Understanding Sources of Knowledge for Coaches of Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities
Macdonald, Dany J.
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Background: Recent research has investigated development of coaching knowledge; however, less research has investigated the development of coaches who coach athletes with intellectual disabilities. The purpose of this study was to understand how coaches of athletes with intellectual disabilities gain their knowledge. Method Forty-ﬁve Special Olympics Canada coaches participated in structured telephone interviews investigating actual and ideal sources of coaching knowledge. Coaching knowledge was categorized across the dimensions of competition, organization and training. Results Coaches primarily learned by doing and by consulting with coaching peers. Information about ideal sources of coaching knowledge demonstrates that coaches would value structured coaching courses, learning from mentors and from administrative support, in addition to learning on their own and from peers. Discussion Results suggest that a broader approach to education should be incorporated into coaching athletes with intellectual disabilities. Recommendations for achieving such goals are provided.