Enchancing coaches' professional development through a goal setting program : an action research cross-case study
Erkina Elena, Kiens Kristel, 2013. Enhancing Coaches’ Professional Development Through a Goal Setting Program: An Action Research Cross-Case Study. Master’s Thesis in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Department of Sport Sciences, University of Jyväskylä. 115 p. Lack of knowledge and practical training are some of the main barriers for coaches not to use mental training in their everyday practice. Educational programs for coaches should include relevant topics and hands-on experiences to increase motivation in further education. Goal setting as a mental training technique is associated with positive outcomes, e.g., enhanced performance and mood, increased team cohesion and self- confidence. Thus, goal setting as a mental training technique is relevant and should be included in coaches’ education. In spite of extensive theoretical knowledge on goal setting in sport there is a gap in disseminating this knowledge to sport practitioners. Therefore, the study served two purposes. Firstly, to develop a goal setting program and evaluate its applicability from the coaches’ perspective. Secondly, to evaluate the process of educational workshops in order to make improvements to the goal setting program as well as providing information on coaches’ education. Action research approach was adopted and cross- case analysis on interventions with two coaches of team sports was conducted. Results of the study confirmed the applicability of the developed goal setting program in a team setting in basketball and football. During the educational process, action research method was adopted. According to this approach, continuous cycles of reflection, planning and action allowed to consider coaches’ needs and adapt to their learning styles. Dynamic learning environment that combined introducing the theory with discussions and practical exercises was evaluated positively by the coaches. Therefore, the results of the study support the practical approach in coaches’ education that takes into account coaches experiences and their needs. The goal setting program was applied only in two sports, hence, future studies could be aimed at validating the program in different sports. ...
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