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Exploring Coaches Perceptions of Effective Teaching Methods in Skill Acquisition in Adult Learners within Sport

Tobin, Casey (2021) Exploring Coaches Perceptions of Effective Teaching Methods in Skill Acquisition in Adult Learners within Sport. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Several studies have aimed to examine skill acquisition, effective coaching, and motor skill acquisition in general and with regards to children, with Fitts & Posner’s (1967), Gentile (1972) and Dreyfus (2004) being of key importance. However, little is known in relation to skill acquisition in relation to adult learners and whether coaching modalities may differ in comparison to methods used with children. This study aims to explore the effective coaching methods on skill acquisition in adult learners in sport from the coach’s perspective. The significance of this study is routed in my own personal and professional interest in sport. The primary aim of the study is to determine whether there is one or more coaching method which may be effective in coaching a new skill to adult learners. However, the study also aims to explore the meaning of effective coaching from the perspective of the coach. The chosen research design for this study follows an inductive approach, seeking to explore coaches’ experiences and perceptions of skill development in relation to adult learners through semi-structured interviews, with the raw data collected being organised and transcribed inductively into themes, through thematic analysis. The emerging themes of effective coaching, coaching behaviour, coaching methods, communication, and adult vs children aimed to answer the proposed research questions. Results found that a multitude of coaching methods were outlined as effective, from questioning and guided discovery, problem-based learning, and experiential and game-based learning. With no single method being identified as effective but rather a holistic approach as the most effective approach to coaching. Findings also suggested that coaches focus on skill acquisition and development with children, however suggested when coaching adults, they do not teach them new skills but simply develop their current skill set, arguing that if an athlete has not picked up a skill by a certain age their ability to achieve a skill will be inhibited. As little is known in relation to skill acquisition with respect to adult learners, this study is merely a steppingstone in aiming to gain an understanding, however further research could delve deeper into the process of motor skill learning in adults and how aspects of coaching may influence the learning process.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects / Types of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Coaching
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > Sports
Divisions: Centre for Education and Lifelong Learning > Master of Arts in Educational Practice
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2022 16:35
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2022 16:35

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