Dr. Pierre Trudel & Dr. Diane Culver, Guest Editors

University of Ottawa, Canada

 

Dr. Juris Grants, Editor

Latvian Academy of Sport Education, Latvia

 

Welcome to this special issue of LASE Journal of Sport Science on “sport coaches’ development”. In April 2017, the Baltic Sport Science Society (BSSS) held in Riga, Latvia, its 10th Baltic Sport Science Conference “Multiplicity of Sport Science in Practice”. I (Pierre Trudel) was invited to make a presentation whose title was “Sport coaches’ development: It is time to be creative and innovative”. During my stay in Latvia, I had the chance to talk with several researchers and graduate students about the training of sports coaches. In a discussion with Dr. Juris Grants, editor of the LASE Journal of Sport Science, I mentioned that there is currently a fad on the part of researchers regarding the topic of sport coaches’ development. We therefore agreed that it would be appropriate to continue sharing knowledge by publishing a special issue and I accepted to be a guest editor.

I asked my colleague Dr. Diane Culver to join me in this adventure. Together we agreed that, instead of having a call for papers, we would solicit specific colleagues with the knowledge of what they might contribute. In this way, it would be lead to a common thread between the articles and thus continue the discussion that begun at the conference. Each article went through a review process. The editors made a first reading to ensure the rigor and that the link with the development of coaches was evident. Subsequently, the article was evaluated by other researchers, the authors made the suggested / needed changes and then returned their article to the editors for final proofreading. When possible, we asked the authors to extend their review of literature so that readers might access the work of several of the key researchers in the coach development/learning field. The special issue includes a short introduction, three original research articles, two review articles and two short communication articles. 

In the first article, Milistetd and colleagues provide an overview of the main learning episodes of sport coaches’ development and the roles played by different people to support and facilitate their learning. Especially for high performance coaches, they suggest the introduction of a new actor, the ‘Personal Learning Coach’ (PLC). Subsequently, they present the key principles and characteristics of narrative coaching, a relatively new personal coaching approach. This is followed by an example illustrating the procedure and content of 23 weeks of narrative coaching with a tennis coach. 

In the second article, Rodrigue and Trudel present reflective cards (r-cards) as a tool to help coaches to reflect on their coaching. After a brief review of literature on reflective cards, they provide information on how a coach (Rodrigue) has developed and adapted r-cards to his coaching context and how he has used them to reflect on 46 events (games and practices). They conclude by discussing the benefits and challenges of using r-cards.

In the third article, Mouchet and Maso discuss the limitations of actual approaches employed to help coaches to reflect on their practice.  They argue that psychophenomenology and ‘explicitation interviews’ as promoted in France by Vermersch (1994, 2012), can offer new perspectives and opportunities for coach education by developing the analysis of the subjective lived experience. Following a ‘spiral training approach’, the researchers worked with eight elite rugby coaches on their half-time speeches.

The fourth and fifth articles are review articles. Duarte and colleagues introduce the reader to the disability sport context in Canada and provide an overview of recent studies that have examined Parasport coach development from the perspectives of coaches in this country. Their paper ends with recommendations for Parasport coach developers. Roy and colleagues, using a deep review of literature, provide definitions and models related to planning and monitoring athletes’ training. Then they present the results of a case study on coaches’ experience of participating in workshops that teach how to plan athletes’ training. They conclude their article suggesting an approach to teaching planning and training that is based on reflective practice and critical thinking.

The last two articles are short communication articles by Cardinal and Isidori. Cardinal provides a discussion on ‘how to teach techniques and tactics in team sports’. Isidori presents a book review, Sports Psychology: Theory and Practice by Agita Ābele.