USBC profiled in National Coaching Report

    08/16/08

    USBC Coaching

    New study stresses importance of qualified coaches for all youth athletes

    USBCCoachingLogo.jpg The United States Bowling Congress reaffirmed its commitment to quality coaching education, and is one of only 15 youth sport organizations profiled in the National Coaching Report, the only comprehensive report addressing both youth and interscholastic sport coaching education requirements in the United States.

    The report was released last week by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) in partnership with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). NASPE is a non-profit professional membership association that sets the standard for practice in physical education and sport.

    Youth sport organizations that had either initially endorsed the National Standards for Sport Coaches (NASPE, 2006) or were part of the coaching education database developed and maintained by NASPE were contacted in an attempt to gather information on coaching education/training criteria in youth sport organizations.

    With more than 50 million children under age 18 participating in organized sport programs, the purpose of the report is to educate the American public about the training and qualifications currently required to coach athletes whose quality sport experience is of number one concern.

    Released just days before the start of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the report stresses the importance of qualified coaches for every athlete. Many Olympians' positive athletic experiences were a result of the influence and impact of their coaches.

    "An optimal sport experience requires caring and professionally trained coaches," said NASPE President Fran Cleland, P.E.D., professor of kinesiology, West Chester University (PA). "Parents across the country send their children to practices and events with the expectation that adult supervision will bring positive sport outcomes, maximal learning and skill development. Yet horror stories persist about dramatic increases in winning-obsessed parents, sport injuries, over-specialization of young athletes and children quitting sports because they simply aren't fun anymore."

    DavidGarber.jpg "USBC wholeheartedly supports NASPE and its goal to draw attention to the need for high quality coaching education for youth athletes," said David Garber (pictured), USBC Coaching co-director and high performance director. "Bowling coaches who earn certification through the USBC Coaching Program are professionally trained in a wide variety of instructional skills that enhance the bowling experience of our youth athletes."

    The National Coaching Report provides a baseline of what is being done to train coaches at the youth and interscholastic sport levels. Sport officials, State Board/Department of Education administrators, legislators and parents can now view the requirements set forth by state legislation, mandates or sports organizations for coach preparation in each state and the District of Columbia.

    Results were presented at a recent press conference at the National Press Club recently in Washington, D.C. by Jody Brylinsky, Ph.D., professor of sport studies, Western Michigan University, and chair of the National Coaching Report Task Force.

    "The National Coaching Report clearly illustrates the need to increase the quality of training adults receive prior to engaging in coaching responsibilities," Brylinsky said. "It also serves as a resource and advocacy tool for developing policy and legislation that requires coaching education."

    This small portrait of youth sport organizations suggests:
    • There are youth sport organizations earnestly seeking ways to design and implement training for adults who wish to serve as coaches.
    • Most youth sport coach training is currently designed for entry level coaches with emphasis on athlete-centered coaching philosophy, ethical conduct of coaches and maintaining a safe environment.
    • There is a strong trend to require background checks for all coaches in youth sport. - Volunteer-dependent youth sport organizations are willing to mandate some form of coach education or training as an incentive to coach.

    NASPE recommends that all coaches be required to complete a quality coaching education program prior to working with athletes. In addition, NASPE recommends that decision makers:
    • Recognize that the role of the coach requires specialized skills and knowledge that must be developed through formal training based on the National Standards for Sport Coaches. - Promote communication between local sport leagues and quality coaching education providers.
    • Develop an infrastructure to track and record the number of youth sport coaches and the number of coaches who have completed coaching education programs.
    • Develop recruitment and selection procedures that identify persons with high moral character and integrity for coaching positions.

    As a public service, NASPE is providing a full copy of the report online on its Web site at naspeinfo.org/coachingreport. Printed copies of the report may be obtained by calling (800) 321-0789. The price for the 156-page publication is $24.