What a coach wants: Coaches' use of online sport psychology resources


Despite the plethora of research on the effectiveness of psychological skills for enhancing sport performance, coaches feel that this knowledge is not easily accessible (Pope et al., in press). This study was designed to investigate this knowledge translation gap, with a focus on coaches' current and planned use of online sport psychology resources. In particular, we examined how coaches of children/youth athletes differed from coaches of adult athletes in their current and anticipated use of online sport psychology resources, and the website features they preferred. Participants (N = 253) included a heterogeneous sample that coached children/youth (n = 141) and adult (n = 109) athletes. The study findings from ANOVA tests indicated a significant difference in how often coaches of athletes of different ages currently obtain (F(1, 231) = 17.91, p < .001) and anticipate obtaining (F(1, 248) = 5.07, p < .05) information from existing online sport psychology resources, with children/youth coaches utilizing and intending to use these resources less frequently than adult coaches. Additionally, study findings indicated that of the various psychological skills, coaches of children/youth reported a significant greater desire to obtain information pertaining to motivation in comparison to coaches of adults. Other popular sport psychology skills amongst coaches of children/youth included; communication, team-building, focusing, goal-setting, and mental toughness. These findings provide support for the need to inform coaches (especially youth coaches) of the existence of credible online sport psychology resources. Furthermore, the study findings were used to help inform the development of an online sport psychology resource we are currently developing, in particular, the section designated for coaches of children and youth.