The Lived Experiences of Coaches of Various Sports Events in the University. Basis for Sports Enhancement Program


Academic Paper, 2020

17 Pages, Grade: Tertiary Level


Free online reading

Table of contents

ABSTRACT

Background of the Study

Theoretical Framework

Statement of the Problem

Significance of the Study

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES
Sport Specialization
Coaching Strategy
Characteristics of Effective Coaches
Effective Coaching Cycles
Clearly Defined Roles, Responsibilities, and Relationships

METHODOLOGY
Research Design
The Participants
Procedure
Interview guide
Data analysis
Sample

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Conclusion
Recommendations

References

ABSTRACT

This paper reports data from a phenomenological study that investigated the lived experiences of sport coaches in the university. In-depth interviews were conducted to five (5) practicing coaches in the university. The data were analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to understand the sense that coaches make of their experiences.

Data analysis resulted in the identification of three constituent ‘essences’ of coaching performance: (i) care for the youth; (ii) a commitment to educate athletes authentically for challenges to come; and (iii) working with others to achieve a specialized excellence. Data further revealed that majority of the coaches had 11 years and above coaching experiences. Inadequate budget for trainings, lack of sports equipment and facilities and personal fatigue were the challenges encountered by the sport coaches. Moreover, only a few were sent to trainings that adversely affected their coaching performance.

Keywords Coaching, enhancement, lived experiences, trainings

Background of the Study

The sport has become a major part of people's lives nowadays. Many people from diverse communities are becoming engaged in sports either professionally as a career or just for physical fitness and enjoyment. In some learning institutions, sports have been introduced as a course for study. Just like in education a specialist who has a better understanding about sports is needed in order to help in providing direction, giving instructions and training of individuals. This specialist can be referred to as a coach. In the professional setting, a coach has his own assistant staff which include fitness specialists, trainers and coordinators. The coach in professional setting focuses on physical or tactical advancement while on physical fitness and enjoyment the coach focuses on the development of technical skills of the individuals or teams (Lyle, 2002).

Successful sports coaching generally involves sports expertise and tactics. Nowadays courses on coaching and training are readily available. The coaches have important roles which include: ensuring safety for school athletes, creating game plans, Teaching rules, tactics and techniques to beginners and assisting individuals in top level sports cope with the pressure faced in highly competitive environs. The coach-athlete relationship forms a major component in an individual's reason for entering and remaining in the sport. The training, education and continuing professional development of coaches help positively by improving the effectiveness of the coach (Cassidy, Tania, Robyn and Paul, 2008).

Sport is widely recognized as having the potential to enhance the personal development of socially vulnerable youth, yet there is very limited knowledge on how community sports coaches can create optimal social conditions for life skill development and transferability.

The sports coach is a key player in creating social conditions for positive youth development (Bernard 2011). Strategies for helping coaches facilitate positive youth development through sport (Robitaille (2014).

To a great extent, the coach's characteristics and direct and indirect teaching strategies influence whether learning processes occur in the sports setting and whether these lead to the transferability of life skills to other societal domains (Gould & Carson,2008).

Sports coaches assist athletes in developing to their full potential. They are responsible for training athletes in a sport by analyzing their performances, instructing in relevant skills and by providing encouragement. Moreover, the coach is responsible for the guidance of the athlete in life and their chosen sport.

Consequently, the role of the coach will be many and varied, from instructor, assessor, friend, mentor, facilitator, chauffeur, demonstrator, adviser, supporter, fact finder, motivator, counselor, organizer, planner and the Fountain of all Knowledge.

The coach needs to be constantly trained to be able to: assist athletes to prepare training programs, communicate effectively with athletes, assist athletes to develop new skills, use evaluation tests to monitor training progress and predict performance.

However, in this process, the coach is faced by several challenges. For instance, some of the weaknesses in a student are only visible during competition. Confidence, is sometimes affected when some people meet strangers. In a sample case, a student may lose confidence in a competition where the opponent is unfamiliar. For this reason, the student may lose, not because the coach has failed in his work, but it’s the player’s failure to take each opponent with the required level of confidence. Incidences like these are controversial since the coach is to blame for poor sports performance.

In sport research, phenomenology has been deemed a particularly promising approach due to the emphasis on subjective lived experience, consideration of the life world, and focus on the essence rather than incidence of phenomenon (Kerry & Armour, 2000). More specifically, Van Manen (2014, p229) argues that phenomenology provides insight into what is “distinct or unique in a phenomenon” (essence) and does so by examining our “intuitive perceptions” which are of course situated within our ‘given’ context (life world). Indeed, phenomenology has been lauded for providing insightful, evocative, and contextually vivid accounts of diverse sport experiences such as participation in golf (Ravn & Christensen, 2014), running and scuba diving (Allen-Collinson, 2011) and physical education (Thorburn & Stolz, 2015).

Therefore, coaching is a difficult task and requires a very special person.

Theoretical Framework

A phenomenological approach guided this study. Gray (2009) describes phenomenology as a research method that;

Emphasizes inductive logic, seeks the opinions and subjective accounts and interpretations of participants, relies on qualitative data analysis, and is not so much concerned with generalizations to larger populations but with contextual description and analysis”.

While Gray, above, identified phenomenology as a method, it is important to note that since Edmund Husserl (1900/1973) provided the founding arguments for phenomenology, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and Schutz amongst others have developed phenomenology through their philosophical work. Due to continued refinement, application and development of phenomenology, Merleau-Ponty, (1962 cited in Solomon, 2001) argued that, “Phenomenology can be practiced and identified as a manner of style or thinking” rather than a research protocol to be replicated exactly. Thus, as Giorgi (2010) argues, it is important to provide readers with an account of the basic philosophical underpinnings that guided the phenomenological style adopted in this study.

Statement of the Problem

This study was conducted to find out the lived experiences of coachers of various sport event in the university. It will be conducted on the 2nd semester 2019-2020.

Specifically the study sought to answer the following questions:

I. What is the profile of coaches in terms of :

1. Number of years in coaching
2. Level of participation

II. What are the challenges faced by sport coaches?
III. What are the trainings attended by coaches?

Significance of the Study

Sport Coaches

Sports coaches assist athletes in developing their full potential. They are responsible for training athletes in a sport by analyzing their performances, instructing in relevant skills and by providing encouragement. They are also responsible for the guidance of the athletes in life and their chosen sport.

Coaches fill a variety of roles in their players’ lives, acting as everything from mentor to role model to substitute parent. These roles carry significant responsibility, as the players will look for them so much more than just athletic instruction. Young players may look up to coach as a parental figure, while older players will come to coaches for advice in various aspects of their lives. Most coaches cherish these roles and find them very rewarding.

University Officials

The Sports Administration will secure trainings and programs for the coaches to continuously keep and gain more knowledge and skills that eventually will help them with their coaching careers. Adding some technology trends will also help lessen the work of coaches during trainings that will result to having more time in other activities and to generate productive sessions through the use of modern equipment such as feeding ball machines and other sports equipment.

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES

Sport Specialization

Sport specialization defined. In the sport management and sport psychology fields, sport specialization and specifically youth specialization has been highly explored. There has been a trend in the recent decades towards more awareness of what sport specialization is, its parts, and the benefits and detriments not only for the players, but coaches, and parents. Specifically, sport specialization is defined as when an athlete commits to play, train, and compete year round exclusively in one sport (Torres; 2015). Sport specialization includes three to four hours of practice per day at least five times a week, as well as competitions and tournaments on the weekends (Kaleth & Mikesky, 2010).

Early specialization is categorized when an athlete narrows their focus to a single sport between 6-12 years old (Wiersma, 2000). This narrow focus of sport specialization is characterized by the fact that children start sport at a very early age (3-6), they narrow their focus early to one sport instead of continuing to sample various sports and activities, the training is vigorous, purposeful, and highly intense, and there is the need to compete in elite competitions regionals, nationals, and internationals (Thomas, 2009).

The sport specialization process is detailed in three different stages. These stages can be broken down into the sampling years, specialized years, and the investment years (Monsaas, 1985). In the early stages of sport development, athletes are typically between the ages of 6-12. They sample a variety of sports, develop motor skills, and focus on the excitement and learning process of the sport (Côté, 1999). During the sampling years, parents likely discover the child’s ability or gift for a certain sport or sports (Côté, 1999). In the second stage, the specialized years, typically ages 13-15, the athletes decrease their involvement in other extracurricular activities and focus on one or two sports due to the development of talent and positive value associated with the sport(s) ( Côté & Hay, 2002). Finally, the investment years, beginning at age 16, are when the athletes pursue deliberate practice and competition. A small percentage of these adolescent athletes in the investment years then transition from playing high school or travel sport to elite sport competition in college or professional leagues

To begin to understand the phenomenon of sport specialization, an individual must first understand the concept of socialization and how it affects sport participation. According to Coakley (2009) socialization is “the process of learning and social development which occurs, as well as interacts with one another and become acquainted with the social world in which we live” (p. 90). In other words, humans socialize, gain knowledge and insight, and experience different thoughts, beliefs, and cultures all by interactions with one another. For socialization, it is important to not only recognize the individuals involved, but also the context and the result from that socialization.

Sport is one of the most prevalent contexts for socialization. Sports allows for interactions between athletes and their peers, athletes and coaches and or parents, parents and coaches, and parents and other parents. However, all of sport socialization centers around the athlete; athletes are influenced by the agents of socialization or those closest to them, typically parents, family, coaches, and peers (Coakley, 2009). These agents of socialization all influence the athlete to inherently connect, learn, and share their attitudes, values, and beliefs (Coakley, 2009). In other words, sports provide a platform for role learning. Particularly, young athletes are given opportunities through sport to learn about relationships inside and outside of that sport context, learn to think for themselves, as well as part of a team, and acquire proper societal behaviors ( Quarterman, & Thibault, 2007).

Coaching Strategy

Coaching in the participation domain is the act of coaching participants that are less intensely engaged in sport than performance orientated athletes. This form of coaching is a popular activity occurring in community settings such as schools or sport clubs, and it is often undertaken with a broad range of social and health outcomes in mind. The experiences and practices of the large army of "community coaches" have been under-explored in comparison to those of elite performance coaches who focus on competitive success and dominate much academic research. This study focuses on the little known world of the community coach. Drawing on the philosophy of phenomenologists such as Husserl, and in particular the methodology of Van Manen, the study explored the lived experiences of a single case study community coach. Derived from semi-structured interviews and in keeping with Van Manen's methodology, findings are presented in a narrative format. The narrative describes the "life world" of the coach and seeks to identify the "essential features" of community coaching in this case. Specifically, the narrative illustrates a dichotomy in the life world of the coach; between a frenetic practical delivery mode visible in the public arena and a "hidden" largely unknown, private world used predominantly for planning and organizing. For this case study coach, the essence of community coaching lay in two complementary activities; planning and then delivering fun based activities that achieved social, health and sporting outcomes. Additionally, interacting with others, such as parents, careers and teachers was identified as an essential feature of this coach's experience (Armour, 2015).

Characteristics of Effective Coaches

Effective coaches have a solid understanding of research-based instructional practices and/or system dynamics. They are effective relationship builders and spend the majority of time with teachers, directly improving instruction. They are skilled communicators with a repertoire of excellent communication skills that enable them to empathize, listen, and build trusting relationships (Knight, 2008). Good coaches know how to break down a performance into critical individual components (Gawande, 2011). Coaches are leaders, but should never be placed in an evaluative position with respect to their colleagues.

Effective Coaching Cycles

Coaching is a form of highly targeted professional learning (International Literacy Association, 2006). Effective models vary, but include reflective and non-evaluative methods for:

- continuous support, communication, and collaboration;
- ongoing quality professional development embedded in daily practice;
- data analysis, interpretation, and action;
- collaborative, reflective practice;
- collective problem solving; · relationship building; and
- collegial conversations about instructional practices and systemic change.

Clearly Defined Roles, Responsibilities, and Relationships

In effective coaching systems, roles, responsibilities, and goals are clearly defined and articulated. Effective coaches are educators who serve in a leadership role (not an evaluative role) primarily facilitating school reform and improving teacher quality (Killion and 2009). They help develop capacity for educators to instruct and implement initiatives. As stated by the International Literacy Association (2006), this work may include providing leadership in school-based initiatives, and designing and implementing professional development by:

- facilitating inquiry-based collaboration in professional learning communities;
- collaboratively observing and examining instructional practice;
- promoting instructional reform, providing current research, and supporting methods for implementation;
- improving data literacy and data-based decision making;
- supporting teachers through demonstrations, co-teaching, observations, debriefs, and follow-ups; and
- being embedded in instructional practice contexts.

Huguet, Marsh, and Farrell (2014) found that key coaching practices help build educator capacity; these practices include dialogue, questioning, modeling, observation, and feedback. Lesson study, instructional rounds (City, Elmore, Fiarman, and Teitel (2010) and collaborative inquiry (Ontario Schools, 2014), with student data and instructional data are just a few highleverage methods coaches may apply, with educators, to improve teaching and learning (see additional resources in appendix). Throughout the partnership learning process and reflective conversations, coaches maintain confidentiality. Educator choice and voice are essential components of the coaching cycle and are honored throughout the partnership (Bryan, and Clifton, 2012).

METHODOLOGY

Research Design

A qualitative research design was used for this study. “Qualitative research begins with assumptions and the use of interpretive/theoretical frameworks that inform the study of research problems addressing the meaning individuals or groups ascribe to a social or human problem” (Creswell, 2012). When conducting qualitative research, the researcher must identify his or her epistemology, theoretical perspective, methodology, and methods (Crotty, 1998).

The nature of this study was investigative. The present study operates from a constructivist epistemology, suggesting that truth or meaning is constructed through the interaction between a person and his or her social environment (Crotty, 1998). That is, the research sought evidence of how individual coaches construct meaning from their experiences of the games.

Qualitative research is often more practicable when budgets are small and sample sizes are restricted. If a large number of participants cannot be secured for a quantitative study, the few available participants can be better understood with in-depth interviews.

The data collected in this study were phenomenological in nature. Phenomenology falls under the larger theoretical perspective of Interpretivism (Crotty, 1998). In the data collection process the athletes’ described their lived experiences of the games. The researcher recognizes that the individual realities of these coaches are constructed through their lived experiences and interactions with others.

The Participants

The respondents of the study was the sport coaches in the university with five years experiences and above. Interviews was conducted to five coaches working with the university.

Procedure

Coaches was chosen in such a way that there was a large variation in type of sports, age and sex of the sports coach, as well as experience in training. The sports coaches was contacted and asked whether they were willing to participate in the interview. They were asked to give informed consent on the understanding that they had the right to leave the study at any point in time without giving a reason, that the interviews would be tape-recorded and that their anonymity was guaranteed. The interviews was conducted by the researcher himself and lasted between 15 to 20 minutes. The interviews took place at the interviewee's preferred location.

Interview guide

Semi-structured interviews was conducted with the sports coaches. The interviews started with background questions addressing the training experience of the sports coaches, the composition of the teams they trained and their pedagogical background. These background questions was followed by three blocks of questions based on the coaching literature (Trudel & Forneris, T. (2012).

These three blocks aimed to (1) explore the philosophy of the sports coaches when they provided training; (2) question more practically how the sports coaches provided training; and (3) explore how they adapted their training.

Semi-Structured Interview Protocol

1. What were your experiences in sport games?
2. Tell me about your preparations for the regional games?
3. As coach, what would you say contributed to the most to your success?
4. Were there any challenges you had to overcome?
5. Were there any critical moments?
6. Did winning change you?

Data analysis

The interview recordings was transcribed verbatim style and then coded and analyzed using software for qualitative data analysis. In order to ensure anonymity, all the participants was assigned pseudonyms. A thematic analysis was conducted following the guidelines by Braun & Clarke (2006), which distinguished six phases in thematic analysis starting with familiarizing oneself with the data and generating initial codes. The initial coding was conducted by the researcher. A deductive approach was used for the analysis.

Sample

Phenomenological studies typically involve the recruitment of a small purposeful sample that facilitates in-depth reflective and idiographic accounts of experience (Finlay, 2009). Consistent with this convention, and following institutional ethical approval and informed consent, five participants were recruited. All five coaches were engaged in youth performance coaching at the time of the study. They volunteered to be participants by responding to a call to share their experiences over a period of two (2) weeks.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Respondent No. 1 (in her 50s) is a practicing coach in athletics. She has a wealth of experience including coaching athletes in universities and competitions. She has also been an athlete during her college days. She said, lack of sports equipment’s were the major problems during the athletes training.

She describes how her coaching life world includes activities at home such as reviewing athlete-training diaries; I looked through training diaries in my own time. I made more work for myself by doing that, but coaching is my passion as well as my job? I did view it as a job even though I was not being paid. I wanted to coach as best I could. I do think though as a female coach with children you are making a bit of a rod for your own back. I felt guilty for looking at athletes’ training diaries when I should have been cooking supper.

Respondent No. 2 (soon to turn 60), describes himself as an old school, ‘classically educated’ coach. This refers to his training and years of practice as a combative coach and physical educator. Alongside this role and during his years of teaching, he has coached young (14 years upwards) athletes in combative events for 20 years. In the past, some of his athletes have performed at the highest levels of national and international competitions. He narrated, as coach you need to give financial assistance to athletes during the duration of their trainings. He further narrated, No recognition and rewards were given to coaches who give honor and recognition to the university.

Respondent No. 3 said, I see myself as the last of the old brigade. I am the last of the coaches that were trained as PE teachers in the good old days. When PE teachers were trained at teacher training college and the four year course was very practical and we were taught how to teach PE. If you look at the history of most sports that were steeped in amateurism. The great coaches were PE teachers. I see myself as the end of that, and I have to pass on my experience and my knowledge to as many coaches as possible.”

Respondent No 4

I can honestly say being a PE teacher is a big advantage. When I was a PE teacher I planned every day. I looked at people perform right in front of my eyes. I developed a coach’s eye. I reflected on how well they are doing as they were doing it. I had five lessons a day. So there were five coaching sessions a day where I honed my art as a person that gives instructions based upon what I saw. It is an advantage to be a PE teacher because you are honing your art five times a day before you do a coaching session in the evening. Some of the best coaches in any sport have been trained as PE teachers, and that’s what helped them become expert coaches.

Respondent No.5

Taking athletes for training is a very stressful time because there is too much reflection. There is too much time on your hands for athlete and coach to talk. When a training session hasn’t been as great, you can talk yourself into a crisis. You are probably sharing the same accommodation, so you have instant reflection and it lasts all bloody day. In fact, most breakdowns between coach and athlete relationships happen when you are away to trained athletes. I always put a health warning on weather training when I talk to other coaches.

Given the extent that coaches are involved in caring for athletes, and caring about their world, it seems imperative that care is acknowledged as an essential constituent of athletes performance coaching. Care is so embedded in the experiences of these coaches that it should not be perceived as an additional skill or act that they perform. For these coaches, to coach without care (for and about), is not to be a coach at all. Indeed, care is an implicit ontological essence of coaching and future research may find much value in exploring the work of Heidegger and considering how coaches care

Table 1. Coaches Profile

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table 2. Challenges Experienced by Coaches

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Conclusion

Using the phenomenological tenet that those best placed to elucidate a phenomenon are those that experience it, this study sought to explore the lived experiences of coaches of various sports event in the university. The study builds on a growing body of qualitative accounts that have analyzed incidents of coaching, and some work that has moved beyond incidents of coaching to the essence of being a coach. The study adds to this literature by identifying coaching as a caring act, which aspires to educate young people through a commitment to the development of sports excellence.

Recommendations

1. Provision of cottage for coaches.
2. Incentive allowance must be given to sport coaches
3. Attendance of coaches to continuing professional development.
4. Coach educators must be provided with a range of learning resources and mentoring opportunities, and

5. Empower the coaches to experience and benefit from a strong sports culture, and facilitates the creation of a self-sustaining sports eco-system that makes sport affordable, enjoyable and sustainable for all who wish to play and equally for those who wish to improve and thereby excel at sport.

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17 of 17 pages

Details

Title
The Lived Experiences of Coaches of Various Sports Events in the University. Basis for Sports Enhancement Program
Course
Graduate School
Grade
Tertiary Level
Author
Year
2020
Pages
17
Catalog Number
V889113
Language
English
Notes
The author was coach in combative sports for 25 years. He received numerous awards in research such as Best Paper and Best Presenter. He published several research papers in several international referred journals. Moreover, he is the Editor in Chief of one international journal.
Tags
Lived Experiences, Sports Enhancement Program, Coaches
Quote paper
Dr. Wilfredo Nicolas (Author), 2020, The Lived Experiences of Coaches of Various Sports Events in the University. Basis for Sports Enhancement Program, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/889113

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