Coach's management activities: types, objects, performance criteria


Professor, Dr.Hab. O.N. Stepanova1
Associate Professor, Dr.Hab. A.S. Makhov2
Associate Professor, PhD E.N. Latushkina2
Postgraduate J.S. Bernina3
1Moscow State Pedagogical University, Moscow
2Russian State Social University, Moscow
3Ivanovo State University (Shuya affiliate), Shuya

Keywords: sport coach, coaching, operations, management


Policies to ensure further progress of national sports cannot be efficient enough unless supported by a due education system to train highly qualified coaches for different sports. The existing academic physical education curricula, however, as demonstrated by practical experience, leaves much to be desired in terms of management background it provides to future coaches at the sport universities and physical education departments. This fact is substantiated, among other things, by the questionnaire survey of sport coaches performed by Dr.Hab. M.M. Yenshin back in 2012, with the survey data showing 80% of the respondents being supportive of the idea that a good management background is imperative for a coach to be successful, whilst 56% of the coaches confessed having inadequate background in theoretical aspects of sport management process [1]. The similar study data were obtained by the authors in a survey of professional challenges reported by sport coaches [5]. These and other available research data give good grounds to believe that initiatives to improve the future coaches’ management background are among the top priorities of the national sport theory and practices [7].

Objective of the study was to offer a set of management process efficiency criteria to rate the sport management aspect of the coaching process.

Methods and structure of the study. The study was designed based on a work process timekeeping (“photographing”) method including indirect process monitoring component plus direct timing of different works performed by the subject coaches for a workday [4]. The study was performed at the premises of a sport club of Russian State Social University (Moscow) and the “Istina” Skiing Centre, with 18 skiing coaches being subject to the study.

Study results and discussion. As a result of a weekly timekeeping of the works performed by the coaches we obtained the work profiles including the relevant breakdowns (in percent) of the works performed by the coaches per workday. The direct monitoring component of the study showed that the highest shares of the work time were given to the trainee’s motor task performance control process (27.2%) and the skiing equipment servicing process (22.5%). The other important process components were the athletic training/ competitive process management (8.6%); skiing technique and tactics mastering (5.7%); and the education/ training performance control and rating (4.5%) components. Furthermore, the athletic self-training and individual coaching of the trainees were found to claim 2.6% of the total work time (that makes up 2/3 to 1 academic hour).

It should be noted that actual coaching activity profiles are notably different for different stages of the long-term coaching process. Survey of the athletic education/ training group coaches showed about half of the coaching work time (43.1%) being claimed by motor task performance control activity; as opposed to the sport excellence groups and primary training groups where this activity claims only 19.2% and 19.3% of the workday, respectively. About the same time is claimed by the skiing equipment servicing operations as reported by the athletic education/ training group coaches (18.5%) and sport excellence group coaches (22.8%). The primary training group coaches reported somewhat higher time demand for this type of operations (26.1%).

The coaches that train higher-ranked athletes were found to give up to 1/6 of their work time to the education/ training process design activity, performance data processing using computer technologies, documenting and reporting activity. It should be noted that that the study found that the relevant process control instruments and technologies (heart rate meters, GPS navigators etc.) are only occasionally used by the athletic education/ training group coaches and never used by the primary training group coaches for the training progress rating and body functionality control purposes. Furthermore, many other coaching works, including refereeing service, sport self-education of coaches and individualized coaching were found to be occasional as well.

Having performed a content-analysis of the study data, we identified the key process management works of the skiing coaches geared to perform the relevant management responsibilities in the relevant process management cycles, as follows:

• Athletic education/ training/ competitive process planning; training macro-, meso- and micro-cycle design; education process scheduling; pre-competitive process programming etc.;

• Athletic education/ training/ competitive process organizing (i.e. practical arrangements for the education/ training courses, sessions, competitions; selecting and screening out the trainees etc.); the relevant health/ education process control activity; fitness monitoring and rating; individual performance/ success measuring; family/ tutorial (or other legal) relationship management; general tutorial work etc.;

Motivating the trainees for the athletic education/ training/ competitive process with due emphasis on the general tutorial aspects;

Performance control (and correction) of the training programs and plans; motor task performance quality control; training workload management; athletic fitness (including physical, technical, tactical, mental, functional and intellectual fitness) control etc.; and

Accounting of the athletic education/ training/ competitive process and other relevant process data and results with the relevant document processing component.

The study data and analyses gave us the grounds to conclude that the professional coaching activity in skiing sport is dominated (to the degree of 56.3%) by a management component. Having sorted out the practical works and operations in the coaching process, we would list the key subjects of a coach’s management activity as follows:

• Athletic education/ training process with all its fields, content, management and quality control aspects;

• Competitive process, including the sport competition organizing/ refereeing/ success rating activity;

• Psycho-physiological condition, including general health, physical development, functional/ mental/ emotional rates of the athletes and the rates variation trends;

• Sport fitness (including physical, technical, tactical, mental, functional and intellectual fitness) rates in correlation with the sport results achieved both in the training and competitive process;

• Individual sport accomplishments of the trainees, with the relevant success rates and variation trends;

• Axiological/ motivational/ needs-related aspects of the trainee’s personality; team spirit/ mental environment management at the school/ group/ team levels; interpersonal (coach/ trainees) relationship management;

• Coaching process efficiency; coach’s individual skill level and professional growth/ career management; and

• Resource (material, technical, financial, regulatory, theoretical, practical resource etc.) providing for the professional coaching activity.

Having analyzed the available special literature on the subject (including the relevant state statistical reports [6]; practical recommendations for the athletic training process management in the RF [2]; sport coaches’ performance assessment reports [3]) and data obtained through the relevant educational supervision and practical coaching experience assessment process, we developed a set of the coach’s management process standards with the relevant management efficiency criteria.

For example, compliance of the “Athletic education/ training process organization and quality assurance” standard will be assessed using 17 management efficiency criteria, including  (1) group staffing rate; (2) annual team retention rate; … 4) sport injury prevention criterion; (5) trainees’ performance of the progress control/ qualification tests as required by the relevant Federal athletic training standards; (6) numbers/ percentage rates of the athletes qualified for the higher-level sport groups; … 8) proportion of the trainees involved in sport competitions (including intra-institution / local/ regional/ territorial/ national/ international competitions) for the academic year; (9) positive trends in the sport accomplishments of the trainees for the academic year; ... (12) modern computer technology application rates in the athletic education/ training process; … 14) compliance of the sport facilities, training sites sport equipment and accessories to the relevant sanitary standards and regulations; (15) coach’s qualification compliance with the requirements of the education/ training process/ program model; … (17) degree of satisfaction of the trainees and their families (or other legal representatives) with the education/ training process conditions, management and quality standards.

Furthermore, compliance of the “Coach's professional self-improvement” standard will be assessed using 16 management efficiency criteria, including the following: (1) education level improvement process, including the second higher education; master’s training program; professional retraining programs/ course; probation course, etc.; (2) vocational research activity, including scientific research; postgraduate education; fellowships; work on PhD/ Dr.Hab. theses; (3) participation in/ reports at workshops, round tables, research/ practical conferences, symposia; (4) research publications, practical developments/ guides, education aids; … (6) inventions; efficiency improvement developments etc.; (7) participation in professional contests; … (10) regular athletic self-training, participation in seniors’ competitions; … (16) honorary titles, awards, encouragements etc.

It should be noted that we do consider the above lists of the management process subjects, standards and efficiency criteria as absolute and final, and we are going to continue the efforts to correct and expand the lists in our further publications.


In the academic Physical Education and Sport curricula development process, we offer to complement the curricula with the special education modules designed to improve the management competency of the future coaches, including: Sport Organization Management module; Athletic Education/ Training Process Management module; Sport Competition Organization and Refereeing module; Physical Education and Sport Process Management Psychology module; Sport Conflictology module; Sport Organization Records Management module; Legal and Regulatory Provisions for the Physical Education and Sport Process module; and Sport Acmeology module. Works to implement the modules are under way at Russian State Social University (Moscow) and Moscow State Pedagogical University.


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