A Coach-as-Mentor model for Sports-Based Youth Development

John McCarthy, Boston University, USA

Theme: Professional development and mentoring

Program ID: SYM-03

Presentation: October 2, 2013 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Room: Jasperwood


Although national standards for coaching exist that guide the behavior of the coaches of youth sport (NASPE Standards, 2012), at the present, coaching youth sport in the U.S. can at best be described as disparate in aims, approaches and delivery methods. Unfortunately, in many settings the de facto “mindset” of these adult-sponsored youth sport programs mimics “the professional model” (Lombardo, 1987). Too often, coaches fall prey to a win-at-all-costs mentality and their approaches are decidedly “coach centered” (Cassidy, Jones, & Potrac, 2009). But it is well documented that sport can be a powerful site to learn important life lessons when coaches create a climate conducive to coach-athlete collaboration (Karcher & Nukkala, 2011; U.N. Sport for Development and Peace, 2010). The emergence of a network of sport-based-youth-development (SBYD) organizations made a clear call for an alternative model for the coaches in their programs. The developmentally sensitive and “athlete-centered” (Kidman & Lombardo, 2010) coach-as-mentor model was designed for a nationwide SBYD program serving under-resourced communities. Drawing from what is known from the field of mentoring (Karcher & Nukkala, 2011) and effective coaching (Jones, 2009), this model redefines the role of coach as educator and social pedagogue. This portion of the symposium describes: 1. The core elements of the Coach-as-Mentor model, 2. How we aided coaches in developing their own interactional style and approach that is authentic to them, and 3. How we aspired to assist coaches to be able to forge educational and transformational coach-player relationships.

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