A leadership discovery : enhancing Finnish youth football coaches' effectiveness through the Transformer Research Project
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It is well established that coaches benefit from coaching development programs (Côté & Turnnidge, 2017). Research reflects the strength that Transformational Leadership (TFL) theory holds great promise when embedded in the youth sport setting. Collaboration between researchers, communal sport organizers, and national sport policy makers represents an intriguing, yet marginal aim throughout the literature to effect coaches’ interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge domains (Lefebvre et al., 2016). Thus, the Transformer Research Project’s purpose was to fill the gap — through planning, implementing, describing, and evaluating a pilot leadership program within the Finnish youth football context — that included a series of interviews, observations, feedback sessions, journaling, and one workshop. Action research was chosen due to its semi-controlled and socially suitable construct aligning well with the coaching experience. Used to promote knowledge growth in a cyclical fashion, coaches implemented various action goals reflecting interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge, skills, and behaviors. Data collection process included ten interviews, five feedback sessions, fifteen observations, and rigorous journaling. Thematic content analysis revealed emerging themes that were valuable to display how coaches manifested their transformational behaviors into their coaching ‘practices’, and was effective to track their frequencies of transformational behaviors. In addition, as action research serves a greater purpose to test the workability of a given project (e.g. Rovio et al., 2012), this brought forth new knowledge pertaining to coaching developmental programs primarily rooted from a researcher’s orientation. Goal setting routines were found to be important for engaging coaches with the research material. Stakeholder (communal and institutional) involvement was seen to reduce perceived barriers to implement transformational behaviors. The findings all contributed to building criteria for more explorative studies which seek to understand how coaches create transformational coaching environments. Notable opportunities to improve the program reflect a greater need for stakeholder involvement, and empirically driven measures which may include athletes as part of the study. Keywords: action research, transformational leadership, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, coaching development programs, positive youth development, coaching effectiveness, athlete development. ...
action research transformational leadership interpersonal and intrapersonal communication skills coaching development programs positive youth development coaching effectiveness athlete development valmennus urheilijat urheilu psyykkinen valmennus valmennusmenetelmät coaching athletes sports psychological coaching coaching methods
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