An intervention promoting coach-coach developer interactions for fostering positive youth development within the portuguese sport system


The purpose of this study was to question how coach developers envision their interactions with coaches in terms of promoting positive youth development. The conventional rigid approach to how coach developers train coaches must be interrogated if we are to address coaches' beliefs and objectives related to positive youth development. Coach developers must create and implement coach education programs designed to promote high quality coaching through meaningful interactions with coaches. Based on the need to develop coach-coach developer interactions conducive to learning positive youth development, an intervention was developed to assess the experiences of a coach developer in creating and implementing a PYD-focused CEP within the Por¬tuguese context. Specifically, the intervention comprised of five 3-hour sessions delivered bi-weekly over a 10-week period to 13 field hockey, tennis, surf, climbing, and soccer coaches. Throughout course creation and imple-mentation, the coach developer maintained a reflexive journal. Further, bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with coaches were conducted. Following an analysis, based on phenomenological principles that align with autophenomenography findings showed that coach developer's interactions with coaches led to challenges such as dealing with extrinsically motivated coaches and the lack of coach openness to applying positive youth development content. However, the one-on-one meetings were useful in helping the coach developer focus on coaches' thoughts, feelings, experiences, and facilitated some coach openness towards positive youth development. Findings also suggests that the intervention can help nudge coaches' openness towards positive youth development. However, systemic changes are needed to create conditions within the Portuguese sport system where coaches can sustainably implement positive youth development.

Acknowledgments: This work was supported by National Funds through the FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P., under the scope of the project UIDB/05198/2020 (Centre for Research and Innovation in Education, inED). We would also like to thank the Portuguese Rowing and Hockey Federations, as well the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth for the support provided in this study.