Brazilian university coaches' role in facilitating positive development through university sport


Throughout the last decades, several researchers have attempted to understand coaches' role in positive development (PD) within youth sport contexts such as competitive recreational sport. In recent years, coaches' role in fostering PD has been explored within the context of university sport. However, most research on university coaches has been conducted in the Canadian context, with minimal investigation of non-English speaking countries such as Brazil that is highly representative of university sport in Latin America. The purpose of this study was to understand Brazilian university coaches' perceptions about their role in facilitating PD. In total, 16 university coaches were sampled (14 male and 2 female) from all regions of Brazil. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews. Through a thematic analysis, three themes (coaching philosophy, coaching practice, challenges) and twelve subthemes emerged from the data. Coaches perceived university sport as a conducive platform for fostering both performance and PD outcomes, while noting that PD was their priority. Findings showed that teamwork and perseverance were identified as key PD outcomes. However, the coaches found it difficult to articulate PD strategies. Challenges while promoting PD included lack of time and the existence of a 'performance at all cost' mentality. The present study suggests the need for a higher level of reflection towards the current model of university sport in Brazil as more attention needs to be paid to PD-focused coach education programs.