Professional Pathways for Sports-Based Youth Development Coaches

Caitlin Barrett, Up2Us

Theme: Professional development and mentoring

Program ID: SYM-03

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

Room: Jasperwood


In the United States, the vast majority of the estimated 2.5-3 million youth sport coaches do not have formal training in the field (Gould, Krane, Giannini, & Hodge, 1990; Weiss & Hayashi, 1996). However, research has shown that the education coaches receive has an impact on the kind of interactions they have with youth and the experience of these participants in the sports activity (Barnett, Smoll, & Smith, 1992; Smith, Zane, Smoll, & Coppel, 1983; Smoll, Smith, Barnett, & Everett, 1993). This presentation will focus on the development of a national coaching corps whose goal it is to build a highly trained workforce of sports-based youth development professionals. These coaches are placed in non-profit organizations in underserved communities that provide physical activity, sports, health, and life skills programming for youth. Presenters will discuss how coaches are identified, trained, and supported throughout their terms of service, with special emphasis on professional development and mentoring. Creating pathways that allow coaches to continue their education, improve their skills, and remain in the sports-based youth development field is a key element in recruiting and retaining a high-quality workforce (Bheenuck & Davis, 2003; Klentschy, 2005). All coaches make their way through a training and skills-based pathway throughout their term of service, while a smaller set of individuals who want to remain in the field entering a separate professional development pathway in subsequent years. Finally, the presentation will explore how mentoring, reflective practice, and evaluation have become important parts of the coaching program.

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