Planning, implementing and evaluating social and emotional skills course for coaches
ABSTRACT Antell, Sanna. 2015. Planning, implementing and evaluating social and emotional skills course for coaches. Master’s Thesis in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Department of Sport Sciences. University of Jyväskylä. 79 pages. Research on Social and Emotional Skills among sport coaches is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to plan, implement and evaluate a course in Social and Emotional Skills for sport coaches and instructors. The aim was to study the learning processes and the experiences of the participants. Traditionally coaches in martial arts lead with an authoritarian style; consequently the aim of this course was to show a different way of interacting with trainees, evoke discussion between coaches of different martial arts and to create a sense of awakening from the traditional methods of coaching. The course is based on Thomas Gordon’s Model of Human Relationships. The following skills are taught during the course: clear self-expression of thoughts and emotions by I-messages, Active Listening and Problem Solving Skills. This is a mixed method action research case study. Participants of this study were 11 coaches and instructors from different martial arts. The course consisted of three weekends, altogether 27 hours. Information was collected and analyzed from the observations as a teacher-researcher during the course, from film recording and feedbacks of the participants and analyzed with narrative analysis. The main finding of the study was that most of the participants perceived that the skills learned during this course were important for their work as instructors. The skills put emphasis on issues that they did not previously think about in a conscious way. Most of the participants developed from being reserved to openly express their thought and needs in the group. Participants also realized that social and emotional skills need practicing before one can implement them in ones daily life. From the observations as a teacher-researcher it could be noticed that the level of security in the group was essential when learning and doing the tasks of social and emotional skills. How the course is set up the course, is as well of major importance: some tasks can be heavier for the participants than others, and need lighter activities afterwards. Leader of the course needs also to have enough knowledge in social and emotional learning, and to be skilled to lead and limit the discussions in the group. This course acted mainly as an awakener for the coaches about new ways of communicating. Further research is needed to see how Social and Emotional Skills are implemented in the daily life of coaching in the long run. Techniques taught during this course are universal, so it would be important in the future to evaluate the suitability of implementing similar courses also in other sports than martial arts. KEY WORDS: social- and emotional skills, communication, coaching, coach, emotional intelligence ...
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