The experience of volunteer minor hockey coaches, program organizers and program facilitators in an on line coach education program known as play it cool
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This study described the experiences of volunteer minor hockey coaches (VMHC), program organizers program facilitators (the participants) in a web-based, facilitated coach education program (CEP) called Play It Cool (PIC). Fifteen VMHCs participated in weekly, structured lessons on safe and effective ice hockey coaching that were delivered asynchronously using streaming content. VMHCs were requested to apply lesson content (i.e., seven modules) with their teams and report back on the website discussion forum. This forum was intended to promote weekly collaboration between VMHCs and interaction with an on-line expert facilitator. PIC offered an alternative to traditional formal CEP (i.e., National Coach Certification Program in Canada) which are typically classroom-based, weekend seminars that are reportedly not well attended (Misener & Danylchuk, 2009). Various studies report perceived benefits resulting from trained and educated coaches but that coaches tend to prefer informal methods of learning how to coach (e.g., mentorship, personal playing experience) (Bloom, 2002; Gilbert & Trudel, 1991; Vargas-Tonsing, 2007). A qualitative case study methodology using thematic data coding (i.e., data sources included discussion board postings and related e-mail)was employed to describe the experiences of the PIC participants PIC. Fifteen participants, mostly middle-aged males (n=14) with limited formal coaching education and minimal amounts of playing and coaching involvement, left evidence over prescribed eight week periods.
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