Identifying important practice behaviors for the development of high-level youth athletes: Exploring the perspectives of elite coaches

Emily Jane Oliver, James Hardy, David Markland

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (SciVal)

    Abstract

    Objective
    Given a lack of consensus within the literature regarding which specific training behaviors are important for athlete development, and whether these behaviors are relevant across a range of sports, the main purpose of the present study was to explore training behaviors perceived to be important by coaches from team sports.

    Method
    Focus groups were conducted with thirty high-level coaches to determine their perceptions of effective athlete behaviors within the practice (training) environment. Sessions were transcribed verbatim, then analysed using inductive content analysis.

    Results
    34 first level clusters of raw themes were identified, which were then grouped into eight general dimensions labelled; (a) professionalism, (b) motivation, (c) coping, (d) committed, (e) effort, (f) seeking information to improve, (g) concentration, and (h) negative behaviors.

    Conclusions
    A detailed range of important practice behaviors and attributes emerged, providing a framework for identifying productive versus ineffective approaches to training among athletes. It is suggested that the framework developed could be used to design interventions aimed at enhancing the progression of youth team sport athletes, as well as a way of monitoring the efficacy of interventions targeted at increasing positive training behaviors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)433-443
    Number of pages11
    JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
    Volume11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2010

    Keywords

    • Coaching
    • Training
    • Focus group

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