Publication Details

Vella, S., Oades, L. G. & Crowe, T. P. (2011). The role of the coach in facilitating positive youth development: Moving from theory to practice. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 23 (1), 33-48.


Sport is suggested as a potentially important and sufficient path for positive youth development. However, how this responsibility is translated by coaching practitioners is not understood. This research investigated whether coaching practitioners desire outcomes for their adolescent athletes that reach beyond on-field success, and incorporate constructs that are associated with positive youth development. Twenty-two participation coaches for adolescent athletes participated in semi-structured interviews. Results suggest that coaches see themselves as responsible for facilitating eight interrelated and interdependent themes that are consistent with the positive youth development literature; competence, confidence, connection, character, life skills, climate, positive affect and positive psychological capacities.

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