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|Professional development themes in strength and conditioning coaches
Bond, Kath A
|Tod D, Bond KA & Lavallee D (2012) Professional development themes in strength and conditioning coaches. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 26 (3), pp. 851-860. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e318225eed1
|The purpose of this study was to explore professional development themes in experienced strength and conditioning coaches. Strength and conditioning coaches (N = 15, mean age = 34.3 years, SD = 5.2 years) with 11.4 (SD = 4.9) years experience working with elite, professional, or talented athletes were interviewed about their professional development. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and content analyzed. Over time, subjects' service-delivery practices became more flexible and client driven. Their role understanding also broadened to include various dimensions, such as the need to consider various stakeholders and the value of good relationships with athletes. The subjects shifted from relying on external justification for professional decision making to their experience-based knowledge. The subjects believed athlete work experience, interactions with senior strength and conditioning coaches and other colleagues, the professional literature, and nonprofessional experiences, such as their own athletic experience and sales or managerial training, were the primary influences on their professional development. Typically, the subjects experienced anxiety about their competence, both early in their careers and when working in new contexts or with new athlete groups, but over time, they developed increased confidence. In addition, the subjects experienced reduced narcissism over time about the control they had over athletes and their competitive results. The current results provide information about the characteristics of effective strength and conditioning coaches, the ways they develop their competencies to help athletes, and the emotions they experience throughout their careers. These results may help strength and conditioning practitioners in planning and optimizing their professional development and effectiveness with athletes.
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