Challenges, Changes, and Opportunities in NGB Coach Education from 2003 to 2015

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Advances in technology make it possible to transform the scope, duration, and format of formal coach education programs such as those operated by sport National Governing Bodies (NGBs). The United States Olympic Committee (USOC), which provides oversight to Olympic sports, has a strong interest in developing quality coach education programs. The purpose of this research is to better understand the challenges, changes, and trends in coach education administered by NGBs. We compared the findings from a 2003 survey administered by the USOC to 45 NGBs examining the content, delivery, and development of coach education programs with an updated version of the survey administered in 2015. An online, anonymous survey was sent to the individuals responsible for overseeing coach education at each of the 45 Olympic sport NGBs. The survey consisted of 32 multiple choice questions covering staffing, budget, content, and delivery of coach education programs. While 70% of NGBs have a system for identifying coaches, the majority (77.8% of NGBs) feel as if there are not enough qualified coaches in their sport. Whether this stems from an inadequate coach education system, limited appeal of the sport, or poor sport marketing, there is a clear need to enhance the education level of coaches. The number one challenge for NGBs in coach education is budget and the number two challenge is maintaining current, quality course content. Three strategies for maximizing impact with limited resources would be to partner with other organizations (e.g., National Alliance for Youth Sport), to pool resources between NGBs to create a unified foundation for a coach education program, and to create a mentorship program to allow coaches to learn in more informal settings. Mentoring is widely acknowledged as an important coach learning tool, yet only 38.9% of NGBs reported having a mentoring program.


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