make physical contact with their athletes - preferred leader behaviours are how a coach acts and are generally based on athletes’ preference e.g. not socializing with players after games - actual leader behaviours are the behaviours that a coach exhibits, regardless of team standards, this are influenced by antecedent factors, which can be classified into situa- tional, leader, and team-member characteristics - MML attributed coaches’ success to more than great leadership skill, it stress that suc- cess was a function of coaches’ capacity to display actual leadership behaviours that re- sponded to a combination of demands from the environment, the players, and the coaches themselves - successful coaches were able to adjust to these demands by incorporating the re- quired and preferred behaviours into their actual behaviours Transformational Leadership - contains 4 leader behaviours that have been shown to influence followers’ values, needs, awareness and performance - research suggests that transformational leaders were inspirational motivators who were able to elevate the interest of their followers - shows improved athlete functioning in areas such as intrinsic motivation, commitment and satisfaction Coaching Efficacy - confidences levels can be changed and improved over time Coaching Efficacy - the extent to which coaches believe they have the capacity to af- fect the learning and performance of their athletes - there are 4 key dimensions at the core of this model: 1. Game Strategy - this refers to the degree to which coaches believe they can effective- ly coach during competitions 2. Motivation - refers to the degree to which coaches believe they can effectively affect their athletes’ psychological attributes 3. Technique - refers to the degree to which coaches believe they can teach the effective skills and techniques of their sport and recognize talent 4. Character Building - refers to the degree to which coaches believe they can instill a sense of respect or fair play in their athletes - coaches who scored high in each of these areas were said to have teams that per- formed better with higher winning percentages, were more committed to their profes- sion, used more praise and encouragement, and had more satisfied athletes who had higher levels of confidence - a coach’s level of efficacy was affected by 4 sources: previous experiences and prepa- ration, perceived level of success, perceived skill of athletes, and the level of community support - the most important source was prior success, coaches who had experienced success as either coaches or athletes felt more confident Coaching Model - allows for connections to be established between the accumulated knowledge of how and why coaches perform as they do - the coaching model infers that coaches begin their job by developing a mental model of the potential of their athletes or teams - this mental model is influenced by 3 peripheral components: coach’s personal charac- teristics, athletes’ personal characteristics, and contextual factors - coaches integrate these 3 peripheral components to determine which of the 3 primary components - organization, training and competition - must be used to maximize the de- velopment of the athlete and the team - this model proposes that success includes more than a specific set of personality traits, organizational behaviours or interpersonal skills of the coach - coaching success appears to be related to various interpersonal, cognitive, and opera- tional aspects of leadership - the coaching model has served as a theoretical framework for much research on ex- pert Canadian coaching Overall Goal of Coaching - research on successful university and Olympic coaches reveals that their main goal of coaching has a very positive, athlete-centred approach - although winning was important, they were at least equally concerned with developing their athletes’ personal and academic skills - it is difficult to determine if this holistic approach to athlete development is specific to Canadian amateur sport, 2 coaching books would suggest otherwise - Walton recounted the careers of 6 great coaches and noted that although the group compiled extraordinary win-loss records and contributions to technical advances in their sports, they were more concerned about their contributions as educators and role mod- els - one of the Coaches, John Wooden, said his secret to success lied in his pyramid of success - he said no building is better than its structural foundation and no man is better than his mental foundation - 2 foundations at the bottom are industriousness and enthusiasm, which stress the val- ue of each players’ consistent hard work in games and practices - these mental components are linked with teamwork principles, such as loyalty, friend- ship, and co-operation - the pyramid also highlights the value of establishing clear and realistic goals and shows that poise and confidence will be achieved only after hours of conditioning and drills in practice and a commitment to proper behaviour off the court - at the top of the pyramid is success, which is defined as knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming - Pat Summitt is perhaps the most widely recognized women’s head coach in North America, she has attributed her coaching success to a change of coaching philosophy that involved adopting a more athlete-centred approach - she recounted that being a coach makes you a peculiar form of crisis counselor and in- terim substitute parent - perhaps all non-professional coaches in Canada should adopt an athlete-centred ap- proach that includes their athletes’ social academic and athletic pursuits Primary Components of the Coaching Model Organization - involves “applying one’s knowledge towards establishing optimal condi- tions for training and competition by structuring and coordinating the tasks involved in reaching the goals” - there are 7 organizational tasks of team-sport coaches: creating a vision, establishing a seasonal plan, selecting a team, setting goals, developing team cohesion, working with support staff, and attending to administrative matters - another researcher identified 5 organizational tasks for expert gymnastics coaches: working with parents, working with assistants, helping gymnasts with personal con- cerns, planning training, and monitoring gymnasts’ weight and aesthetics - if a coach is organized, there will be a solid foundation from which to build a champi- onship team - one of the fundamental elements of organization is creating and selling a coaching vi- sion of where they could go and how they could get there - the vision involves both the long-term goal of program growth and development of the short-term goal of what the coach believed each athlete or the entire team could achieve in any given season - once the vision was established, the expert coaches transformed it into a mission statement, a tangible written statement that gave the team direction for the upcoming year - the mission statement influenced the seasonal plan, daily practices, training regimens, team selection and goal setting - expert coaches drew up a complete plan for the upcoming season, taking into consid- eration the mental, physical, tactical and technical aspects of training - the mission statement was not merely a target to aim for, it was the team’s absolute reason for being Training - the knowledge the coaches utilize to maximize their athletes’ ability to acquire and perform various skill during practice - training has been found to inlaced coaches’ application of technical training, physical training, mental training, tactical training and intervention style - a study was performed on the technical skills of John Wooden and revealed that the majority of his cues were technical - he focused on the basic fundamentals of playing basketball - research revealed that technical instructions were the most common form of instruc- tion, and coaches stressed the importance of sound technical training to ensure their athletes were prepared for games and practices - physical training focuses on athletes’ physical strength, endurance and conditioning - expert coaches have commented on the uniqueness of each athlete and how they of- ten created individualized training programs to meet their athletes’ needs - many utilized strength and conditioning to work with their teams - there have been mixed messages about the use and importance of mental training - some elite coaches have given mental training less attention than physical and techni- cal training and some perceive mental training to be equally important - some think it is beneficial to use a sport psychologist to work with their team on moti- vation, visualization and controlling anxiety - many expert coaches spend a large portion of practice time on tactical training (offen- sive and defensive strategies) as well as on creatively inventing drills to improve tactical difficulties - research revealed that authoritative intervention style was not present among top-level Canadian gymnastics coaches - European studies showed that their coaches were not only authoritarian but they also used sarcasm and divisive training strategies to increase rivalry and creating hostility Competition - this primary component relates to the coaching knowledge applied throughout the day of competition and the tasks performed - elite coaches developed pre-match routines for both themselves and their athletes, mastered the contingencies that they could control during a match, and dealt with emo- tions following the match to better deal with their athletes’ performances - pre-competition tasks involve coaches’ activities leading up to their arrival on site - research has indicated that these expert coaches are very meticulous in their plans for both themselves and their athletes on game day - coaches need time alone to mentally prepare and rehearse for the game, often by a game-day jog - for athletes, coaches wanted them to have a set routine so that they were not wasting energy thinking about what to eat or how to get to the competition site - coaches preferred that athletes spend time together to improve team cohesion - an interesting finding focused on the pre-game pep talk, coaches preferred a calm, even-tempered pre-game pep talk, the coaches’ final words were process-centred and reviewed 3 or 4 of the most important points stressed in the previous work’s preparation - research revealed a number of important factors for expert team-sport coaches once competition began - their coaching required attention to detail, an even tempered demeanor, and an ability to out-think the opposing coach - this was accomplished through strategically using time outs and substitutions, relaying 2 or 3 important points of information during intermissions, developing productive rela- tionships with officials, and providing athletes with appropriate playing time - some have compared expert team-sport coaches with grand chess masters because both have to think many steps ahead of the opposition - post-competition activities of expert team-sport coaches dealt with 4 areas: how the coaches handled the outcome, how they coped with their own emotions, what they did and said in the locker room, and what their post-game evaluation was - the content and focus of the post-competition meeting depended on both the outcome and the coaches’ perceptions of whether the team played well or poorly - most coaches gave their teams a few pointers, saving the in-depth analysis for the next practice or team meeting, - winning was the easiest outcome to handle, when the team played well and won, coaches emphasized effort and performance, not just outcome - when the team played poorly but won, coaches stressed areas needing improvement and acknowledged those individuals who gave a solid effort - losses were more demanding, most importantly, they had to decide if their players per- formed up to their capabilities - when the team played well but lost, the coach remained encouraging, focusing on pos- itive aspects of their performance but when the team played poorly and lost, coaches said little to their players because the emotional climate for themselves and their ath- letes was high and they worried about saying something they would regret - after any competition, the coach had to deal with their own emotions before entering the locker room, most say very little because they and their athletes were still very emo- tional, they especially don’t single out any individual player - they don’t analyze the game in the locker room because they wanted to complete a thorough post-game evaluation within 24 hours of the match Peripheral Components of the Coaching Model Coach’s Personal Characteristics - any variables that are part of the coach’s philoso- phy, perceptions, beliefs, or personal life that could influence the organization, training or competition components - expert coaches have an outgoing quest for personal growth and knowledge acquisi- tion, display a strong work ethic, communicate effectively, empathize with players and are good teachers - many noted that they work in a very competitive field and that the best way to succeed was by working harder than their colleagues which involved spending long hours in their offices which led to less time w
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