Impact of the coaching for life skills program on coaches' ability to teach life skills through sport


The study's purpose was to evaluate the impact of a coach education program on high school coaches' perceived ability to teach life skills through sport. The Coaching for Life Skills program was created in partnership with School Sport Canada and delivered as three-hour workshops, during which a 20-page life skills manual was provided to the participants. The lead investigator on the project served as the learning facilitator for the workshops, delivered in-person on six occasions at two locations: (a) Gatineau (three workshops in French) and (b) Edmonton (three workshops in English). A total of 67 high school coaches took part in the workshops (n = 32 Gatineau; n = 35 Edmonton). Qualitative evaluation data were collected four-eight weeks post-program through individual interviews with 10 individuals (5 males, 5 females) who took part in a workshop in Gatineau (n = 5) or Edmonton (n = 5). The coaches were on average 36.6 years of age (SD = 11.33) and had an average of 8.6 years (SD = 6.22) of high school coaching experience. Findings from an inductive thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) indicate that the participants believed the program increased their awareness of and ability to intentionally teach life skills through sport. Additionally, the participants shared concrete examples of how they integrated the life skills strategies outlined in the program in their everyday coaching. During the presentation, further findings will be provided to highlight the many benefits that can be attained from a short-duration life skills training program for coaches.

Acknowledgments: This research was supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council