Just over 50% of young people who practise sports in Sweden have had coaching roles, and this proportion has increased in recent years. Besides learning within their own clubs, many young coaches have attended various coach education programmes (CEP). In recent years, there have been a number of initiatives to educate young coaches (Redelius et al. 2004; Meckbach & Larsson 2012). However, neither a common policy for the content and format of these CEP nor criteria for recruiting young people to them has been devised. This presentation discusses the path to CEP, namely what notions and expectations there are of the content and the knowledge involved. Research about CEPs show that they are important for promoting positive youth development through sport (Conroy & Coatsworth 2006; Eley & Kirk, 2010; MacDonald et al. 2010; Stewart et al. 2013). However, the content and design of CEP is a crucial factor for the outcome of the education (Cushion et al. 2003; Stewart et al. 2013).
Purpose and theoretical framework
The aim of the study is to explore at who youth coach education programmes target, and what kinds of values are produced and reproduced in youth coach education programmes. To understand actions and strategies based on an individual or group relationship and the social context in which they find themselves, we take inspiration from the theories and concepts of Bourdieu.
The data consists of two different types of empirical material. The first is a questionnaire with a total of 45 questions both open and closed, and includes three parts: Personal background, experience in sport and leadership, conceptions of youth coach education programmes. A total of 540 young coaches (219 men and 321 women) took part in the study. The second material is written descriptions of twenty-one coach education programmes.
The study shows that the Swedish sports movement appears to be struggling to recruit young coaches who have grown up in another country as the majority of young people who participate in youth CEPs are of Swedish descent. They have minor assets in the form of cultural capital. By contrast, they have other experiences, i.e. forms of capital that are an asset as a coach within the sports movement. The format and content of CEP show that it is both pedagogical leadership and sports leadership that is seen as important.What is valued both among the young coaches and the CEP is knowledge about children and adolescents, e.g. about physical and mentaldevelopment, while knowledge of other cultures and religions or knowledge of gender roles is not highly valued. What is also valued is knowledge that in some way relates to encounters with others, either in a positive sense, such as through cooperation, or in a more negative sense, for example through conflict management
To sum up, that coach education programmes are designed to meet the interests of already initiated persons. Young people who know their sport and with a taste for sport are those recruited for coach education programmes. They are expected to already have incorporated the sport’s values and norms, and be familiar with the ‘rules’ of the sports movement. The results also indicate ’the rules of the game’ are generally taken for granted and there is a shared understanding of what makes a competent coach and what qualities such a person must have. The results also indicate that the format of the education programme facilitates the passing on of norms and values, and that it will be difficult to challenge the ’order of things’ and rise above traditional value structures, traditional gender patterns and the traditional view of who is suitable as a coach.
2014. 11- p.