Youth sport coaches’ perceptions of participating in the Transformational Coaching Workshop - A qualitative study


Transformational leadership in sports is generally associated with positive athlete outcomes. The Transformational Coaching Workshop (TCW; Turnnidge & Côté, 2017) was developed as a person-oriented program to enhance youth sport experiences. However, evidence of coaches’ perceptions of the workshop and how it may be improved is lacking. This study investigated coaches' perceptions of the TCW, its outcomes and applications, and areas for improvement. Youth handball coaches were interviewed immediately (n = 10) and 6 months (n = 5) after participating in the TCW, and the club`s sporting director was interviewed at 6-month following the workshop. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim, and data were analysed using a reflexive thematic analysis. Overall, the workshop was well received by the coaches, highlighting the importance of a coach development program on the interpersonal aspect of coaching, and pinpointing relevant and practical examples and interactive learning experiences as effective components of the workshop. Furthermore, the workshop made the coaches more confident in their approach to leadership and provided tools and ideas for implementing transformational leadership in their daily coaching practices. It was also perceived to lead to actual behaviour changes, including challenging the players to take more responsibilities and fostering more frequent informal interactions and counselling with them. However, to ensure the long-term sustainability of the TCW, additional follow-up activities such as seminars, colleague observations, and club involvement were recommended. In conclusion, this study contributes to the existing literature on the potential efficacy of the TCW while identifying areas for further improvement.