Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Why Coaches Coach

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2017

College

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department

Journalism and Communication Department

Faculty Mentor

Debra Jenson

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

This project was designed to assess both the motivations and experiences of coaches within Special Olympics Utah (SOUT). This research focused on determining why an individual chooses to volunteer as a coach, why they choose to continue coaching, and how coaches receive communication from SOUT. Prior to this study, there was a large research gap in the subject of Special Olympics coaches, which is why our study was so essential. The research method for this project centered on gathering in-depth data from focus group participants, using open-ended, non-predictive questions. After the focus groups and interviews were conducted, thematic analysis was used to interpret the data and make conclusions about the topic.

Researchers were able to identify three major themes after the analysis of the data: family ties, interpersonal relationships, and inconsistency. First, the participating coaches most frequently reported that their motivation to start coaching came from having a family member who was already involved. Second, the overwhelming consensus of motivation to continue coaching for Special Olympics was related to coaches’ attachment to their athletes; family ties were never mentioned. Third, there was a recurring theme of inconsistency found in the five main facets of communication that were discussed: emails, phone calls, timely access to information, training, and SOUT website content.

Special Olympics could not exist without its coaches. To that end, it is important for SOUT to consider what motivates coaches to start and continue coaching, as well as what they can do as a leadership team to improve the coaching experience.

Location

Room 101

Start Date

4-13-2017 9:00 AM

End Date

4-13-2017 10:15 AM

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Apr 13th, 9:00 AM Apr 13th, 10:15 AM

Why Coaches Coach

Room 101

This project was designed to assess both the motivations and experiences of coaches within Special Olympics Utah (SOUT). This research focused on determining why an individual chooses to volunteer as a coach, why they choose to continue coaching, and how coaches receive communication from SOUT. Prior to this study, there was a large research gap in the subject of Special Olympics coaches, which is why our study was so essential. The research method for this project centered on gathering in-depth data from focus group participants, using open-ended, non-predictive questions. After the focus groups and interviews were conducted, thematic analysis was used to interpret the data and make conclusions about the topic.

Researchers were able to identify three major themes after the analysis of the data: family ties, interpersonal relationships, and inconsistency. First, the participating coaches most frequently reported that their motivation to start coaching came from having a family member who was already involved. Second, the overwhelming consensus of motivation to continue coaching for Special Olympics was related to coaches’ attachment to their athletes; family ties were never mentioned. Third, there was a recurring theme of inconsistency found in the five main facets of communication that were discussed: emails, phone calls, timely access to information, training, and SOUT website content.

Special Olympics could not exist without its coaches. To that end, it is important for SOUT to consider what motivates coaches to start and continue coaching, as well as what they can do as a leadership team to improve the coaching experience.