Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

The Efficacy of Youth Football Coach - Perception of Players and Coaches of Different Age Groups of Portuguese Football

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

The Efficacy of Youth Football Coach - Perception of Players and Coaches of Different Age Groups of Portuguese Football

Article excerpt

Introduction

The efficacy of youth coach has been little explored, taking into account the potential it has in the sport experience of young people and children, once it is related to their learning and performance (Feltz, Chase, Moritz, and Sullivan, 1999). One of the most pressing models to study coach efficacy is the conceptual model of Feltz et. al. (1999), which considers a range of information sources about the efficacy and the outcome effects of the coach efficacy. The factors that this model considers as fundamental in the coaches' action are motivation, game strategy, technique and character building, considering also the coach experience, the previous success, the perception of the ability of athletes and support school / community as efficacy sources. The motivation refers to the coaches' capacity to influence the athletes' skills and psychological condition and strategy represents the coaches' skills in promoting a successful performance of their teams during competition. Technique corresponds to coaching skills in diagnosing and providing instruction during practice; whereas, character building relates itself to the coaches' beliefs in their capacities to promote athlete's personal development and positive attitude towards sports.

Note that the effectiveness and efficacy models of the coach study tend to focus on the perceived efficacy, that is usually evaluated based on the coaches' and player s' opinion, as suggested by several authors (Alzate, Lazarus, Ramírez and Valencia, 1997; Bandura, 1997; Chase, Lirgg and Feltz, 1997; Lent and Lopez, 2002). Horn (2002) stresses the importance of the player's perception about the behavior of their coaches, emphasizing the relevance that assumes in the efficacy evaluation. In this sense, Smoll and Smith (1996) found that the psychological impact of sports participation in youth athletes is closely related to their memory and perception of their coaches' behavior.

Resulting from the Feltz et. al. (1999) model, the Coaching Efficacy Scale (CES) is considered as the most appropriate instrument in coach efficacy evaluating, comprising the existence of the four factors already described. The CES has been predominantly used in Anglo-Saxon original studies (Boardley, Kavussanu and Ring, 2008; Campbell and Sullivan, 2005; Chase et al 1997; Feltz, Hepler and Roman, 2009; Fung, 2003; Kavussanu, Boardley, Jutkiewicz, Vincent and Ring, 2008; Myers, Feltz, Maier, Reckase and Wolfe, 2006; Myers, Wolfe, and Feltz, 2005; Sullivan and Kent, 2003; Thelwell, Lane, Weston and Greenlees, 2008), being practically inexistent investigations of this nature in other contexts. There are several studies targeting youth coaches, particularly of university teams, but with emphasis on different sports practiced in Anglo-Saxon contexts (Chase et al, 1997; Feltz, et al, 1999; Feltz et al 2009; Malete and Feltz, 2000; Myers et al, 2005; Sullivan and Kent, 2003). Although Feltz et al. (2009) and Kavussanu et al. (2008) investigations integrated football coaches in their samples, we only found an investigation in the specific context of the youth football coach efficacy, developed by Kowalsky et al. (2007) with a sample of American athletes aged 11 to 14 years. In this study, the researchers concluded that there is a tendency for coaches been young and with previous experience, and that these factors relate to the overall youth coach efficacy. It also enables us to know that coach age and education, experience as a player, gender and previous experience as a coach, are aspects that does not predict the overall efficacy of the coach.

One aspect that justifies the comparison of the perception of athletes and coaches is the obvious discrepancy found in several previous studies (Kavussanu et al, 2008; Kenow and Williams, 1992; Short and Short, 2004; Vargas-Tonsing, Myers and Feltz, 2004). In all studies the perceived efficacy of the coaches in the various factors was higher in athletes, so it is pertinent scrutinize about the reality that we propose to investigate, the youth football training. …

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