Challenges Faced By Youth Hockey Coaches

Adam Naylor, Boston University, USA
Ira Martin, Boston University, USA
Kelly Madden, Boston University, USA

Theme: Youth sport

Poster Number: 73

Program ID: POS-1

Presentation: October 3, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


Coaches are central to the youth and adolescent athlete experience. They impact participation motivation and player development. Youth sport organizations have spent much time deciding what coaches need to know in order to teach sport skills and impact young athletes. Less time has been spent striving to understand the challenges that are most concerning to coaches themselves. Recent research has shown that it is important to consider the various stresses that face volunteer coaches (Martin & Naylor, 2013). This current study asked 453 youth hockey coaches to discuss what they found most challenging in their coaching lives. A grounded theory analysis revealed four social factors (coach, athlete, parent, and organization) and four dimensions of challenge (logistics, expertise, psychological, and philosophical) that shape the experiences of volunteer coaches. These findings provide insights into where sports organizations can invest additional time and resources in order to most adequately support youth sport coaches. Learning more about and addressing such challenges can shape coach retention, athlete satisfaction, and player development.

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