High School Coaches’ Continuing Education Delivery Preferences

Submitted by Brooke E. Forester, Ph.D.1*; Shelley L. Holden, Ed.D.2*; Christopher M. Keshock, Ph.D.3*

1* Assistant Professor of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Studies, University of South Alabama

2* Associate Professor of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Studies, University of South Alabama

3* Associate Professor of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Studies, University of South Alabama

Dr. Forester’s current position is with the University of South Alabama as a professor of Sport and Recreation Management.  Her research interests are focused on coach education, corporate social responsibility in the sport industry, and sport politics. Previously, Dr. Forester taught as a visiting faculty member at The Florida State University.


According to the National Federation of High State High School Associations (NFHS), there are approximately 7.6 million high school athletes across the country (14).   These athletes are led by coaches who often seek continuing education opportunities to further their professional development.  The purpose of the study was to examine the preferences of continuing education delivery methods among high school coaches. Data were collected through online surveys.  Both male (n = 74) and female (n = 29) head and assistant coaches participated in the study.  The participating coaches (N = 103) were presented with six options of content delivery methods.  Data were analyzed using a 5×2 mixed model analysis of variance (ANOVA). The within subjects factor was delivery method (1. live, 2. books, 3.on-line, 4. hybrid, and 5. DVD/video) and the between subjects factor, gender. Results showed a significant main effect for delivery method F(4,404)=13.198, p<.001 but not gender (males M=3.343±1.08; females M=3.345±1.12; p>.05). Post Hoc comparisons found the highest rated delivery method (live course M=3.991±1.378) to be significantly different (p≤.05) from books (M=2.709±1.218), on-line, on-demand (M=3.325±1.182), and live courses on-line (M=3.250±1.283) methods but not DVD/video (M=3.530±1.136). To date, there has been little research conducted with American high school coaches’ continuing education.  Continuing education research including other subjects however provides contrasting results.  Nurse practitioners prefer in-person conferences most (3) while Canadian sport coaches seem to prefer to learn from a variety of sources (5).  Results of the current study would be useful for the development of continuing education content for coaches and to assist academicians in better understanding the intricacies of coaching education.

Keywords:  Coaching, continuing education, coaching education