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Deakin University study to reveal exactly what is involved in being a sports coach

Deakin University study to reveal exactly what is involved in being a sports coach
June 20, 2011

In a first for Australian sport, Deakin University researchers are looking to reveal the complete picture of what is involved in being a sports coach.

Deakin University sports coaching expert Dr Andrew Dawson explains "sport coaches deal with more than seven million lives in any given year in Australia, yet little is known about the way coaches work.

"So we are calling on all coaches of all sports to share their experiences.

"Whether they coach at the elite level or at the grass-roots level on the weekend, full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid, we want to know how much time, money and resources go into preparing them and their athletes/teams each week. We also want to hear their views on coach development and how they can best be supported."

Early data from the Australian Coaching Workforce Study points to a 'startling' amount of work that coaches do beyond their face-to-face coaching role.

Dr Dawson adds "a lot is put on the shoulders of sports coaches. They are seen as teachers, mentors, parental figures and managers for the athletes and teams they coach.

"Interviews I have conducted so far also reveal a startling amount of work you wouldn't normally associate with coaching such as negotiating use of venues and facilities, applying for funding and sponsorships and a large amount of other administrative duties.

"Through this study we are looking to put together a complete picture of what is involved in sports coaching in Australia. We hope that the results will inform the development of policies and management practices at national, state and community levels of sport that will better support and improve the working lives of coaches."

Coaches of all levels and all sports are encouraged to complete the survey which will take 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

The survey is available online at

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