A scoping review to map the key concepts, types of evidence, and gaps in coach developer research


Coach developers (CDs) are described as individuals who serve sport coaches and organizations in a range of roles. Studies examining CDs are sparse and have been summarized as disconnected and lacking coherence (Allanson et al., 2019; Cushion et al., 2019). The purpose of this study was to conduct a scoping review to synthesize the available evidence and identify research gaps within the CD literature. The search process generated 1012 articles with a final total of 37 focussing specifically on CDs. These 37 articles were examined and the PAGER framework (Bradbury-Jones, Aveyard, et al., 2021) was used to present patterns, advances, gaps, evidence for practice, and research recommendations from the findings. Results revealed that the majority (n = 27) of articles were published between 2017-2021, average CD participant numbers were 23.97 (SD = 33.37) while only 25 studies identified participant CD's gender (4.79 male and 2.21 female), participant's CD experience was not reported clearly (8.11%), data collection occurred mainly qualitatively (86.48%), and research examined a single sport context (83.78%). Analysis identified four main patterns: (1) CDs perform a variety of roles, (2) CDs are integral to knowledge translation, (3) CDs require multifaceted skillsets, and (4) CD attraction and retention is dependent on positive organizational culture and individual disposition. Implications of this review indicate a need for research to address the depth and contribution of CD roles, to examine the CD's direct influence on the coach, and skillsets to support this function.