Adult-oriented masters coaching approaches: Coaches' reflections on scores across the season and with their adult athletes


Coaches in Masters sport support Masters Athletes (MAs) in practice and competition beyond the normative age of peak performance (Callary et al., 2021). The Adult Oriented Sport Coaching Survey (AOSCS; Rathwell et al., 2020) allows coaches to reflect on the frequency of their adult-oriented psychosocial practices. There are two versions: coach (AOSCS-C) and athlete (AOSCS-A). This instrumental case study sought to understand how coaches used AOSCS results to reflect on their adult-oriented approaches over a season and in relation to their MAs' perceptions of their approaches. Nine coaches (Caucasian/White; ages 23-72; five men, four women; six sports) completed the AOSCS-C at two time-points and their MAs completed the AOSCS-A at one/ two time-points. Coaches undertook a one-hour semi-structured interview where they were shown scores, asked about how they compared and what they could do with this information. We identified two themes in our reflexive thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2020) related to how coaches leveraged comparisons (1) between coach and athlete scores and (2) between scores over time. The coaches discussed similarities and differences between their and their MAs' scores across the five constituent factors of the AOSCS and how they could continue, learn from, or change their approaches based on the comparisons. Further, the coaches noted that the changes in their scores over time should vary as needed throughout their season. Findings indicate that scores represent a baseline to know more about how coaches of MAs interpret and use the AOSCS to build meaningful interventions for their coach development.

Acknowledgments: This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Research Insight Grant #227348