sports development

sport & physical activity academic resources

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Coach tracking study: A four-year study of coaching in the UK

E-mail Print

This report is based on a unique four-year study of coaches in the United Kingdom. Each year, over 400 coaches completed a survey, providing details on their coaching practice, professional development and motivations. We have used this data to better understand coaches and track their changes over time.

The coaches in this study represent a distinct section of the national coaching population.They are better qualified and more experienced than average and could easily be referred to as the core of any coaching workforce. As such, their views on coaching are worth listening to and acting upon.

Below are six points to take away from this report:

  1. Coaches play a vital role in participation.The 417 coaches in this study alone provided coaching to over 13,000  participants. As club membership increased, it was often these coaches who stepped in to fill the coaching gaps.
  2. Although coaches often have very practical reasons for starting coaching (eg there was no one else available to do it), as they develop, they experience a range of different and more personal benefits. There is the satisfaction that comes from seeing athletes develop and a feeling of giving something back to the sport/club/community.
  3. Coaching allows people to stay involved in their sport. It provides a social interaction with players and, for some, provides a continuing involvement in the competitive element of sport.
  4. As coaches gain more experience, they start to supplement their technical and tactical knowledge with more interpersonal and reflection skills. There is also a drift towards more informal learning sources, which reflects the different knowledge being sought.
  5. There is a depressing trend in coaches feeling less supported by their governing body of sport and national partners. While the majority still feel supported, if this trend is allowed to continue, we will reach a stage where, by the end of what has been called a decade of sport, less than half of experienced, qualified coaches feel supported.
  6. The decision to stop coaching is rarely planned in advance. Eight out of 10 coaches who stop coaching did not intend to do so the previous year.



 editors comments   

Editor's comments - [  Given the longitudinal design of this Sports Coach UK funded project and its stated aim of tracking coaches’ progress over four years, 'it was important to compare Year Four results with those in Year One.To facilitate this, Year One results were recalculated on the basis of the Year Four sample (417 coaches) to provide direct comparability' say the researchers (whom SCUK dont tell us who they are?). Unfortunately, we are far from satisfied with the reliability or validity of this work for all sorts of method reasons. ]  Reference this?Cryer, J. (2012). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from In the text: Cryer (2012)


APA reference for this document


Reference :   SCUK. (2012). Coach tracking study: A four-year study of coaching in the UK. Leeds: National Coaching Foundation


The above reference is in the APA style: See why this is important in our [how to reference] us guide.


Download this document [Use of this document may be limited by © copyright ; by downloading you consent to our terms and conditions ]


Download this file (Coach-tracking-study.pdf)Coach-tracking-study.pdfSCUK. (2012). Coach tracking study: A four-year study of coaching in the UK. Leeds: Sports Coach UK
Last Updated on Friday, 04 January 2013 16:45  

Student Zone