#coachlearninginsport: coach education at ICCE



This is a fifth #coachlearninginsport post on Clyde Street.
My first post in this series discussed my thoughts on learning experience design. This leads, I think, to discussions about forms of coach education and accreditation.
Chris Trevitt, Anne Macduff and Aliya Steed (2014) introduced me to the concept of ‘warrant’ in the context of “high stakes summative assessment, and providing evidence of achievement” (2014:69). Their experiences of using [e]portfolios helped me think about the role of the educator in this assessment process.
There is a tantalising line in their paper “successful change starts and ends at the individual level … even if … an entire organisation does not change until each member has changed” (2014:77).
I see this personal learning and system interaction as a vital conversation to have in coach learning design and support.
The 10th ICCE Global Coach Conference is to be held in Finland in August 2015. I thought I would look at papers to be presented there as a focus for this interaction. I hope it follow on from the discussion of two papers in this post.

ICCE Abstracts

I am delighted the ICCE conference website shares abstracts that have been accepted. I am unable to attend the conference so this is an excellent asynchronous resource for me.
In alphabetical rather than theme order, the papers that triggered my interest were:
Justine Allen and Colleen Reid will be discussing an AAM Women in Coaching Programme. Coaches in the programme:

have been supported through a range of activities including developing action plans, regular 1 to 1 mentoring, continued professional development workshops and opportunities, self and player assessment, and observation and feedback on their coaching practice.

Paul Appleton and Joan Duda will be reporting on their work on empowering coaches.
Jorge Baptista is presenting on coach certification processes in Portugal. I am reading into his abstract that he will be discussing the interaction of vocational, sport specific and academic contexts with coaching practice. (“The real challenge is to create learning experiences grounded in situated knowledge of coach practice.”)
Alexander Blackett, Adam Evans and Dave Piggott will be looking at how elite athletes in rugby union (15) and football (5) negotiate their pathways into a coaching career. I am particularly interested in their observations about these coaches’ choice of informal mentors (in preference to the formal mentors assigned to them). They were “personal contacts formed during their own competitive playing career” and “were sought on the basis of trust and a shared playing philosophy having already been established”.
Emma Boocock, David Piggott and Gareth Morgan have a paper that discusses coach education for elite football academy coaches. They will discuss “what aspects of the Elite Coach Apprenticeship Scheme program is working for whom, in what circumstances and why”. They note a “significant disconnect between the specific programme outcomes and the mechanisms imposed on the programme”.
Julia Castro, a colleague of Jorge Baptista, is exploring an action research approach to coach education in Portugal. I would be interested to learn more about her thoughts on coaches’ co-creation of meaning in practical settings. I have a long-standing interest in hermeneutics.
Liping Chen is going to review fifteen years of coach education in China.
Diane Culver, Penny Werthner, Pierre Trudel and Rachael Bartram have a paper that will look at a learning facilitator role in constructivist approach to coach education. They observe “Depending on their biography, some learning facilitators were very comfortable with handling the disparate learners in a workshop while others found this very difficult”.
Chris Cushion and Mark Partington will be sharing their research on supporting coaches’ reflection and practice prompted by video feedback. They report a longitudinal study with five coaches over three football seasons. They note:

The data suggested that reflection, using technology alongside opportunities to discuss their practice in light of the data, was a key strategy to enable coaches’ beliefs and dispositions to be made explicit.

Guylaine Demers and Andrea Woodburn will be discussing the development of a digital environment to support an undergraduate coach education program in two papers (the other paper is here). Kristen Dieffenbach and her colleagues add another North American perspective to digital environments with their discussion of online learning opportunities for NCAA coaches. I wonder if these papers sit within Tiago Duarte, Rachael Bertram, and Diane Culver’s research on landscape perspectives for coach development.
Andrew Eade will be talking about Sport NZ’s Coach Developer Training Programme. This programme “was developed to meet a clearly identified need – to improve the quality of training provided to the people who develop our coaches across the sector”. I am interested in Andrew’s observations about action learning within the delivery of the programme. Each coach developer is mentored for twelve months “as part of a shared commitment to continuous learning”.
Coach development is the topic of Ophelia Jeanneret’s paper too. She has used a life history approach to her study of two coach developers to consider long term pathways.
Petra Kolic and her colleagues are presenting an evaluation of high performance coach education in the United Kingdom. Their paper reports a three-year study of the UKCCL4 award that “aims to shed light on the perceived value of formal coach education”.
Two presenters, Frauke Kubischta and Marko Pykälä, from the Conference host country, Finland, will be talking about a coach education framework for the International Ice Hockey Federation. Their work has identified core competencies for each level of coaching award. Their approach includes supporting coaches’ personal long-term development. Teemu Lehmusto will be looking at competencies in Finland too. The focus of this paper is vocational coach education. There is a strong point being made in this paper about coach retention. Jouko Lukkarila and colleagues provide another perspective on Finnish coach education in their paper on the problem and competence approaches at the Lapland University of Applied Sciences.
Jordan Lefebvre and his colleagues will discuss a typology of coach development programs. They suggest by:reflecting on existing content from academic and grey literature, this typology provides unified terminology for describing Coach Development Programs across domains. From a practical standpoint, this will help coach educators to prioritize distinct areas of coach development, and will help researchers to consider development areas that have limited empirical support.
Tao Meng is going to speak about Wushu coaches and the art of teaching. I think this paper will raise some fascinating issues about personal learning and pedagogy from a cultural context not discussed often in the literature.
Joan Merrilees and her colleagues at the University of Otago will be sharing their case study of becoming elite coaches. They present evidence from their work with three women coaches with 60 years of combined coaching experience. Joan and her colleagues use a landscape of practice approach too (see Tiago Duarte and colleagues above).
Teksum Nordli , D. Nilsen and T Sigurjonsson will provide an overview of coach education in Norway. They report that in 2011, “all Norwegian sport federations agreed to a common direction for coach education and a common framework was developed”. Teksum’s university, Hedmark University College, has worked closely with national sporting organisations to deliver a Bachelor of Sports Coaching qualification “that is both research – and practice-based”.
Sergio Lara-Bercial and Julian North will present a preliminary report of the European CoachLearn project. “The project seeks to enhance sport coaches’ learning, mobility and employment through the development of a European Sport Coaching Framework and associated research data and implementation and dissemination tools.”
Jakob Ovesen will speak about Level 4 elite coach education in Denmark. He will report on changes to the structure of the course and mentions efforts to reduce efforts to reduce dropout rates in the course.
David Piggott and Sergio Lara-Bercial will consider curriculum design issues. David and Sergio conceive curriculum design as involving three sequential steps “1) developing a tactical, technical mental model of a sport; 2) developing a performance model; and, based on steps 1 and 2, 3) deriving an age/stage curriculum”. They will exemplify their approach with examples from two basketball programmes in England.
Pulmu Puonti’s paper will discuss group mentoring as a tool for coach development. The context for this discussion is a gymnastics club in Finland. Paul Schempp and his colleagues will add to the discussion of mentors with their paper. They will present data from their study of 313 coaches.
Angus Ryrie and his colleagues have undergraduate students as their focus. They will present a model that encourages and supports self-directed learning and informal learning in a community of practice.


Despite my passionate interest in coach education and learning, I have not attended any of the ten ICCE global conferences to date. In the early years of the organisation, colleagues with specific organisational responsibilities for coaching attended and I learned of the conferences through them.
I am delighted that there is such a good website for this year’s conference. I see the open sharing of abstracts as a great way to move to a flipped conference. I am hopeful that many of the presentations will become available too as open resources.
The flipping is vital, I think, to hear voices from different cultures and to do so from people whose first language is not English. The abstract provide a rich mix of cultures and approaches.
I wonder how I might translate ‘warrant’ in such a mix of cultures and landscapes. I do see this as an important discussion to have in an inclusive conversation about #coachlearninginsport.
I imagine that the papers I have mentioned and the many others I have not referenced will provide great topics in the long evenings in Vierumaki next month.

Photo Credit

Coach’s Advice (obaxterlovo, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Helsinki University (Klaus Wagensonner, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
My melody (Patrik Jones, CC BY 2.0)
We two together (Candida.Performa, CC BY 2.0)


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