The use of behaviour change theories and techniques in coach development programmes: A systematic review


Coaches have long been recognized as an important target for intervention in the context of athletes' physical and psychosocial development, injury prevention, and health promotion. While coach development programmes (CDPs) are an important means of changing coach behaviour to enhance such outcomes, little is known about the theoretical foundation and techniques used to design and implement effective programmes. Examining the use of behaviour change theories and techniques (BCTs) can aid in understanding and improving the design of CDPs. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review of CDPs, using PRISMA guidelines, to examine the use of behaviour change theories and techniques in programme design and implementation. Following the initial search and article screening, 24 CDPs met the criteria for inclusion. Data were extracted using the Theory Coding Scheme and Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy (v 1). Only 6 CDPs were explicitly based on behaviour change theory; among these, no single theory or a combination of theories was used more than once. All 24 CDPs used at least one BCT (range = 1-9, M = 3.83, SD = 1.74), and a t-test revealed no significant difference in the number of BCTs used in theory-based and non-theory-based CDPs. Theoretical frameworks and techniques that have the potential to effectively change coach behaviours are not being used frequently or consistently in the design and implementation of CDPs. In order to design CDPs that change coach behaviours and facilitate positive outcomes, further research examining theoretical influences on coach behaviours is needed.