Assessing the Effectiveness of a Transformational Coaching Workshop on Athlete Outcomes

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Hague, Christopher
Positive youth development (PYD) through sport is a person-centered approach that aims to develop a variety of assets. Coaches can play a significant role in this process but often require training to develop their professional, interpersonal, and intrapersonal skills and knowledge. Recently, a coaching development program (CDP) grounded in Transformational Leadership theory (TFL) has been shown to increase coaches’ interpersonal behaviors that focus on the development of the person. However, how this training affects athletes’ outcomes has yet to be tested. The purpose of this thesis, therefore, is to test the effects of a Transformational coaching workshop for developing athletes’ competence, confidence, connection, and character—also known as the 4Cs. Fifty-three soccer athletes (Mage = 13.7, SD = 1.91 ) completed four questionnaires before and after their coaches participated in the workshop. Seventy-two soccer athletes (Mage = 14.24, SD = 1.27 ) served as a comparison group and had coaches that did not participate in the workshop. Four separate tests were run to analyze differences in the 4Cs at two time points during the season across the two groups. Two repeated measures ANOVAs were run for competence and confidence, while two repeated measure ANCOVAs were run for connection and character while controlling for age and gender respectively. The results show that the intervention had no significant effects on athletes 4Cs. Athletes in both groups appeared to be situated in a nurturing environment before the workshop and continued to benefit from this environment after the workshop. The findings add to the growing body of research that shows CDPs may not benefit those who are already developing optimally and who perceive their environment positively. However, the high averages for both groups at both time points indicate that the ceiling effect and social desirability bias might be influencing the findings. These constraints on the results appear to be a growing trend in CDP and PYD research and thus open a discussion to suggest the need for more sensitive instruments and rigorous methodologies in future studies.
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