Mentoring in coach education: Defining the characteristics of mentoring relationships


The process of mentoring is well developed in many environments such as business and education, but is still being explored within the world of sport coaching (Jones et al., 2009). In this study, the characteristics of mentoring were explored through observation and interviews with three hockey coaches who are members of the National Coach Mentorship Program, with the purpose of discovering what characteristics are present in mentor coaches and the ideal aspects of mentoring relationships in coaching. The three main themes that emerged from the data were mentoring characteristics (technical and personal), sources of coaching knowledge (tangible and intangible) and the mentorship experience (ideal experience and identified barriers). The results of the study recognize knowledge of the game, approachability and communication as key characteristics of a mentor, and acknowledge that the ideal mentoring relationship allows for observation and questions from the mentor who provides the protégé with information to enhance the decision making process. A mentoring model of coaching is proposed based on the coaching model (Côté et al., 1995).