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  • Writer's pictureSarah McQuade

Sharing insights about the integration of sport psychology into Coach Education

Sarah was proud to have been asked by Dr Kristen Dieffenbach to join her 5 in 5 presentation team to deliver at the recent AASP (Association for Applied Sport Psychology) 30th Annual Conference in Indianapolis.

Dr Dieffenbach and the team were asked to share how sport psychology had been integrated into coach education within different domains. Each presenter was given the challenge to share key insights in 5 slides in 5 minutes, hence the 5 in 5 concept.

The team of presenters individually and collectively bring significant national and international expertise. The team and their 5 in 5 are:

  • Lindsay Blom (Ball State University) focused on youth sport in developing countries

  • Gordon Bloom (McGill University) explored coach learning and development in para sport

  • Melissa Thompson (University of Southern Mississippi) reviewed morals and values as a foundation for coaching

  • Göran Kenttä (The Swedish School of Sport & Health Science) explored self compassion in coaching

  • Larry Lauer (USTA) shared how mental skills training had been integrated in high performance tennis

  • Sarah McQuade (USA Football) reflected on the integration of sport psychology into coach education in terms of what to integrate and how to deliver it.

The five key messages Sarah chose to focus on centred on were:

1. Coach education should develop wider skills and knowledge, not just the x’s and o’s.

2. Sport psychology can be integrated within interpersonal and intrapersonal areas as well as into the professional piece

3. Where/ how this is integrated in the education of coaches should be influenced by the age/ stage at which the coach is working and the roles they are performing

4. Coach education should teach coaches how to coach first not how to play the sport. Coach developers and coaches need to wear the right hats.

5. How courses are delivered is critical. Coach education like formal education is sometimes guilty of adopting an instructor centred approach. Adults need to be involved, engaged, respected, stretched, supported and empowered. Facilitated learning needs to become more of the norm as opposed to the exception.

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