Designing, Implementing, Assessing, and Sustaining Sport Coach Communities of Practice

Title: Designing, Implementing, Assessing, and Sustaining Sport Coach Communities of Practice
Authors: Bertram, Rachael Kathleen
Date: 2016
Abstract: The purpose of this doctoral dissertation was twofold: (a) to explore how communities of practice (CoPs) can be designed, implemented, assessed, and sustained in sport settings, and (b) to examine the value that is created by participating in a community of practice using Wenger, Trayner, and De Laat’s (2011) value creation framework. Two studies were conducted. In Study One, a sport coach CoP was collaboratively designed, implemented, and assessed in a youth soccer organisation. Data generation included two individual interviews with each co-researcher, observations from CoP gatherings, and communications via an online discussion platform. Findings indicated that the co-researchers created value within each of the five cycles of value creation outlined in Wenger and colleagues’ framework. The co-researchers created value that was personally relevant to their coaching needs, which led to an increase in perceived coaching abilities. The co-researchers also gained new perspectives, such as the importance of social learning, and a broader view of athlete development. Study Two examined the value that was created in five CoPs nested in the university sport setting and how they were sustained. One interview was conducted with each participant (10 coaches and two administrators). The findings revealed that the coaches created value in each of the five cycles of the value creation framework. They learned a variety of strategies, some of which they implemented in their coaching practice. As a result, the coaches noticed an improvement in their coaching abilities and their athletes’ outcomes. The coaches also gained new perspectives, and reframed their views concerning their personal development and that of their athletes. For example, the coaches realised the importance of focusing on their own well-being. They also realised the importance of learning through social interactions, and developed a broader view of athlete development. The findings from both Study One and Study Two illustrate that CoPs in sport settings are practical and pragmatic, and that they have a positive impact on coaches’ development and on their coaching practices. 
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -