Developing coach education programs in football: the integration of a resilient coping and life skills development plan
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this thesis was to provide a context specific insight into how life skills and resilient coping behaviors could be developed through the medium of football. In study 1, a triangulation of experiences from players, coaches, parents, and teachers was sought through a series of focus groups. The findings highlighted that football can develop a range of life skills that contribute towards developing a resilient person, and emphasized that social interaction with a coach, along with a collaborative approach, were key to adolescents’ development of these skills. Building on these findings, Study 2 aimed to design, deliver, and evaluate a coach education intervention program that enabled coaches to integrate life skills development within their coaching sessions. The findings demonstrated an intervention effect on coaches’ knowledge of life skills and resilient behavior development. Further, an in-depth social validation process demonstrated that coaches were not only able to retain and apply the new knowledge acquired but that it had transformed their approach to coaching. The final study in this thesis culminated the exploration of the impact of the intervention program by evaluating the effectiveness of a coach in delivering sessions that promote life skills development from the perspective of his/her players. Through a combination of focus groups and the analysis of participants’ reflective logs, it emerged that the players had a sound understanding of the importance of life skills, and had been successful in transferring a number of them acquired through football to other environments. Overall, the thesis has provided conceptual and practical implications for coaches and NGB’s alike in the understanding, development, and integration of life skill development into coaching practice, training and development. As a result, young people’s capacity to thrive in life as well as sport can be enhanced.
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