Getting it right for everyone: Sport coaching and the adult participation domain

Authors: John Lyle

Corresponding Author:
Professor John Lyle
Carnegie School of Sport
Leeds Beckett University
CV106, Headingley Campus
United Kingdom
00 44 (0)7590108098

John Lyle is Professor of Sport Coaching in the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University.

Getting it right for everyone: Sport coaching and the adult participation domain


Sport provision is best understood as a series of distinctive domains, with characteristic purposes, motivations, practices and demands on coaches’ expertise. This paper identifies the characteristics of the instructor-led adult participation coaching domain, which is the least well researched and developed, and identifies the implications for coach education and workforce management. The propositions are illustrated by conversations with Coaching Development Managers from eight sports in the UK that have a significant adult participation profile. The paper confirms the variety of domain populations, from casual recreation to coach-dependent adult competition, including ‘Masters’-designated participation, but outside the mainstream of performance sport. It highlights two principal coaching practices: market-led sport instructors, delivering episodic, largely technique-based ‘lessons’ to participants, and (club) coaches of adult competition sport. However, much of the characteristic adult participation is casual recreation and coach-independent. The paper argues that a fuller understanding of this domain is important for ensuring that coaches’ expertise and practice are matched to participant needs.

2020-06-02T11:26:18-05:00May 8th, 2020|Sports Coaching|Comments Off on Getting it right for everyone: Sport coaching and the adult participation domain

How the Perceived Effectiveness of a Female Coach is influenced by their Apparent Masculinity / Femininity

Authors: Paula Murraya, Rhiannon Lordb, & Ross Lorimerb (aLoughborough College, UK, bAbertay University, UK)

Corresponding Author:
Dr Ross Lorimer
Abertay University
Dundee, UK, DD1 1RG
+44 (0)1382 308426

How the Perceived Effectiveness of a Female Coach is Influenced by their Apparent Masculinity / Femininity


The aim of this study was to investigate how the apparent masculinity/femininity of a coach influenced others’ perceptions of their ability to interact successfully with their athletes.  Seventy-three participants (44 males, 29 females, Mage=23.8 SD= ± 8.41) watched four videos depicting a coach working with a group of athletes.  Each video was the same but featured the four combinations of masculinised/feminised coach and male/female athletes.  Participants rated the coach on perceived relationship quality, empathy, and competency.  There was a main effect in relationship quality (closeness) and three of four subscales of coaching competency, with the masculinised coach rated higher than the feminised coach.  There was also a non-significant trend for the feminised coach to score higher in relationship quality and competency when working with male athletes compared to female athletes, and the masculinised coach to score higher with females.  For affective empathy, there was a main effect for athlete sex, with both coaches rated higher working with male athletes.  There was also a non-significant trend for both coaches’ cognitive empathy to be rated higher when working with male athletes.  The perception of the masculinity/femininity of a coach influences how others understand their interactions even when the behaviors of that coach are similar across situations. Coaches need to be aware that gender-based stereotypes may influence how others perceive their competency. This could potentially affect coach effectiveness and career progression.

2020-03-27T08:58:21-05:00April 24th, 2020|Research, Sports Coaching|Comments Off on How the Perceived Effectiveness of a Female Coach is influenced by their Apparent Masculinity / Femininity

Scientific Epistemology for Physical Education Fundamental Movement Skills Prerequisites

Authors: Robert P. Narcessian and Janet M. Leet

Corresponding Author:
Robert P. Narcessian, EdM
St. Joseph’s Health and Regional Medical Center
Department of Orthopedics
703 Main Street
Paterson, NJ 07503
201-612-0695; 973-754-2950

Robert P.Narcessian is a faculty member and research consultant in the Department of Orthopedics, and the primary investigator of the study

Janet M. Leet, President
Sub5, Inc.
508 S. Evanston Avenue
Arlington, IL 60004

Janet M. Leet is a coach and the co-investigator of the study at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center

Scientific Epistemology for Physical Education Fundamental Movement Skills Prerequisites


A scientific epistemology, using a systems thinking qualitative methodology for translating practice into theory, integrates mathematical and dynamical systems concepts with belief systems that are presented in this original research of unique prerequisites for fundamental movement skills (FMS) in physical education as illustrated with running. FMS prerequisites demonstrate that FMS are neither fundamental nor reliable screentests conducted on individuals by physical education teachers, coaches, and healthcare practitioners for performance readiness evaluations or injury risk assessments. FMS prerequisites identify and assess eliminating the hypothetical set of worst first moves, assess the integrity of their respective coordinative structures, and assess performers’ beliefs (i.e., preferred behaviors) with the objective to provide a new direction for researching injury risk and performance readiness. The researchers illustrate this new method with participants for FMS prerequisites in running and squatting to provide insight for the observer-performer interaction. A new observer-performer classification and non-epistemic modeling show what is known with self-discovery strategies that detect hidden skills at the observable level using four independent tasks. There were 297 participants in kindergarten through high school (213 females and 84 males; mean 14.5 years; range 5 to 17 years) and 21 participants from the community at large (15 females and 6 males; mean 31.4 years, range 12 to 94 years). A variety of running strategies of different degrees of configured complexity from which to run were self-selected and observed as preferred with and without practice or intervention. An idealized 2-joint planar multi-joint mechanism (MJM) was used to assess individual skill with respect to adding and removing constraints. Findings are presented for strategies, trends, and transitions of preferred behavior including observables that reveal hidden skills including a visual search of a hidden skill with world record Olympian sprint performances. FMS prerequisites are theorized for future study with an inverted U-model and a leading MJM hypothesis; and they provide the rudiments for injury risk assessments and performance readiness evaluations approaching optimal health biomechanically in the very early detection of flawed gross motor skill development before manifesting into the signs and symptoms of injury or poor performance.

2020-06-02T13:42:34-05:00April 3rd, 2020|Sport Education, Sports Coaching|Comments Off on Scientific Epistemology for Physical Education Fundamental Movement Skills Prerequisites

The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Styles, and Burnout in NCAA Coaches

Authors: Luna Ugrenovic, M.S., West Virginia University, Kimberly Shaffer, Ph.D., Barry   University, Nataniel Boiangin, Ph.D., Barry University

Corresponding Author:
Luna Ugrenovic, M.S.
478 Harding Avenue Apt. 4
Morgantown, WV, USA, 26505

Luna Ugrenovic is a first-year Ph.D. student at West Virginia University (WVU) studying Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology concurrently with Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is also a graduate teaching assistant and mental performance consultant trainee working with the WVU DI rowing team as well as WVU law school. 

The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Styles, and Burnout in NCAA Coaches


Burnout in coaches has been a concerning issue for many years. It can lead to a host of medical, psychological, emotional and performance-related issues. One of the many factors that correlates with burnout is emotional intelligence (EI; 22). Additionally, research supports various leadership styles that correlate with perceived burnout in different ways (32). The present study aimed to investigate the relationships between EI, leadership styles, and perceived burnout as well as the moderating role of leadership styles on the relationship between EI and perceived burnout in NCAA coaches. The full range leadership model (2) was used in this study and proposes that there are transformational, transactional, and passive-avoidant leadership styles. A total of 244 (n = 140 male, n = 103 female, n = 1 undisclosed) coaches participated from across all three NCAA divisions. Represented sports were field/cross country, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, volleyball, and a variety of others. Consistent with previous research, the results indicated a significant moderate negative relationship between EI and perceived burnout (r = -.38, p = .000) as well as a significant weak negative relationship between transformational leadership style and perceived burnout (r = -.24, p = .000). Additionally, there was a significant weak positive relationship between passive-avoidant leadership style and perceived burnout (r = .25, p = .000). Furthermore, passive-avoidant leadership style showed a negative moderating effect on the relationship between EI and perceived burnout, accounting for 20% of the variance in perceived burnout. This means that passive-avoidant leadership weakened the negative relationship between EI and perceived burnout. Thus, coaches who are predominately passive-avoidant leaders may be more likely to experience burnout symptoms despite their high EI. Consequently, the results underline the importance of developing strong leadership competences as well as EI in NCAA coaches to decrease or even prevent burnout.  

2020-03-04T11:00:03-06:00March 27th, 2020|Research, Sports Coaching|Comments Off on The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Styles, and Burnout in NCAA Coaches

Mental Toughness in Coaching: A Functional Definition Determined by Elite Coaches

Authors: William Steffen1, Conrad Woolsey2, Ronald Quinn3, Brandon Spradley4  

Affiliations: 1Wingate University, 2University of Western States, 3Xavier University, 4United States Sports Academy  

Corresponding Author:
Dr. Brandon Spradley
Chair of Sports Management
United States Sports Academy
One Academy Drive
Daphne, Alabama 36526

Dr. Bill Steffen is an Assistant Professor of Sport Science at Wingate University and serves as the Chair of the United Soccer Coaches Ethics Committee and a Senior National Staff Coach. Dr. Steffen won two NCAA National Championships in women’s soccer while coaching at the University of North Carolina and has 28 years of NCAA coaching experience, in addition to playing professional soccer for five years.

Dr. Conrad Woolsey is the Director of Sport and Performance Psychology at the University of Western States. As a nationally recognized expert in the field of sport and performance psychology he is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Sport Psychology Registry.

Dr. Ronald Quinn is the Director of MEd in Coaching Education & Athlete Development at Xavier University. Dr. Quinn is considered a leading authority in youth soccer and coaching education presenting at prestigious national and international conferences.

Dr. Brandon Spradley is the Chair of Sports Management and an Associate Professor at the United States Sports Academy.  Dr. Spradley was a four-time NCAA regional qualifier and a two-time NCAA national qualifier in track and field running on nationally ranked relay teams for The University of Alabama.

Mental Toughness in Coaching   


Researchers have explored the mental toughness that is associated with elite athletes as a concept relating to specific activities and sports; however, there is limited research concerning mental toughness among elite coaches. This study expanded previous research by investigating elite coaches’ (N=22) perspectives of what attributes were most important for defining mental toughness in coaching. Results of coaching focus groups interviews yielded several themes which were incorporated into a definition of mental toughness of a coach. Mental toughness of a coach is a complex interaction of several characteristics: (1) a determined mindset; (2) resiliency; (3) confidence; and (4) a strong belief in the coach’s system, processes, and actions; all of these characteristics result in consistent behaviors and emotional responses. Coaches were asked to list attributes that they felt were descriptive of the ideal mentally tough coach. Their list included confident, resilient, consistent, positive spirit, energetic, passionate, optimistic, adaptable, possessing inner strength, and patient. These attributes were discussed in consideration of coaches’ rationale for these choices. Examining mental toughness can positively assist coaches seeking to become the best they can be.

2020-03-04T09:38:11-06:00March 20th, 2020|Research, Sports Coaching|Comments Off on Mental Toughness in Coaching: A Functional Definition Determined by Elite Coaches