chapter  10
12 Pages

Volunteer coaches

Coaches are often the most tangible manifestation of organizational quality and effectiveness in the sport context and are a crucial component of the sport experience for most participants. They are highly visible due to their very direct involvement with many sport participants and there is a clear link between sport performance and coaching quality at all levels of sport. Moreover, coaches can facilitate rewarding experiences in sport, especially for younger participants that have direct and significant implications for individual wellbeing and levels of participation in physical activity. However, given the nature of the coaching role some of the strains felt by VSOs, especially in areas such as participant safety and child protection, may fall disproportionately on coaches more so than other categories of sport volunteers. The purpose of this chapter is to review the roles and nature of the contribution made by volunteer sport coaches and to examine the important issues and core principles required to effectively develop and manage this important cohort of volunteers. Furthermore, the chapter focuses on the critical issues of coach education and coaching in junior sport.