Nicole Bolter, assistant professor in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Kinesiology, Laura Petranek, associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology, and Shelley M. Lucas, associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology, along with Emily Houghton, assistant professor at Fort Lewis College, presented their research for the Interdisciplinary Panel Presentation at the annual conference of the Western Society for the Physical Education of College Women on Nov 20-22 at Pacific Grove, Calif. Their presentation, titled “Coaching Education Needs in Youth Sport: An Interdisciplinary Approach,” outlined the need for coaching education in youth sport environments.
Community-based youth sport programs rely heavily on volunteer coaches, the majority of which do not receive formal education or training. To better understand this phenomenon, it was necessary for Bolter, Petranek, Lucas, and Houghton to assess the perceived value and need for coaching education in youth sport environments. Coaches, parents, and administrators are key decision-makers regarding children’s sport experiences and the researchers hypothesized that their views on coaching education might have shed light on why coaches are or are not educated.
The researchers believe it is essential to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to understand the complexities of the youth sport environment and the viability of implementing coaching education programs. Thus, the overall purpose of their study was to gather multiple perspectives of the perceived needs and value of coaching education in a youth sport community.
Youth sport coaches, parents, and administrators completed an online survey by quantitatively rating whether they agreed that coaching education should be required and qualitatively explaining why they agreed or disagreed. Survey results showed that the majority of participants (78.6 percent) agreed or strongly agreed coaching education should be required.