Volunteer youth sport coaches' perspectives of coaching education/certification and parental codes of conduct

Res Q Exerc Sport. 2005 Sep;76(3):324-38. doi: 10.1080/02701367.2005.10599303.


The vast majority of youth sport programs in the United States relies primarily on parent volunteers to serve as coaches. Unfortunately, most of these volunteer coaches have not received formal training to prepare them adequately for the role of youth sport coach. To exacerbate the issue, according to the popular media, parents and other adults can commit belligerent and even violent acts around, and often resulting from, poorly managed youth sport events. Although some efforts have been made to standardize curricula, provide training for coaches, and contain or prevent inappropriate parent behaviors, few efforts have been directed at investigating the self-described needs and concerns of the coaches from their perspectives. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the concerns and issues of youth sport coaches related to coaching and parental education. Five focus group interviews with 25 volunteer youth sport coaches were conducted to investigate these issues. Results were organized around four higher order themes that emerged from inductive content analyses: (a) coaching education content areas of need, (b) barriers and problems of offering coaching education, (c) coaching education format recommendations, and (d) efficacy of parental codes of conduct. Results were discussed in terms of the potential impact administrators, coaches, and parents could have in implementing formal coaching education programs and developing their coaching education practices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • California
  • Certification*
  • Codes of Ethics*
  • Communication
  • Curriculum
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Parents*
  • Physical Education and Training / organization & administration*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sports / education*
  • Teaching / methods
  • Volunteers / education*